Hecox Photo Blog

Ranching in the Swamps

Larry Godsey heads off a group of cows on the Deseret Ranch in central Florida. Gathering cattle in the swampy, tree-laden landscape is a challenge for local cowboys. I spent a couple of days on the large ranch outside of Orlando, working on a story that appeared in the June 2008 issue. Cowboys deal with unbearable heat and humidity, deep water crossings, thick forests, alligators, snakes and plenty of other creepy critters. Godsey told me about the large banana spiders. One day, riding through thick threes, he noticed a couple of long, skinny legs curling down from above his hat brim. He didn't hesitate to solve the problem. "My hat was on the ground in no time," he recalled with a laugh.

Larry Godsey heads off a group of cows on the Deseret Ranch in central Florida. Gathering cattle in the swampy, tree-laden landscape is a challenge for local cowboys. I spent a couple of days on the large ranch outside of Orlando, working on a story that appeared in the June 2008 issue. Cowboys deal with unbearable heat and humidity, deep water crossings, thick forests, alligators, snakes and plenty of other creepy critters. Godsey told me about the large banana spiders. One day, riding through thick threes, he noticed a couple of long, skinny legs curling down from above his hat brim. He didn't hesitate to solve the problem. "My hat was on the ground in no time," he recalled with a laugh.Larry Godsey heads off a group of cows on the Deseret Ranch in central Florida. Gathering cattle in the swampy, tree-laden landscape is a challenge for local cowboys. I spent a couple of days on the large ranch outside of Orlando, working on a story that appeared in the June 2008 issue. Cowboys deal with unbearable heat and humidity, deep water crossings, thick forests, alligators, snakes and plenty of other creepy critters. Godsey told me about the large banana spiders. One day, riding through thick threes, he noticed a couple of long, skinny legs curling down from above his hat brim. He didn’t hesitate to solve the problem. “My hat was on the ground in no time,” he recalled with a laugh.

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