Photographing the Drowned Forest of the Ocklawaha by Kayak

Dawn at the Orange Springs boat ramp on the drawn down Ocklawaha River

I scoured the drowned forest for the compositions etched into my mind these last weeks. I’ve studied these trees in my dreams, I’ve watched the light illuminate their texture, I’ve seen the shadows in their shape. I was here to photograph these trees, to find their stories that have been stuck in the thickening mud of this lost place.

On leaving the church

Manuscript from a speech presented on September 24, 2018 to the 2018 Pastors Conference of the Florida-Georgia District of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. The topic of the conference was The Gospel In A Secular Age. 

Our Silent Language

border collie-shepherd mix looking at camera, outside, wooded, blurred fence and gate in background

I still see shadows of her.

I walk out of a room and see her laying there, her head lifted up and a questioning look on her face. The tufts of golden brown and black hair on the side of her face are flattened from where her head was resting.

Despite unshakeable absence, her eyes still read me.

This Line

  There is a stain on the edge of the forest. There is a line marring the woods.   This line, it is a recent memory. A dream, perspiring from …

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State Road 313 threatens St. Augustine's Twelve Mile Swamp

A few miles northwest of Downtown St. Augustine is a pond shaped like a tear. Its edges are fringed with cattails overlooked by reaching pine trees and southern red maples bursting with fall color. Small birds flit through scrub brush; ducks glide through the windswept water.

Clearing the path

More than 33 years ago, the North Florida Trailblazers made it their mission to protect and maintain an 18-inch-wide strip of hiking trail known as the Florida National Scenic Trail. The trail, popular with backpackers and day hikers alike, runs more than 1,000 miles from the cypress sloughs of the Everglades to the sand dunes of Gulf Islands National Seashore in the Panhandle.

Flagler College professor paddles 1,515 miles, sets record

Jodi Eller paddles out of Big Lagoon State Park

An overgrown burial ground 40 miles from civilization was not the most auspicious spot to meet a soon-to-be record-holder. That is, however, exactly where I found Environmental Science professor Jodi Eller, tucked into a ruddy green wall of mangroves ten miles beyond the southernmost point in the continental United States.