If there are no mangroves, then the sea will have no meaning. It is like having a tree without roots, for the mangroves are the roots of the sea.
___Words of a Thai fisher from the Andaman Coast
I stand waist deep in warm, coffee colored water, and almost knee deep in primal ooze, peering into this mangrove forest with its dark tangle of roots. Keeping my balance and my camera dry, requires my full attention. It is still, eerily quiet, and hot as the noonday sun trickles through the canopy above. As my eyes adjust, I realize this wild and seemingly inhospitable place is teeming with life. The tangled roots of the red mangrove have adapted to filter salt water, allowing them to thrive where other plants cannot. I see tiny fish swimming and feeding in the shallow water. Oysters and barnacles attach themselves to the roots and little crabs scurry across the maze. I hear a branch snap and look up just in time to see a raccoon who is not wanting to be seen. Behind me, a mullet jumps and slaps the water, and overhead, long necked egrets squawk as they pass by.
My photos taken, I turn and slowly slog my way back to my waiting boat.
Enough nature for today.
Related post: The Mangrove Coast Project.