Monday, February 18, 2013

Rainbow Sink

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No posts since Christmas! That's not because I don't have photos or stories... more like I have had too many recent adventures and haven't had time to process and write.  So here's a quickie for February.

Have you ever flown into Tallahassee (TLH) and looked down to see a bunch of small ponds in the forest and wondered about them?  I sure have. One of my photo pals in Wakulla County, Bob Thompsonsuggested we go explore that forest.  Bob had scouted the site via Google Earth and also knew of a road that accessed a powerline road that would get us in.

We entered a beautiful piece of the Apalachicola National Forest of pines, big live oaks, grasses, and wetlands of cypress and surprises. I often find that cypress trees hold their beauty long after they've died -- in the first instance below, as a leader into a long-shadowed sunrise.  And in the 2nd, Bob noticed the heart (see it?) and I noticed the thinness of the shell, with each buttress hollowed, like the shed exoskeleton of a "reborn"arthropod.  Where's that cypressoul growing now?

Big ol' oaks stood majestically adjacent to domes of cypress, their ground almost imperceptibly higher.  The ponds at the heart of the domes, though low, held water, lending to the life and health of this delicate ecosystem.

We came to two small sinkholes - unlike the ponds in that they had steep banks and deeper bottoms, perhaps even reaching down and communing with the aquifer that flowed river-like beneath us.  Here are photos from the 2nd one, dubbed Rainbow Sink for obvious reasons.  Shot across the sunbeams, this intimate sink looked sweet but ordinary.  The magic happened when we walked "down-sun" and looked back.  The light passed down through a thin layer of pollen, bounced off the surface, and then refracted through the pollen layer as if through a prism, breaking into rainbow colors as it came up to our eyes and camera lenses.  As if that wasn't enough, the lilypads turned to sharp-edged silver reliefs and the mirror-smooth water reflected the sky and surrounding forest, adding mind-bending dimension.  Wow!

So, please enjoy Rainbow Sink with me as I moved closer and closer in with my lens... (Yes, of course, I did almost fall in.)