Salt Marsh Grave Yard

On this day Rick Cruz joined us as we began the day out in the grass photographing.

As Clyde and Rick photographed I meandered around taking pictures of flowers. Once again I am amazed at the beauty of these wonderful creations. It reminds me of a quote I love: “People from a planet without flowers would think we must be mad with joy the whole time to have such things about us.” – Iris Murdoch

When Clyde was finished photographing the grass scene he was working on, Rick said he wanted to take us to a really wonderful place that he thought Clyde would enjoy. Rick guided us to a fascinating place…a dream world for black and white large format photographers! A place that no one would believe could exist in Everglades National Park…It is a salt marsh filled with the white skeletons of very old trees. A place of driftwood, bromeliads, orchids and cactus! Amazing!

Getting there was a little tricky though…

Walking through mangroves is difficult. The trick is to stay as close to the main trunk as possible or else you’ll find yourself thigh deep in the muck!

But once we finally made it through the mangroves we came out onto a beautiful bright spring green salt marsh.

The field was filled with the bones of sun bleached dead trees. Clyde was in heaven! Everywhere he turned he saw photographs! It took him a while to settle down and choose one scene to photograph.

As Rick helped Clyde set up his camera and lens he came across Clyde’s secret stash of M&M’s!

These sea shells had either been worn down, or eaten by a critter and became these beautiful designs. It made me wonder if past people’s of this land used these kinds of shells for jewelery.

The grass is filled with so much color! It is every shade of green from a pale sea foam green to a deep rich green, and in between are the colors of burgundy, red and orange. A magnificent sight of colors to the eye. The colors are hard to see in this image, so I took a close up to share with you…

But, of course, Clyde is photographing in black and white and so his eye is looking for shadow, shape and texture.

The logs laying all over were filled with texture, shape and form…Clyde was in heaven!

As Clyde and Rick photographed I meandered around taking pictures too. When I came across this image of cactus, a bromeliad and salt grass I just had to take the image…who would believe those three things could live together?!

And then, from a far distance I heard Rick shout, “Wha-wee!!!” I knew he and Clyde had discovered something major. As I rounded the bend I saw them standing in front of the most luscious Cow Horn (Cigar) orchid I have ever seen! Rick is known for images of native plants and orchids, so when we saw how impressed he was we KNEW this was an extraordinary bloom. If you would like to see a selection of Ricks photography you can check out his website at: www.rickcruzphotography.com

We all took turns taking pictures and then, after one last look at this marvelous creation shining bright and beautiful in the wilderness we began our hike back to the van.

It had been a great day. We enjoyed Ricks companionship and excitement over the environment of South Florida. Once again it was a joy to be around a person who loves the Everglades as much as we do.

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