FLORIDA CYPRESS FORESTS
Not long ago, I was talking with an old time, local resident on
the effects of logging and defoliation on central Florida's environment.
Her response was that there were never ancient cypress trees here,
that what exists now always existed. Nothing more and nothing else.
Hers, and increasingly ours, is a baseline of defoliation. Florida's
cypress groves, comparable to California's sequoia's, were taken
long ago; its piney woods the spine of the wooden ships that discovered
and sadly conquered the new world. But in her mind and in the minds
of millions of others whose transitory and place-less lives exist
without any ancient "baseline" or emotional attachment
to places wild or otherwise, there were none. They were never here.
In this invented land, the belief is widely held; our reference
points monuments of commerce and architectural junk, not the natural
Thank God for the nature tutorial that is Disneyworld's Big Tree.
What would we do without their help?
More importantly, thanks for yours.
Joel B. McEachern
Natural Light Studios
Mt. Dora, FL