Photography: July 1988

These photos were taken immediately after one of the most devastating forest fires in Florida's history. Fires raged through Central Florida, destroying undeveloped forested areas as well as highly developed ones. Photographs were taken in Volusia County in Daytona Beach along LPGA Boulevard, State Route 40, and Highway 92. Others were taken in Flagler County.†This small portfolio was photographed within a couple of weeks on a daily basis.

Dick and I drove home to Ormond Beach from North Dakota as the fires grew more threatening. Roads were closed, and we detoured through areas that showed the devastation. I knew I had to capture the scene. When I first began, I noticed the extreme silence. There was unbearable heat from the charred ground, as if all the air and life had been sucked out. Small animals and birds slowly returned and behaved normally, and I particularly remember how a small snake stared at me from a charred tree trunk while I worked. In this loss, there was a certain beauty I hadnít seen before. The palmetto branches looked like ballerina arms. The starkness of no underbrush was interesting in its own way. I†tried to capture the delicate beauty and sense of strangeness. Within a few more days the palmettos started to come back with their light green fronds. All had changed by then — it was time to quit.


  • The Museum of Arts and Science, Daytona Beach, Florida
  • Arts on Douglas Gallery, New Smyrna Beach, Florida

Print size:

  • 15.5 x 15.5 inches

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