Floodplain Swamp, Ocklawaha River, 2020.
Palm fronds create a patchy, tangled shade in a floodplain swamp along the Ocklawaha River near Gore’s Landing in Marion County, Florida. Floodplain swamps can support up to 1,000 times more species than their nearby rivers, as well as provide natural and no-cost flood mitigation and water filtration. This image was composed during the 2019-2020 drawdown of Rodman Impoundment, a time when the water held back behind the dammed Ocklawaha is released and the river briefly returns to a more natural form. Water levels drop approximately seven feet over thousands of acres during the short three to four month drawdown once every several years. New growth sprouts along the edges of the river, freshwater springs pump out clear blue water, and visitors return to tour the revitalized river. At the end of the drawdown, the purposeless and aging dam is closed and the water backs up, drowning the newly-emerged habitat and dispersing the economic and environmental gains.
This was made with a Calumet 4×5 monorail camera using Ilford FP4+ film, 125 ISO, and scanned with an Epson Perfection v850 Pro. Ilex-Calumet 215mm Lens. Shot near Gore’s Landing along the Ocklawaha River in Marion County, Florida on January 1, 2020.