November 27, 2007

Florida from Chattahoochee Bluff

This photo has been posted before, but five months and 200 blog posts later it's worth revisiting. I can appreciate it better.

It's my attempt at a perspective shot of Victory Bridge, which crosses the Apalachicola River at its Lake Seminole headwaters. In terms of flow volume, Florida's other rivers are a trickle. Over the eons, the river has cut deep ravines and grooves hundreds of feet deep. The two rivers that feed into the Apalachicola begin in Georgia's Appalachian Mountains. On the uplands, strange and lush plants grow like the torreya tree, the Florida yew, sugar maple, and ashe magnolia. I defy you to find a single leaf of the state tree, the sable palm.

There just isn't a vista anywhere in Florida like it. The bridge separates the Central and Eastern Time Zones. It's not the elevation really that's so dramatic. It's also the confluence of Florida, Georgia, and Alabama at one river head. From Chattahoochee bluff, you can see all the Florida that's missing in Disney World.

To the east, Gadsden County is your gateway to the part of Florida that was once its richest and proudest--the cotton and tobacco plantation belt. It's the westernmost Democratic county. Farther, Tallahassee's cosmopolitan political culture awaits. To the north, you can see Georgia; its rivers and its culture drain into north Florida. To the west, you're entering a different time zone politically and culturally. Anywhere outside Pensacola, you're inside the Panhandle pinewoods and its most conservative values. To the south, you can just admire the vista of Old Florida.

On the bluff, you get a measure of all there is to know from Miami to Monticello.

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