On our vacation my husband and I decided that we had to see where the Suwanee river meets the Gulf of Mexico. I felt like a child because I was so eager to see what it looked like when the two forces collided. I expected a great rush as the current of the river met the waves of the sea. In my mind I saw great water funnels as the two waters crashed together, surely there would be a natural show of water works similar to a great volcanic eruption! What I found upon arriving at the tributary was not an awesome show of two great forces colliding, yet it was aw- inspiring just the same. I discovered a magical place where pine tree meets the swaying palm, and fiddler crab meets crayfish and fields of natural salt marshes with fresh water creeks feeding them. I discovered a unique location in my own back yard. I thought that I knew the ocean, having lived in Florida all my life and camped too many nights to count with the sound of the waves sending me to dreamland. But this place was unique and more than that, pristine. The place where the spring fed water of the Suwanee meets the Gulf of Mexico was rustic and pure. As we wondered at the fiddler crabs scurrying out of a pine field and into a brackish creek we were chased back to our car by another Florida native, (although I never expected to meet them so close to the beach) a swarm of yellow flies let us know that this land belonged to the wild and there was a reason I never knew the riches that were hidden there. The Tributary is home to over 250 species of birds. We discovered our own garden of eden in Florida. Dolphin venture up woodsy creeks, although we did not get to see any that day knowing we could, while surrounded by pines and yellow flies made it all the more mysterious. I may not have encountered a violent show of nature as river meets ocean, but I was not disappointed. The co-existence of pine and palm, fiddler crab and fresh water oysters, gator and dolphin made me wonder if sometimes you could have your cake and eat it to. The next time my family is debating about whether to go camping in the woods or on the beach I can say that I know the perfect place where no one has to compromise.

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