“There are no other Everglades in the world. They are, they have always been, one of the unique regions of the earth, remote, never wholly known. Nothing anywhere else is like them.” — Marjory Stoneman Douglas… It got silent in our kayak, somewhere past the half-way mark of the 5.5-mile canoe trail through Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge.
We blended into the silence of the water, marsh grass, and cat tails, the only sounds being the wind, the occasional heron, and the cricket frogs. Speech is inadequate when one is considering the beauty of this still and pristine landscape. It is a different kind of wild place; a place exciting and rhythmic in its own subtle ways.
Ahead a Great Egret lifted in flight, with a faint flapping of the wings. It cut across the pale green horizon.
As we paddled back along the canoe/kayak trail loop, clouds covered the sun and a breeze picked up. A Tri-colored Heron tucked in the tall grass off to the side of the trail watched us pass through.
Here is a longer excerpt of Marjory Stoneman Douglas’ quote from The Everglades: River of Grass, 1947, that is worth sharing, as I struggle myself to try to describe this place:
“There are no other Everglades in the world. They are, they have always been, one of the unique regions of the earth, remote, never wholly known. Nothing anywhere else is like them; their vast glittering openness, wider than the enormous visible round of the horizon, the racing free saltness and sweetness of the their massive winds, under the dazzling blue heights of space. They are unique also in the simplicity, the diversity, the related harmony of the forms of life they enclose. The miracle of the light pours over the green and brown expanse of saw grass and of water, shining and slow-moving below, the grass and water that is the meaning and the central fact of the Everglades of Florida. It is a river of grass.”