It's a beautiful preserve, owned and managed by the National Audobon Society, who first started sending seasonal wardens there in 1912 to help protect plume birds, then hunted enmass (almost to extinction) solely for their feathers. It offers a raised boardwalk that meanders 2.25 miles through Pinelands, Freshwater Marshes, Prairies, and Harwood Hammocks, as well as the largest remaining virgin Cypress Strand in the Country. It's also unique in that these terrains all border in a relatively small area (the parks entire land-holding is 11,000 acres).
The morning started off cold, windy and rainy (monocromatic) but the Sun finally made it out about halfway through our trip, which brought some much welcome warmth and color ...
|Baby Alligator (in tank at the Welcome Center)|
|Looking up through the winter-bare Cypress|
|Cool Moss on Boardwalk|
editorial correction: It's not moss, it's Lichens - specifically "Cladonia Leporina"
(aka: Match-Sticks or British Soldiers)
|The green coating on the water is actually types of fern |
called Small Duckweed & Salvinia (it's not algae)
|N - O |
(can you see it?)
|Anhinga aka: Water-Turkey or Snake-Bird ... Their feathers don't have oils |
that keep most birds dry and warm. It makes them excellent divers;
but they must dry their feathers after each swim.
I'm not sure why it's been so many years since we last visited this wonderful place, but we're looking forward to going back early summer (hopefully before the skeets arive!). I've got a few more pics to share on another post, so ... "To Be Continued" :)