Butcher, birds & breezes

October 26, 2009

We drove back from Miami through the Everglades on the “new” Alligator Alley yesterday. Didn’t see any gators, though.

It was a gorgeous early morning and the ‘glades were crawling with seabirds of all kinds. M said that during Hurricane Andrew, many exotic birds escaped the local aviary and over time, bred with native birds to develop entirely new species.

The sights reminded me of Clyde Butcher, who around these parts is known as the Ansel Adams of the Everglades. His black and white photographs of Florida were on prominent display in the office of the consulting firm I worked for.

Even spending 13 years looking at Butcher’s photos every day didn’t make me like living Florida. But yesterday morning, pre-dawn, the breeze made that certain whoosh through palm trees…the sun hadn’t come out and air was languid in the breeze, not too hot.

That particular South Florida ambience evokes the Decembers I spent in Key West and times at my brother’s Siesta Key place.

That, plus driving north through the ‘glades in the early morning sunshine, talking with M. about Marjorie Stoneman Douglas’ “river of grass”, gave me a new appreciation for my state.

Maybe I was more a south Florida girl than a west-central Florida girl. And just didn’t know it.

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