Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Snakes and Orchids

Today we took a spiritual journey with Eric and Katy Raits. They guided us into their favorite Cypress dome to share their place of peace with us.

Several of the images in this blog were taken by Eric and Katy.

The hike into the dome was absolutely glorious. We were surrounded by bromeliads in bloom.

The bright red, purple and yellow of the bloom contrasted brilliantly with the winter surroundings. It is hard to see the all the colors in this photo, so I have given you a close-up.

Katy noticed a strange plant growing out of the side of a Cypress tree and wondered what it was. I had never seen anything like it, so I asked Clyde. He said it was a fern..in fact, it is one of the most ancient species of fern in the world. If anyone out there reads this and knows their plants I'd like a confirmation on that. Anyway, both Katy and I thought it was neat so we took turns photographing it. (After I published this blog I received information regarding the fern: It is, indeed, an ancient Fern, however there is a controversy as to whether it is a fern or not. Some authorities say it is, and others say its not, but they all agree that it is "fern-like".)

As we made our way deeper into the dome, Eric and Katy had a real surprise for us...a large Cow Horn (also called Cigar) Orchid in bloom! What a special treat it was to see such a beautiful specimen!

Naturally, Clyde got out his camera right away and began taking pictures. It was a bit difficult because the slightest breeze would cause bouquet of small flowers to move. He took many pieces of film in the hopes that at least one would be still.

It is hard to see the beauty of this orchid in these photos, so I took a close-up of a single small orchid in the bloom so that you can see the wonderful colors spread all over the orchid.

As we began exploring the dome we came across the remains of a blue crab...what a wonderful color those tiny legs were!

Clyde discovered a wonderful composition of bromeliads and took a few photographs, then decided the composition had so much detail that he wanted to capture it with the 11x14 camera and would return later to do that photograph.

We left the dome to head out in search of the "Z" tree. It is the most photographed tree in the park and we wanted to see exactly what that was all about! As we were walking through the tall grass Katy looked down just in time to see a beautiful snake ready to take a bite out of her! We think it was a water moccasin...don't really know, but we do know it IS poisonous!...and of course, we all took numerous photographs of the snake...

As we continued through the tall grass, we noticed that the ground was covered with snail shells. Between the crab legs and the escargot, some animal or bird has been having feast!

We jumped into our van and followed Eric down the road until we came to the famous Z tree. Clyde set up his camera and took a shot.

We said good-bye to Eric and Katy and thanked them for a wonderful day...it was a great time with two people who care deeply about the Everglades.

If you'd like to see the photography of Eric and Katy their website is: www.gladesphotos.com

1 comment:

jaystatonphotography@comcast.net said...


The snake is a baby moccasin. I saw 4 on the trail last weekend when I photographed the large cigar orchid that Rick brought you to a couple weeks ago.

Best wishes,

Jay Staton
an admiror