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Stillness of the Swamp, by Matt Tilghman
Stillness of the Swamp
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Cypress forest in Florida's Fakahatchee Strand Preserve
Fakahatchee Strand
On this day, the swamps of Fakahatchee Strand were perfectly silent. There can be massive thunderstorms, or the sounds of breeze rustling the dense jungle foliage, but on this day it was it was incredibly still. When I would shut my car door or extend my tripod, the sounds almost seemed to echo. But then I realized that there was nothing to echo off – the sound was not echoing, it was lingering. Decaying into perfectly into silence, without being distorted by other noises or its own reflections off surfaces. It was eerie. And then, like a foghorn in the night, a bit of wildlife would speak up, like the grunt of an alligator or the ascent of a wading bird. Which was even more startling, not just from the sudden noise, but because the wildlife was far nearer than you thought would be possible without you noticing.
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