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Halfway Creek at Low Tide, by Matt Tilghman
Halfway Creek at Low Tide
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Dense mangrove forest looms over the brackish Halfway Creek, in Everglades National Park, Florida.
Halfway Creek
There are a handful of canoe paddling trails in Florida that span both the Big Cypress National Preserve and Everglades National Park, and I've been trying to find some stunning cypress forests along them. I have a soft spot for cypress forests, and want to photograph them more. However, all of these trails are in the very southwest corner of Big Cypress, near Florida's west coast, so the waters have turned brackish or downright salty. This means the vegetation is severely lacking in cypress, and more dominated by mangrove, like in this photo from Halfway Creek. It's not what I sought, but it is nevertheless quite beautiful, to me. What was especially interesting to me is that, while the Everglades is typically teeming with wildlife, these extremely dense mangrove creeks were rather barren by comparison. I imagine they are important nurseries for adolescent fish, but the big fish had all moved out, for more room. There were almost no water birds, which feels downright odd for the Everglades, probably because the canopy was too dense and they didn't feel they had an easy route of escape. And with no birds or large fish, there were no alligators. It was almost completely dominated by foliage alone (and spiders). Every now and then an anhinga would get spooked, and struggle loudly to get through the canopy, spooking me along with it.
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