Wise words from Aldo Leopold.
"We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect." - Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac
Sometimes it's hard to tell the history of the land from eye level. Here we see tall trees showing a hint of the promise of fall, a straight stripe of water, an alligator or two, and if we're really lucky a bald eagle or pileated woodpecker.
What you don't see from this angle is the leftovers of the cypress logging railroad, the pullboat canals used to float downed trees out of the swamp, that the straight line of water isn't natural, and that the spoil bank has altered the swamp's hydrology. The railroad was first, and used to carry logs out of the swamp and to the sawmill. I'm not sure exactly where the mill was but it ain't there no more. Later, the canal was dug adjacent to the railroad in the name of drainage and water relief. You can't tell that there's no ancient cypress trees left standing anymore, but there is the occasional stump that's flat topped or showing springboard pegs.
If you pay attention you can see the scars on the landscape. It doesn't mean it isn't beautiful now, because it is, in its own way. But what would it be like if there had never been a railroad, or a canal, or logging? I can only imagine and I wish I didn't have to. The land does not belong to us, we belong to it.
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