GANNET STRAND © 1995Western Everglades
Winter always brings out the structural beauty of the naked cypress tree. This winter was unique due to a tropical storm that passed through Florida late in the hurricane season. Tropical Storm Gordon swept from the gulf across the Everglades to the Atlantic, leaving higher than usual water levels across the state throughout the winter. I was able to capture the water flowing through the grass between the bare trees offering an unusual moment in the environmental history of the Everglades. Dwarf Cypress Trees In the wide-open spaces of wet prairies, where soil depth is scant, and mineral-rich resources are negligible, grasses, sedges, and forbs dominate. The few cypress trees that have managed to cling to life in these regions are often gnarled, stunted, and ancient. They have survived some of the Everglades’ driest conditions as moisture in the prairie evaporates quickly in the absence of a protective tree canopy. The logging industry in the mid-twentieth century that removed all the large, old-growth bald cypress trees saw no value in these small, twisted old trees. They left these enduring forms that we enjoy today. This photograph is hand-printed in Clyde’s darkroom on fiber-based paper, selenium toned, then mounted and matted to current archival standards. The photograph is a limited edition and signed by Clyde. Disclaimer – Cropping, contrast, and image density may vary. To learn more about the darkroom printing process, click here.