Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary

What a great day today was.  Sunny skies, temp 80*+ and a field trip.  Bill took Titan a quick walk, then he (the dog) was crated while Bill and I headed out of town, footloose and fancy free, for a few hours anyway.  We had read about this place a couple of years ago and today was the day for our visit.  

Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary is a 14,000 acre preserve located 1 1/2 hours south of us.  However, the TomTom couldn't seem to find it for us.  It's 14,000 acres for crying out loud!  "The old growth cypress at Corkscrew were saved" from logging "and are now the largest and oldest virgin bald cypress forest in North America."  Much of the growth in this preserve was here when Columbus discovered this country.  That boggles my mind! 

There is a 2.25 mile boardwalk that winds it's way through four native habitats.  We took about 2 hours to complete the loop walk.
The boardwalk is made from a Brazilian ironwood called Ipe (EE-pay) sometimes referred to as Pau Lope. The wood is very resistant to rot, insects, UV exposure, splintering and chemicals. It is harvested in a very sustainable way as well.

It is very quiet (for the most part) except for the sound of the breeze, the birds and other visitors whispering and pointing out exciting things to see.
This is the dry season so some of the places had evidence of water, but there wasn't any today.
except for  Lettuce Lake
Unfortunately, my photos don't do this place justice ;o(

We did see lots of birds and we even got pictures of some of them...

Anhinga sunning itself

Pileated Woodpecker
I tried to crop these pictures so the woodpecker would be easier to see but couldn't make it work.  We watched this one for quite a while.
Remember the sign that said "quiet".  The only time that wasn't heeded was when a woman spotted an "ALLIGATOR!".  It was so funny, everyone went running to the bridge to check it out.
Picture of people running to take pictures.  Can you spot Bill?
Yeah, okay, so it's not a huge alligator but it's the only wild one I've ever seen this close.  We are guessing this little guy was around 18".  One of the staff reported there were two BIG ones earlier in the day, probably before Titan and I got out of bed. 
I never would have thought that alligators even needed a place to get out of the rain.

There are several kinds of Tillandsia (air plants)...
Tillandsia with blosson

You can read about the Bald Cypress for yourself right here.
These signs even tell you how far you've walked
Up, up and away

Alligator Flag blossom
There were lots of places to get off the main walk, sit quietly and enjoy.

A tree grows through it
Remember, it's winter, so most of the leaves are gone.   What a great day.  We had a wonderful time and look forward to visiting again, maybe when Wendy comes to stay ;o)

Thanks for stopping by...

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