Everglades: Time’s Discipline

Mary Peck. Merlin Press, $35 (64p) ISBN 978-0-692-69106-9
This slender collection of black-and-white photographs—most presented as double-page spreads—and the accompanying commentary evoke both the grand mystery and the worrisome ecological decline of Florida’s Everglades. In an accompanying essay, writer and conservationist William deBuys observes that “the ’Glades are a Noah’s ark of wetland wildlife and an ecological marvel” and provides bits of historical and political background, as well as a stark warning about the region’s rapid decline due to human impact, climate change, and the predatory, nonnative Burmese python. The Everglades were declared a national park in 1947 and originally stretched for 150 miles, notes deBuys, until real estate development diverted and damaged the waters. Restoration attempts are ongoing, but have all but failed. Photographer Peck’s images are a vision of bowed and brambled curiosities: leafy plants within reach of nubby tree bark in rugged, tangled thickets; tree trunks and finely detailed foliage rising up from velvety water that appears to be moving pell-mell; and darkening, atmospheric wetlands with tree shadow reflections on water. Tasteful and affecting, the photos capture a diversity of cluttered, unkempt plant life that awes with quiet elegance. Readers will be moved by the cautionary narrative about the fragility of this natural treasure. B&w photos. (BookLife)
Reviewed on: 02/13/2017
Genre: Nonfiction
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