The Coldest Day of the Year

trees

“I have an idea…”

That’s how it starts. I have an idea that sticks in my mind until I can put it to work. In this moment, I wanted the swirling water around the base of these cypress trees just south of Jacksonville. I knew the spot. I knew the mood. I knew the light. I just had no clue it was going to be so cold.

My wife and I bundled up as much as simple Floridians can and drove the quick 15 minutes to the spot I had in mind. Our walk to the riverfront was cold, but not freezing. Once we were at the riverfront, we were hit full-force with 30 mph winds blasting near-freezing temperatures in our thin-blooded face.

Though I quickly lost feeling in my fingers, I still had enough time to snap a few images.

It was worth it.

North Florida Nature

edit-1

The First Coast of Florida feels full of wisdom and age. Old-growth forests fill the landscape, many untouched by man. There are many wooded lands around Jacksonville and St. Augustine that are being turned into housing developments, but I appreciate the lands that have been preserved as a testament to Florida’s past.

Cypress Swamp

Florida is beautiful because it is raw. It may be one of the flattest states in America. It may only bring thoughts of white-sand beaches to those from out of state, but to me Florida is natural beauty. Florida is characterized by tall pine trees standing over palmetto bushes as far as the eye can see, salt marshes with tiny canals weaving like little rivers through grassy expanses. These are the things that I love about Florida, but most of all, I love the cypress swamps. These ancient trees sit in shallow waters like timeless sentinels. Many were cut down by loggers in the 1800s and 1900s, but if you search deep enough, you will find beautiful old-growth areas. In Jacksonville we house one of those beautiful areas on the border of Jacksonville and St. Johns, in the Julington-Durbin Creek Preserve.

_dsc0527_6067