Posts Tagged ‘Corkscrw Swamp Sanctuary’


The Corkscrew Boardwalk … Wikimedia photo

Lie on the bridge and watch the water flowing past. Or run, or wade through the swamp in your red boots. Or roll yourself up and listen to the rain falling on the roof. It’s very easy to enjoy yourself.” — Tove Jansson

Home of Wood Storks, Air Flowers and Cypress Trees

In 2008, I spent a month on Pine Island just across the water from Cape Coral, Florida. The location allowed me to explore the west side of the Everglades at my leisure. One place I visited twice was Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, home to the largest old growth bald cypress forest in North America and a favorite habitat of endangered wood storks. .

The Ghost Orchid

Both times I took over five hours to hike the 2.25-mile loop boardwalk that meandered through the sanctuary’s awesome and varied landscape. It seemed as if Mother Nature had a different spectacle for me to watch and observe every 100 feet or so.

While my goal for visiting was to bird watch, that often took a back seat to my gawking at the cypress trees that stood tall and wide. with moss-draped limbs and sometimes unrelated flowers that grew among the branches. I even got a glimpse – thanks to my birding binoculars – of the swamp’s famous ghost orchid, discovered just a year before I visited.

I was told where to look for it at the visitor center or I would have just thought it was one of the bromeliads that had attached their roots to tall branches in

Little blue heron up a tree. — Photo by Pat Bean

the trees. These plants, which seemed to grow on nothing but air, fascinated me. But then so did the swamp’s birds, marsh prairies, otters (I saw two) and all the other wonders of a place that miraculously was saved when Florida’s cypress forests were being leveled for timber in the mid-1900s.

The National Audubon Society, recognizing the swamp’s value, worked to save the land and its inhabitants for future generations to enjoy.  Today, Corkscrew Sanctuary, is both a designated Wetland of International Importance and an Important Bird Area. I hope it will still be there when my grandchildren’s children, and their children, want to visit, like my six-year-old great-grandson Kaiden, whose mother and my granddaughter Keri spent a week touring the Everglades with me in 2008.

Bean Pat:  In the Forest https://forestgardenblog.wordpress.com/2018/03/06/blossom-xxxv-in-the-forest/ A perfect blog to accompany mine. They’re both about the beauty of a place.

Pat Bean is a Lonely Planet Community Pathfinder. Her book, Travels with Maggie, is now up on Amazon at http://tinyurl.com/y8z7553y  Currently, she is writing a book, tentatively titled Bird Droppings, which is about her late-bloomer birding adventures. You can contact her at patbean@msn.com

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