No, we didn’t go for a walk through our nation’s capital. We visited the Bird Rookery Swamp Trails, a part of the land held by the Corkscrew Regional Ecosystem Watershed (CREW) trust. This reserve is off Immokalee Road south of the better known Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary run by the Audubon Society.
What a wonderful walk, although we did just a small portion of the 11 mile loop. There is a quarter mile gravel/shell path to the beginning of the boardwalk, and then the boardwalk is about a mile long. After that there is a dirt path that has scattered roots and protruding rocks so some caution while walking is needed. From reading reviews the path also is in places a narrow walkway through tall grass and a trolley lane used when logging was done in the area (people complained in the reviews that alligators lie across the paths or sun themselves very close to where people pass). The Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary is a shorter walk of 2 1/4 miles (with a 1 mile shorter option), all of which is boardwalk, making it barrier free. The Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary charges adults $10 and this sanctuary trail is free (with a donation box by the parking lot).
I was looking for a quiet walk and the opportunity to take some photos. Almost all of my photos this winter have been from the Naples Botanical Garden and I was looking for a different kind of landscape.
I have been thinking that I’m getting used to the southern Florida landscape – after spending 10 winters here. It has been a big adjustment to having just two seasons – rainy/hot and dry/cool. Being from Michigan I kept looking for the drastic seasonal change in plants and landscape. The southern portion of Florida is dominated by the Everglades and whenever we went into the Everglades, or those areas like the Corkscrew preserves that have been dedicated to water and wildlife preservation, my brain sees the exotic, not the vegetation that I recognize and find nourishing to my soul.
It’s not that I don’t know swamps, the area of Michigan where I live was described by settlers as a mosquito infested swamp that was uninhabitable. But Michigan swamps have deciduous trees, oaks and maples. These swamps that I’m visiting in Florida are mainly cypress – and I’m growing to love them.
My soul takes pleasure from the horizontal branches and soft needles of the cypress. I smile at the cypress knees.
I also take pleasure in photographing the plants and animals that are a part of this environment – giving me an image to revisit and research so I can learn names and characteristics.
If you know the name of the big white flower, please let me know. I believe it is a member of the morning glory family because of the lines on the petals and it grows on a vine (I think).
Jim and I stopped frequently and quietly shared how much we were enjoying the quiet sounds of nature. This might be an area to return to when I hear the Everglades calling me. Jim doesn’t want me to go into the Everglades alone because of the prevalence of alligators and lack of cell phone reception, so this may be a good alternative.
I am linking this to the RDP Saturday: Walk. Maybe you can link your ideas about “walk” to the fun.