I never heard about Blue Cypress Lake until my husband and I started to plan our spring trip to Florida. We are not beach goers so our focus was to find some off the beaten path locations which would be interesting to photograph. My husband spotted the lake on internet while searching for Florida’s cypress stands. At first glance, I knew it was a special place. I decided to make it a highlight of our trip. It turned out, the lake was known as a finishing spot but surprisingly not as a tourist destination, despite its close proximity (85 miles) to Orlando. There is only one access to the lake through Middleston’s Fish Camp which offers accommodation, camping, fishing, boat rentals, live bait and tackle, and pontoon tours.
I highly recommend a guided pontoon tour. It is not cheap but worth paying some extra bucks. Camp’s policy is one party per boat so you will have the guide and the boat to yourself. You do not have to worry where to go and how to navigate the boat – you can enjoy the ride from the start. Also, you are the one to call the stops which could be very important to egocentric by nature photographers. We started our tour very early in order to reach major photo spots before the sunrise. We were lucky to have Mr. Joe Middleton himself as our guide. He is the heart and soul of the place. He shared with us his love and knowledge of the lake.
It was rather cold on the lake at first, but it only intensified feeling of being close to nature. Once we reached our first desired location, we quietly waited for the spectacular to begin. And what a show it was! Beautiful trees emerged from the dark and came alive with gentile glaze of the morning sun. The birds greeted us with their beautiful singing. This was simply an enchanted scene! Each way we turned there was another amazing image! I felt it was a privilege to witness this glorious awakening of the lake.
When sun was fully out, we move on to photograph the birds. There were ospreys everywhere! This was another spectacular as we watched them going about their morning routine! Some were hunting for fish, other building their nests, and some simply taking it easy. It was all happening right in front of our eyes. We were able to get so close to their nests it felt we entered their living room! Joe showed us his favorite birds and described their characteristic behavior. He even named some of them. His favorite was Suzy, feisty little bird! As the ride came to its end, I knew I would never forget tranquility and beauty of this place.