Sunday, November 30, 2008

Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary

Corkscrew Swamp is located about 15 miles of I75 east of Naples. It is owned by the Audubon Society. It was the first major action from the newly started organization. In the late 1800's womens fashion turned towards big hats with pretty feathers. In 1886 egret feathers were worth $32 an ounce, twice the price of gold at the time. So all types of people came to Florida to slaughter the birds for their feathers. They purchased a plot of land that was a primary breeding area and seasonal home to these birds to help provide some protection. Then the logging industry started wiping out the cypress forest. The wood of a cypress tree doesn't have knots and it doesn't dry rot, so it is an excellent building material. So the society bought more land. Some of the bald cypress trees at the Sanctuary are 500-600 years old. They are beautiful.

Instead of a hiking trail they have a boardwalk that is just short of 2.5 miles if you walk all the extentions. At first I was disappointed that it was a boardwalk, kind of a wussy way to hike, but after I hit the "swamp" section of the park, I was very greatful for the boardwalk. Some of the wildlife that I ran across were: 2 white tail deer, a red shoulder hawk, multiple racoons including a mama with 3 juveniles. I saw a number of monarch butterflies and a zebra swallowtail. There were birds galore: warblers, woodpeckers, woodcranes and tons of stuff that flittered by to fast to get a good look at.

The trees are huge. They have flatwood pines, bald cypress and red maples. I'm a huge fan of the strangler fig which generally doesn't kill the host tree in Florida. They crawl up and down a host tree and create interesting patterns and textures.

I got some really great pictures of this park. I've probably included too many of them here, but for those that are interested, feel free to click on the pictures for a better view of the park.

1 comment:

Redd Family History said...

I like that you included some history of the park along with your visit. I never know where you are headed next or what I'll learn about. You can rarely have too many photos.