Tripod holes 19

green heron Butorides virescens on swamp plants in Audubon Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, Florida
N 26°22’37.94″ W 81°36’28.29″ Google Earth Location

While this image isn’t stunning, it represents two things: a place you should definitely visit, and one of my specific ‘branding’ images that presently illustrates one of my many business cards. I don’t have many businesses, just a wide variety of cards, because what kind of fool sticks to just one? Sheesh. Also, the location isn’t precise, being somewhere within a few hundred meters, but close enough for our purposes, since it was taken from the boardwalk of the Audubon Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary near Naples, Florida. Actually, it’s not near anything, being way out in the upper Everglades, but that’s the point, and my plots are close enough because you’ll be walking the entire boardwalk there anyway. Almost the entire circuit is heavily shrouded in trees without landmarks of any kind, so while I remember this small pool (yes, it is a pool, chock-full of plants right here,) and the immense activity therein, I’m just not exactly sure what point along the boardwalk it resides on. I do recall that at least six species of waders were fishing enthusiastically in a very small area, and that one small alligator was hanging out nearby. An absolutely fascinating place, and in the years since, I’ve seen some excellent photos taken by others there.

On this trip, I’d decided on the name, “Wading-In Photography,” and was getting my marketing materials together, so I was purposefully aiming for some illustrative photos, and it was a good trip to do this – I shot some 24 rolls of slides within a week, an awful lot of them quite pleasing to me, and you’ll see more in later Tripod Holes installments. Nowadays this might not seem like a lot – 864 images, which I exceeded on a single outing this past Friday – but with film, since every frame costs you money, you tend to be more selective about how often you trip the shutter and how likely the image will be solid. This one was shot even wider than this, to allow room for the card text, and for that purpose I digitally washed out the swamp cabbage leaves (actually I’m not sure what plant those are) so they wouldn’t interfere with the text.

This also wasn’t my first green heron (Butorides virescens,) but it was the first close and detailed view of them, along with both species of night herons, tricolored herons, great egrets, common egrets, and wood storks (Mycteria americana,) which were doing this great display of fishing behavior, foraging along with a wing raised to throw a shadow that would scare the fish into motion.

wood stork Mycteria americana fishing in pool within Audubon Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, Florida
One of my bigger regrets was failing to see this spot on the last trip to Florida, far too long ago, but The Girlfriend and I removed it from the list because we’d already seen Big Cypress Bend, when the Everglades were suffering from the drought and were little but mud; we knew Corkscrew Swamp would be unimpressive in those conditions.

But if there hasn’t been a drought, go – it’s well worth the time.