I've been obsessing over mangroves lately. They are the unyielding force of the Everglades. Each of them with a unique footprint and a character all their own. Constantly bending and stretching to reach fertile ground, they posses a certain ingenuity, an intelligence, even.
Mangroves are tricky subjects to photograph, though. Their waxy leaves reflect harsh light in the afternoons and around sunset, even the slightest wind will move their outstretched branches during long exposures.
I've found that the best time to see them is in the mornings because the wind is much calmer. For the most distinct subjects, however, I have to boat out into Florida Bay an hour before sunrise to catch the first light. Luckily, they're right on my way to work.
One of the more bizarre landscapes I've seen was right at the end of the dry season at the top of Florida Bay. For a week, North winds pushed water into the mangrove swamps along Taylor River. The ground, still parched from the months without water, stayed defiantly cracked and broken regardless of the water that now filled the area. I'd been to this place dozens of times and never seen it this way.
My next goal is to get underwater and see what they look like from below. Stay tuned...