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journey through mangroves

Why do I love mangroves? Because they grow between water and land, between saltwater and fresh. They protect coasts from hurricanes; they're like above-water coral reefs; they are all a-tangle. And they have weird and wonderful traits.

Here's what Marjory Stoneman Douglas said about them:

Two kinds of mangroves dominate … the black and the red. It begins on the last peat with tall hammocks and forests of buttonwoods, called “white mangrove,” not a true mangrove at all but Conocarpus. Then in the first level of the high tide stands deep-rooted the black mangrove, the Avicennia nitida, not tall but thick, which often sends from its submerged roots up through two or three feet of mud and water the curious pneumatophores, like thousands of sharp bristling sticks, most difficult to wade through. They are breathing organs. The darg-green leaves above them often exude salt crystals. The roots stain the water brown with strong tannin.

Beyond that, marching out into the tides low or high, and rooted deep below them in marl over the rock, goes the great Rhizophora, the red mangrove, on its thousands of acres of entwined, buttressed and bracing gray arches. The huge trunks, often seven feet in circumference, stand as high as eighty feet.
Marjory Stoneman Douglas, The Everglades: River of Grass, 50th Anniversary Edition (Sarasota, FL: Pineapple Press, 1997), 55–56.

You see what looks like a tiny forest of sticks in the photo below? Those are the pneumatophores, helping the black mangroves breathe.

mangrove with pneumatophores

But most of my pictures are of red mangroves, with their arching prop roots and their torpedo seeds:

prop roots
mangrove tangle

torpedo seeds hanging down

mangrove with torpedo seeds

What I've always wanted to do on mangroves:

tall (but a skinny baby compared to the ones Marjory Stoneman Douglas described)

And fencelike:

green brown water, West Lake Park mangroves

Borderland plants

A mangrove tunnel


And--blurry--a crocodile among the mangroves!
mangrove and crocodile



( 37 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 13th, 2016 01:02 pm (UTC)
Love those, especially the tunnel. Now I know why people love to draw them so much.
Jul. 13th, 2016 01:38 pm (UTC)
Yes, they're visually fascinating, on top of everything else!
Jul. 13th, 2016 01:40 pm (UTC)
That mangrove tunnel is gorgeous!
Jul. 13th, 2016 01:52 pm (UTC)
I **ADORED** the mangroves. Kayaking through them was bliss.
(no subject) - shewhomust - Jul. 13th, 2016 04:48 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - asakiyume - Jul. 13th, 2016 05:17 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 13th, 2016 01:53 pm (UTC)
Beautiful pictures!

I love those roots. So weird and tangling.

And the picture with the clouds mirrored is quite lovely.
Jul. 13th, 2016 01:59 pm (UTC)
And the people in my novel, the refugees--that's the environment they originally came from ♥
Jul. 13th, 2016 03:30 pm (UTC)

Oh... This is all amazing. So wonderful and strange.

Thank you so much!
Jul. 13th, 2016 05:18 pm (UTC)
Definitely wonderful and strange--it was a wish come true to be there.
Jul. 13th, 2016 05:35 pm (UTC)
Your music is so appropriate for the last picture. ;)

Mangoves are great. I've never visited one but I'd like to.
Jul. 13th, 2016 07:05 pm (UTC)
You would love it. (Well, I say that, but I'm not sure. But I know you can put up with heat: you live in Los Angeles. We came prepared to be mobbed by mosquitos, but while you're actually on the water paddling, it's not bad at all.) I hope you get a chance!
(no subject) - rachelmanija - Jul. 13th, 2016 07:08 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - asakiyume - Jul. 13th, 2016 07:14 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - yamamanama - Jul. 14th, 2016 11:26 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 13th, 2016 06:17 pm (UTC)
Because they grow between water and land, between saltwater and fresh. They protect coasts from hurricanes; they're like above-water coral reefs; they are all a-tangle.

Thank you for this further interlude with mangroves. You photograph and write them beautifully.

What I've always wanted to do on mangroves

Makes perfect sense to me.
Jul. 13th, 2016 07:06 pm (UTC)
I wanted to see and feel them firsthand for so many reasons, but one was because I wanted to understand how people in the novel I'm writing could live with/among them. Now I know.
(no subject) - sovay - Jul. 13th, 2016 07:25 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - asakiyume - Jul. 13th, 2016 07:32 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sovay - Jul. 15th, 2016 07:29 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - asakiyume - Jul. 15th, 2016 11:19 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - asakiyume - Jul. 13th, 2016 07:33 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sovay - Jul. 15th, 2016 07:29 am (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
Jul. 14th, 2016 01:28 pm (UTC)
Thank you! It was amazingly fulfilling and satisfying to do it--as good as I imagined, and better, because it was *real*
Jul. 14th, 2016 12:17 am (UTC)
Because they grow between...

Borderlands, indeed.
Jul. 14th, 2016 01:28 pm (UTC)
Yes ^_^
Jul. 14th, 2016 03:28 am (UTC)
I don't know how to respond. I value mangroves very, very highly and the world needs them. This week there was terrible and frightening news of a huge mangrove die-off, due to climate change and warming seas.
Jul. 14th, 2016 01:32 pm (UTC)
Climate change is a terrible enemy, because its effects are so awful in so many ways, and because as individuals we feel powerless against it. We can change our personal behavior (to a degree), and we can press for change on a larger level--and you do both those things--but beyond that, there's not much we can do. And so then we have to walk a careful path between resignation-despair on one hand and head-in-the-sand complacency on the other ... I don't think I do this very well, myself, but its what I think I (we) have to *try* to do.
Jul. 14th, 2016 09:45 am (UTC)
Looks like a great adventure! Next time you come out here, we can take you for a paddle through the mangroves. I can guarantee there are no crocodiles...
Jul. 14th, 2016 01:33 pm (UTC)
I would love to do that! I would love to visit with you all again, and--let me reiterate--I would love to host you sometime, too.
Jul. 14th, 2016 11:33 am (UTC)
How beautiful landscape! The tunnel and the still waters. Borderlands are empelling. So you do research work for your novel... good to hear of your work.

You look such a sweet summer girl!

Edited at 2016-07-14 11:36 am (UTC)
Jul. 14th, 2016 01:34 pm (UTC)
The research is an excuse--it's the curiosity and love-from-a-distance that drove me to visit really. I suppose it's those things that made me want to include mangroves in a novel in the first place.

Thanks! (Not much of a girl anymore, but pictures can be amusingly deceiving!)
Jul. 14th, 2016 09:43 pm (UTC)
Ooh. Thank you! These are lovely.
Jul. 18th, 2016 03:58 am (UTC)
My pleasure! Thanks for dropping in to see ^_^
Jul. 15th, 2016 06:51 am (UTC)
This post was good for my soul. *wallows in beauty*
Jul. 18th, 2016 03:58 am (UTC)
Yay! Willow-wellow-wallow away!
( 37 comments — Leave a comment )

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