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Off the Beaten Path with Sam Gellerstedt


In the South it means something to have played on one of the University of Alabama's football teams. Sam Gellerstedt was an All American middle guard on Bear Bryant's 1968 team. Who would have guessed this hard hitting former football player would have such a sensitive eye with his photography? He views the South with fond affection that comes through with each click of the camera. From his home in the Tampa, Florida, area, his excursions take him down streams and rivers of unparalleled beauty that he manages to capture with digital finesse ably conveying the simple essence of the subject of his focus.

Sixty-five miles north of St. Petersburg, the Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Preserve consists of 31,000 acres of brackish marshes, salt water bays and estuaries. The spring fed Chassahowitzka River is known as one of Florida's outstanding rivers because of its near pristine condition. The endangered manatee is one of its most popular residents. But the beauty all about the waterway is what lures a devoted outdoorsman to bring his camera to capture the moment.


Beautiful, delicate flowers


Graceful, elegant birds


Co-exist with predators and insects beneath the canopy of a semi-tropical forest in the place known by the Timucan Indians as the "Place of hanging pumpkins."

Bird on the Chassawitchka