Halfway Creek at Low Tide – Florida Mangrove Jungle

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Halfway Creek is a small river which flows through the Florida Everglades. Most of the Everglades is fresh water, but this area near the exit is brackish enough to support dense mangrove jungles.

I’ve been trying to find some canoe trails that go through nice cypress forests in Big Cypress and the Everglades. I have a soft spot for cypress forests, and want to photograph them more. However, all of these trails I’ve tried are in the very southwest corner of Big Cypress, too close to Florida’s west coast. That means the waters are brackish or downright salty, so mangroves dominate the flora. This photo from Halfway Creek is one example of such a habitat. It’s not what I sought, but it is nevertheless quite beautiful to me. What I found especially interesting is that while the Everglades is typically teeming with wildlife, these extremely dense mangrove creeks were rather barren by comparison. Adolescent fish use mangrove roots as protective habitat, but the big fish had all moved out. The forest was also devoid of water birds, which feels downright odd for the Everglades. I think it’s probably because the canopy was too dense and they didn’t have an easy route of escape. And with no birds or large fish, there were no alligators. All in all, Halfway Creek seemed to offer only foliage (and spiders). Every now and then an anhinga would get spooked, and struggle loudly to get through the canopy, spooking me along with it.

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