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.