Semi-annual trips since 2002







































I started taking trips to Florida when I met Susan. Prior ro that time, I had only been to the state once as a small child.

Humans, Humans Everywhere!

The sad thing about Florida is the insane pace of development that is currently taking place. Houses are litterally going up overnight and the plants and animals of the affected regions are being pushed to the edge. The simple truth is that the everglades cannot be replaced with generic ponds. These ponds may one day start to mature into more hospitable areas, but once they become healthy they will also become "unsightly," which will undoubtedly provoke the residents of the developments to "clean" them and once again render them nearly useless.

Birds at Wakodahatchee

Fortunately, there still are some "wild" places that you can visit. The Wakodahatchee Wetland is a manmade wetland that offers an oasis for animals that have been pushed out of other areas. An elevated boardwalk winds through several acres of compartmentalized freshwater marshes. Some compartments are deep, others are shallow, and each has been constructed with a specific combination of wetland plants to provide a wide variety of habitats and niches.

As a photographer, there is nothing better than finding a population of wild animals that have become acclamated to the presence of humans. This allows for an unusually pleasant photography trip because of the relative ease in finding subjects to photograph, and a very comfortable setting in which to spend time. For directions visit www.pbcwater.com/wakodahatchee/

Cypress at Loxahatchee

Another fantastically productive site that I have discovered is the Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge. This area is honest-to-goodness everglades habitat dotted with cypress domes. One stand of cypress trees even has a boardwalk winding through it, which again makes photographic jaunts a pleasure. The open, grassy areas host a wide variety of birds (Florida is bird country after all) and the forested areas are comprised almost entirely of bald cypress trees.

* Cypress trees have recently made headlines with the possible re-discovery of ivory-billed woodpeckers.


When all is said and done, Florida is a magnificent place to visit. For me, the everglades and other wetlands outshine the beaches and theme parks, and the birds flora and fauna are absolutely magnificent.

I don't go very often, but I look forward to going to the same places again and again so that I can get to know them as I would know old friends.



Copyright 2010 William Danielson