The Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary has been one of my favorite places to visit in Florida since I first came here in 1981. It is northeast of Naples and really not convenient to anything, which is what makes it special.
The Corkscrew contains the largest old growth Bald Cypress forest in North America and a 2.5 mile boardwalk, along with a very nice visitor center and gift shop.
I was lucky on my first visit in 1981 to see thousands of wood storks nesting here, but unfortunately their numbers are now very low, and they do not nest here anymore in such numbers.
Many birds in Florida became almost hunted to extinction to provide feathers for ladies hats. This area was once a prime plume hunting location.
The red-shouldered hawk was sitting just a few feet away from me and posing nicely.
The boardwalk goes through a variety of mini-environments, some a bit drier than others. The rule is whisper and walk softly.
Large Boston fern.
Rabbit's foot fern.
An air plant of some sort. They do not hurt the tree.
Swamps are not ugly, scary places. This one is full of ferns, cypress and other trees, and even orchids, as well as wading and other birds of all kinds.
Today was a terrific day to come here because there was almost no one else around. Check out this video I took: https://youtu.be/AWBPr8Yej7s
The boardwalk looks like it is falling apart, but it is made of a special South American wood that does not rot. Mostly you see a lot of lichen growing on it.
This is a good photo of resurrection fern. You see it all over Florida on almost every horizontal surface. It looks dead, but a brief rain will cause it to turn green and look alive in just a few minutes.
This anhinga was preening his feathers.
Interesting lichen on this tree.
There were a lot more flowers in bloom last time I was here, but here is one. Will have to look it up.
Not many acorns in the swamp, so squirrels each lichen and seeds.
This was the size of a dinner plate. Will have to look it up.
Some swamp lettuce and duckweed,
Another anhinga. This one was hanging his wings out to dry!
And this one had a fish in his mouth. After whacking it against the tree, he finally swallowed it.
A lot of anhingas were fishing today. This one was just taking a break.
This was a very pretty little blue heron fishing for minnows. And he found several.
The only alligator I saw, but a really big fat one!