Keep your hands and feet inside the kayak.

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Cutting through a carpet of water plants, yet having them close in as if to hide your path is somewhat unnerving. However, the balance and beauty of this place assures its visitor that respect will be respected. To one who knows the rules, who understands the expectation there is little chance of danger. Yet to the proud, the arrogant, the foolish, snakes, alligators, and countless spiders will act upon their nature.

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In this sanctuary the endless shades of green creates a pallet of infinite contrast. Each plant unto its task converting solar energy to food, filtering water, scrubbing environment, creating oxygen, providing habitat, and substance.

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As the humidity and heat build to an apex the pressure can be felt in the inner ear, and then in a rush a breeze is lifted unto the heavens. The rising hot air overcomes a barrier of cooler air, a thermal updraft is as lungs breathing and exhaling.

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In a tiny boat a man with limited sight and perception sees this amazing event as no more than a breeze, yet nature just took a breath of fresh air.

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There are mysteries in the tiny, the infinite balance of bacteria, single celled organisms, a ballet of microscopic beings committed to the a task of death and rebirth. That which in its time passes,  gives up its energy, not to be wasted but converted by microscopic workers.

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Here more so than any place this can be seen, smelt, and even on some level felt within the heart. Nothing is wasted, noting is forsaken. Pollen is cast by the winds, carried by the insects who are attracted to the color of the flowers.

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Some have called these places hell, often used to illustrate evil, and death, yet this is home to more life than any suburb of cement and urban sprawl. Perhaps it is difficult for some to enter a sanctuary in which they must acknowledge their mortality. This is not a tabernacle of bricks and beams, climate controlled, safe and programmed, a place in which one can believe they are the center of creation. This is the swamp, this is authenticity, beauty, and balance.

9 thoughts on “Keep your hands and feet inside the kayak.

    • There is a huge difference between alligators and crocodiles. I grew up in this, learned to swim in bayous. Its all about respecting the animal knowing its behaviors and using a long lens. Bravery and stupidity, it is often hard to know where one starts and another ends.

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  • Beautifully written, Curt. Your thoughts remind me of the different ways people can view the arid outback areas of Australia. Just like some fear the creatures of the swamp, some fear the harsh conditions in the desert like parts of Australia. But they are places that contains much life and beauty…the cycles of life continue. They can be dangerous places though if people do not respect the conditions. Thanks for sharing another special place on earth.

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  • A beautifully written post once again :). I’m sure that many people living in suburbia are happy that they can keep out everything except the sky inside the brick walls and paved roads that make their home. To step outside of all that is to relinquish control somewhat and to join ranks with the laws of survival, and yes, creation. For some, that is not a risk they would like to take, but for others it allows a depth of understanding of who we are, and how the natural world works. I know which side of the fence I’d rather be on! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Leah 🙂

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    • So do “y’all” ,Southern American for You all, have alligators? Seems like an animal you would enjoy, bit like snakes, they function on a similar level. I so bad want to see a kangaroo in the wild. Maybe one day.

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  • Thank you for liking “Red Geraniums.” I enjoyed seeing your wonderful photos and learning more about this swamp in Texas. I used to live in Florida and came close to the outskirts of swampland there but did not venture deep inside of it. There are supposed to be quite a few alligators in Florida, but I think the only dangerous swamp creature that I encountered while living there was a water moccasin.

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  • I suppose alligators must be like bears in the sense that if you’re careful you’ll be fine 99% of the time, but to me at least alligators are much more scary! Maybe there should be more Teddy-Gators out there.

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