Hung up in Clyde Butcher’s Ochopee gallery is a massive black-and-white photograph that took 11 years to shoot.
He discovered the Cigar Orchid Pond in the Big Cypress National Preserve with friends. A tree in the center had low-lying branches framing the swamp behind it, but there was an empty space that needed to be filled, the perfect cast of sunlight and more growth of ferns cascading through the arbor. For years, Butcher ventured back to the spot, waiting for the wilderness to grow into itself and possibly take on the image he’d been storing in his brain.
Then, finally, it happened.