Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Devon Creek Canopy

Click on a photo for a larger view, then use your Back button to return to the story.  Enjoy!
Arching over our heads from both sides, cypress and tupelo create a gorgeous canopy as we paddle up Devon Creek.  Author, photographer, and friend, Doug Alderson remembered this little creek -- off of Owl Creek off of the Apalachicola River -- from a visit here 30 years ago.  Doug is the Florida Paddling Trails coordinator for the Office of Greenways and Trails -- namely, he is probably Florida's chief paddling trailblazer.

 We launch on this exploratory paddle to find out whether this might be a destination for other paddlers or not.... and WOW, is it ever!  At the high water level this evening, the mouth of the creek is obscured by tree branches, but research had lent some GPS coordinates, so we plunge into the floodplain and soon find the channel.  The amazing canopy, winding path, and mirrored water surface lead us through a spectacular tunnel of green light on a circular skeleton of dark limbs.

Birds of the swamp -- dominated by the bright yellow Prothonotary Warbler calling "Sweet...sweet...sweet" -- escort us.  Turtles and frogs perch on low branches.  Tupelo "knees" form hoops instead of being pointy like cypress knees.  This one pair of tupelo knees appears to have "tied the knot".


 Cypress trees are always great subjects, offering such unique sculpted shapes.  Below are three photos of cypress. The first, solid and healthy, near the one spot we are able to stop on dry land.

The next, a fan of splintered wood reaching for the sky.

Third is Doug's photo called "Cypress Angel".  He sees this contorted living tree twisting up, over and down again, wrapping around itself.  At it's ragged tip is one healthy branch feathering its bright green needles around the tree's waist.  Despite the challenges of the busy elements of swamp and dappled sunlight, he captures the Angel in the tree.  Well done, Doug!
Finally, on our way back to our put-in, the sun dropping rapidly toward the horizon, an arch of trees along Owl Creek captures a burst of magic light on the far shore.  One final photo and the adventure ends in perfection.


10 comments:

Madeleine said...

where do I put in??

Madeleine said...

where do I put in??

Irwin said...

David, Thanks so much for sharing all your photos. I feel I am there! I love that photo where the tree actually looks like woman. Great photos! Irwin

Irwin said...

David, Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful photos with us. They help me feel like I am there with you! I love the photo of the tree that looks like a woman, at least to me it does. I look forward to more photos of your adventures. Irwin Friedman

Bob said...

Fantastic images of a magical place.

Capt. Ron said...

Very nice David. Owl is one of my favorite fly fishing destinations.

Linnie said...

The knees look like a Celtic knot!

Susan in FL said...

so much grace
thanks

Susan in FL said...

so much grace
thanks

Trudy said...

Wonderful, David!