Weekly Photo Challenge: Free Spirit

 

 

This is my image submission for  the Word Press Photo Challenge of:  Free Spirit.

I love being out in nature, and I mean IN nature.. especially in the wetlands of our SW Florida swamps.  The peacefulness and variety of wildlife and plant life is amazing.   Numerous things abound to pique the senses at every sloggy turn.  Of course you’re soaking wet, maybe even up to your waist – careful, watch out for that fallen log you have to find a way to go over or under or that hole! – but that’s what your stick is for, probing ahead of your strides…  but…. the water is clear, cool and clean… I call it “refreshing” on a hot Spring day in South West Florida.  No, the water in the Swamp is not stagnant, it’s flowing along and you’re following it around the next turn and in my case, hoping I don’t fall down        (I tend to have problems with gravity.)  I feel best when I am out of doors, hiking a trail or wading in water with my camera and walking stick.

 

 

 

 

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Weekly WP Photo Challenge: Growth

Cypress Knee “hand”

 

The cypresses keep their secrets from the prying investigator.
-J. E. Rogers,1905

In 2012, Cypress knees have remained an enduring mystery to Botanists and Tour Guides alike..   The “Knees” are found around the base of Cypress trees and can take on a variety of strange and wondrous forms such as  Circles, and singular perhaps scary looking specimens like this, reaching for the sunlight and – growth.   There are some camps who see the knees as stabilizers that help the trees to stay upright in their sometimes wet environment.  Others believe they help the trees to breathe.   Whatever their true purpose, (do we really want to know?)   they also provide a window into the mythos of the swamp and how swamps can still be perceived as scary to humans on a visceral level.  After all, who wouldn’t be slightly, pleasantly spooked by seeing this mysterious hand reaching up from the water while on a sunset boardwalk or wet walk though a swamp?    It’s OK to admit, that if you saw this eery hand reaching up toward the sky you too, would look around  to see what else might be lurking under the tannin rich water near you…..

 

To read more about Cypress Knees, I suggest this .PDF from Harvard.