Florida’s Wild Palm Coast (Joseph Rossbach)
January 5th, 2012
Well it’s not actually all that wild compared to the Everglades or Big Cypress, but how wild can anyplace really be when there are multi-million dollar homes, all night gas stations and beach front high rises only ten minutes walk from this location. Either way, my visit to Washington Oaks Garden State Park this morning sure felt wild out on the beaches, and exploring the palm forest ecosystems covered in a veil of thick morning fog blowing of the Atlantic.
Truth be told, I had absolutely no intention of shooting the palms when I was planning this trip to the park. My focus was to be the wild beach littered with coquina rock formations and the rising sun coming up over the Atlantic. Mother nature had other plans that morning and a thick veil of fog literally blocked any chances for me to capture a dramatic seascape. As I sat on the beach feeling gloomy and depressed at the possibility that my 2:30am wake up and long drive from my Mother-in-laws place south of Gainsville was going to be a huge waste of time and energy, I decided to leave the beach and explore the coastal maritime forest beyond the beach. As soon as I crested the dunes, I was immediately impressed with the view before me! While hiking in the dark I could only make the vague shapes of trees. Once I saw this incredible landscape I knew that my efforts where not in vain!
The thick fog blowing in off of the Ocean provided the perfect conditions to capture this remarkably beautiful, but densely grown and chaotic landscape. I wandered around for a while looking for the perfect arrangement of palm foreground and nicely separated and arranged trees in the distance. Once I found my composition of choice, I patiently waited for the sun to break free of the fog and illuminate the landscape. It was a great way to start the first day of the New Year!!