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The Loop Road begins at the Miccosukee Indian Lands just off the Tamiami Trail, (old US 41 east) in the Everglades, Florida midway between Naples and Miami. It is a 17 mile stretch of a partially paved and coquina sand road that 'loops' into the Everglades fecund with bird and animal life everywhere. This scene was taken in the very shady swamp area, but I was lucky enough to catch the sunlight through the thick overhead canopy of cedar and pine. The bright colors in the water come from the mix of several varieties of aquatic plants and the brownish tannins from the mangrove and other aquatic trees.
The Loop Road is accessible by car during the 'dry season' in Southwest Florida, from November through May when your car merely gets covered with a fine white dust, but the daily thunderstorms that rise up in the Glades during the summer months create large puddles of white mud, that are best crossed with a truck or large SUV.
This shot was taken in April, when the area is the driest. It is during that time when the Everglades is most vulnerable to fires ignited by the same thunderstorms, but in this environment, fire is actually part of a favorable natural phenomenon which clears the undergrowth and causes the pine tree cones to burst and spread their seeds. While the bark of the cedars may be burnt, they don't seem to be harmed by the fire, and plants like the sawtooth palmettos are impervious to the fires; despite being burnt, sprout new grow right back through the charred bark and branches within just a few weeks.
Every time I go out into Everglades I am amazed by the variety of life that exists there. The interplay of the changing light with the variety of plant and animal life always creates an environment of fabulous textures, vibrant colors and beautiful vistas.