At the end of last April, lightning ignited a wildfire in Big Cypress National Preserve, just south of Interstate 75 as it crosses the state. The fire burned for about two weeks and fire crews from the preserve worked hard to contain the fire. Now about 10 months later, I have been wading through the burned out dome photographing the charred trunks contrasted with the brilliant greens of new sawgrass growth.
Photographing after a wildfire or controlled burn is one of my favorite times in landscape photography. The contrast in color is striking and the rebirth is inspiring, to be a bit cliché. So often we think of fire as a consuming, dangerous feature of the landscape, but for so many habitats, it is essential to maintain the structure and composition of the plant and animal communities. We’ve talked about it here at Wanderer’s Apprentice with the Florida Dry Prairies and the Scrub communities and fire is a major component of the Everglades landscape as well, something crucial for the landscape. In fact, while most wildfires are suppressed, I met a burn crew just last week that were headed out to start a controlled burn.