Friday, January 26, 2007

The last days of Central Florida...

...or at least the Central Florida that I grew up with-- the endless farmland, lush "mushroom" oaks that jut out amidst the cattleland that is vanishing fast given the rate of development in the sunshine state.

These are photos taken by "Libragrrl" on Flickr of Pasco County, Florida.

The swampy flatlands are inundated in fog each daybreak on the backroads-- Highway 52 and 54 to be precise-- between Zephyrhills, Dade City and Land O'Lakes.

It makes me sad to know so much of the Florida I once knew has been taken over by the big box shopping centers all along the way to Tampa.

In a way, the very thing that makes Florida so unique is its heartland-- the part that usually doesn't come to mind with most tourists.

Many times people have said to me, "It must have been great growing up there, but the hurricanes must be fierce," or, "Must be nice with all the sun, pina coladas, palm trees and beaches."

Hurricanes actually rarely affect the inland too hard-- given the fact that the state is laid out by nature specifically to be protected-- cradled, if you will-- by the water table, tree density and slight land elevation as you get further inland. The area in between Brooksville and Orlando, for instance, is quite hilly-- filled with gorgeous lakes and streams and lush greenery.
The part of Florida that the world knows is such a tiny sand strip along the edges-- what's inland is actually more visually appealing to me in many ways.

The image below is probably the best photograph I've ever seen of the area surrounding my hometown. It's that simple. I'm not sure who Libragrrl is yet, but I do hope she realizes the amazing talent she posseses in translating tranquility.

1 comment:

Beth said...

Hello there, I found your blog by way of a Google Image Search for pictures of Pasco County. I lived in Tampa for barely two short but very important years several years ago. I still miss it at times, as happy as I am where I am now, and I hate to think of the greater Tampa and Lutz area being gobbled up by housing developments and strip malls. My friend over there mentioned to me a newspaper article titled "I-54?", and that said it all. I really hope to visit again someday before long so that I don't miss the last bit of interior Florida countryside.