How many times …
Have I photographed the S-12A?
Answer: More than any other structure in the Everglades, or anywhere for that matter. The reason? Probably its proximity explains it best. I drive by it or near it all the time, and what kind of hydrologist would I be if I didn’t periodically stop and give it a look? But there’s more to it, too. Yes, it’s just a monolith of concrete, really nothing to write home about at first glance — but don’t you think it has an art deco look? US Army Corps structures are a study in good engineering, too. They are impeccably maintained and sturdily built. Then there is the surrounding scenery, too.
But most of all for me it’s this: The S-12A was my introduction to the Everglades. I happened upon it by myself in my first month on the job in the structureless realm of Big Cypress National Preserve. The above monolith of concrete was my gateway into the Everglades at the same time it was a giant concrete sphinx.
As for the riddle of the Everglades, every time I stop by the S-12A I pat at its concrete hulk and say under my breath. “Someday, someday we’ll figure it all out.”