Any indoor gardener knows that many plants can’t stand wet feet. Swamp a drain-free container with too much water, and you may end up with rotten roots, drooping leaves, and a sad, soggy mess.
Outdoors, though, there are several places where roots, trunks, and water mingle. Sometimes they’re drowned relics of once-thriving forests, and other times the trees are well-suited to the damp conditions. Barrel-chested Montezuma cypresses, whose trunks may stretch dozens of feet in diameter, are perfectly happy sharing space with rivers and streams in Mexico and Guatemala. In Oregon and Wales, low tides reveal the jagged, waterlogged remains of ancient forests that have been swallowed by sand. Either way, they’re enchanted landscapes—places you’ll encounter marvelously marginal spaces, where past and present, land and shore all swirl together.