Friday, November 22, 2013

The Big Cypress

The Big Cypress Swamp is where I hike in south Florida. There are miles and miles of Florida trails in the Big C, which boasts a maximum elevation of 22 feet. It is the slight variation in elevation throughout the Big Cypress that provides so much variation in vegetation and makes hiking more interesting (even without the mountains!). Here is where the hardwood hammock (on high ground) meets the cypress swamp (low ground) from an unnoticeable difference in elevation, but with quite remarkable differences in appearance. Note the photo above was taken next to the scene below.

It's been several months since I've hiked in the Big Cypress. I am hoping to get back there soon, but my favorite area is currently inaccessible. There is a beautiful campsite north of I-75 called Carpenter Camp that is surrounded by cypress domes, hardwood hammocks, pinelands and marl prairies, all seen in one panoramic vista. Right now, the parking area is closed and there is no place to leave a car safely to access the trail and campsite. But the Big Cypress is, well big, so this might be a good reason to explore other areas.

I would like to find some prime locations to practice landscape photography, the opportunities to be creative are endless out there. For instance, during my last visit I wanted to work with black and white images, so I set the camera to black and white mode. this allowed me to see the results on the LCD for instant feedback. Back home, the downloaded RAW files appeared with their color (this works only in RAW, not JPEG) and it was just a matter of rendering them black and white again during post- processing.

Looks like this winter camping season is going to be filled with lots of wind activity. So this may be a Big Cypress year, more time on land might be a good thing. Here are a few images from previous hikes.

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