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Econfina Creek, Williford Spring

2010 2016


On June 12, 2010 the Emerald Coast of NW Florida beaches might be spilled with oil dispersed from the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. But the Florida artesian aquifer deep below was still springing pure and clear into Econfina Creek. Williford Spring is one of the most beautiful places to swim and touch this wonder. It is like bathing in a giant morning glory flower. Two years previously (2008) I had canoed from the nearby livery down the Econfina Creek, picking up trash. We passed several springs and places off the main channel leading to springs. Lined with white limestone, the luminous turquoise waters marked the springs. I longed to return. This year with the Florida Trail Association Panhandle Chapter hikers, I stopped at three springs on the day trip to part of the Florida Trail along Econfina Creek.

I had not gone under water for many years. This was the first time my camera went under. I instantly loved the beauty and variety of the light show in this pool. We shared it with hikers and others who arrived by boats from the creek. Finger-long fish and dying leaves fallen from the encircling forest floated around.

I worked long and hard on the movie sequence to tell some kind of experiential story. Then longer and harder on the audio clicks, pops, and camera sighs. Being submerged in ecstatic aqua for that long dulled the gem-like color and I realized the monochrome needed a break. Being suspended in water was also timeless like meditation, so I devised petal sequences that would turn back time to center. You could see these maneuvers as joy, innovation, or mistakes. It's up to you. Following are my working notes.

How about after image or inversing it for relief of cones and rods to refresh to color more vividly? This is update of the impressionist/pointillist trying to work with color and light and juxtaposing opposites to vibrate. They used chiaroscuro values to make a scene when viewed from a distance. But my use would be on a bigger scale and moving.

So go along. Then go backward in orange scarlet. Will then be at the same place.
So how about then go from there to another sequence instead of one linear flow.
So is star centered or flower petals. Each clip is a petal of the sequence. So where is that center?
Center is the view above water or switching to a new direction. Whenever there's a break or change.
So what are my petals? Start above water then plunge in, see swimmer and basic truth of the spring flowing up. Still getting acclimated, learning story, immersing in emerald. Jump to the equal above and below and the title streams by. Could consider that my center. Then maybe next clip is candidate for a petal. Maybe not everything is a petal. After that is the exciting ramp up to flowing backwards with title, not needing to be a petal. Leads to the white/pale rivulets. That has unique color properties.

Could do the same with music? Or have music with inverses maybe.

The first try was wonderful. The colors aren't as intense as I thought since "invert" does values as well as hues. But it does provide a break, a contrast, a relief. Suddenly thinking I'm trying to mold changes and time back into a still, into a painting, like a bas relief. Trouble with life and movies is they are so open ended. Lose the timeless poised yoga pose hold of a painting. So if I can indulge in the lively and then fold it back to a contained wholeness. Ah wonderful.

Movie and description

See YouTube or Flash (40 MB or hi-res 60 MB) versions of five-minute movie.


Here is the 2016 Northwest Florida Water Management District page. Updating a previous page description of Williford Spring:

This spring vent emerges from beneath a submerged limestone ledge into a 57-foot diameter pool. Maximum depth measured at the vent is 12 feet but the conduit extends further and downward. There is a large surface boil. A number of ancillary vents are scattered along the west bank of the 443-foot long run. The spring is next to a Water Management District recreation area.
Visit, skip to the reopening of the restored Williford Spring 2016.

See background info on the 2008 page.

Back to Panhandle destinations or Florida.

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