On a recent business trip south, I had the opportunity to reconnoiter a small waterway and swamp just West of Lake Okeechobee. Fish Eating Creek Nature Preserve is a small park/campground that is nestled between the bends of its namesake. I had seen online imagery of the creek and really wanted to capture a few frames.
It was a quiet day in the off season, so not many people, leaving me as the lone target for the local mosquitoes population. Oh, and it was hot! The main nature trail had overgrown and was impassible, so I was relegated to walk the river bank looking for shots and looking out for gators. Almost as many gators as there were mosquitoes. Nevertheless, I managed to capture several images before a cloud front cast its shadow upon my surroundings. (On a side note, I took a break to practice my baby gator "grunts"; and must say I still have the ability to rouse a mother gator.). The images you see were taken using both a digital infrared and Chamonix 4x5 film cameras.
While deep in the swamp, time almost stops. It's quiet. You can hear the splash of a fish, a distant osprey cry and the snap of a twig from an animal walking nearby. The water moves very slow but steady. And when the clouds cover you, if you wait long enough you might capture a rare ray of sunlight that spotlights a cypress stand. I can imagine my surroundings hadn't changed in 500 years and despite the buzzing about my head, life was calm and peaceful.
On the way there, I spent the night in Clewiston, FL (on the Southeast bank of Lake Okeechobee). While road access to the Lake had been closed to the public I managed to find a canal with a small fishing fleet. You can't go on a photo excursion without taking pictures of boats. Somewhere, it's a written rule. These two images were captured on two and a quarter inch Ilford FP4+ film. I am always amazed at the different styles and construction of boats used to catch fish. While I'm not an archeologist, anthropologist or naval architect, I am convinced that regional and cultural difference have as much to do with boat design, as do the fish you are trying to catch.
By The Way...Don't let the name fool you! The only thing eating in that creek were the mosquitoes!