Saturday, January 3, 2009

Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary

Yesterday, to celebrate Bill's birthday, Bill, John, Anne and I headed south on Route 75 to exit 111 (Immokalee Road) to walk through the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary. We read that the Wood Storks had returned to nest. We did not see any Wood Storks - in fact, we saw very few birds or animals. The Sanctuary was very busy with lots of people walking along the boardwalk and I think the wildlife were all hiding.

This is a sea grape. Those of you that know me well will assume if there are grapes - and I am interested in them - there must be wine. No wine - but some people make jelly. The birds like the grapes just the way they are. Sea grapes can grow in sandy beach soil and tolerate salt water.

John and Anne make a good looking couple!

Bill spotted this dragonfly near the boardwalk so I took his picture.

We spotted this Downy Woodpecker high in the tree branches.

Our friendly alligator was taking his afternoon nap.

I need to look this flower up to get a real identi-fication - but until I do, it's a swamp orchid.

My favorite part of the swamp - with its dark water - is the reflections. See if you can tell what part is really above water and what part is reflected in the water.

This is pink lichen. Sometimes an entire tree will look pink.

Another favorite of mine are the air plants. This one looks like a hanging basket. Beautiful!

We've seen several yellow-crowned night herons but this is the rarer and much stockier black-crowned night heron. Since he was behind branches - it was difficult to get a good picture.

After leaving the swamp we headed over to the Immokalee Casino. What a disappoint-ment! First, it was so smokey you needed a fire extinguisher and a gas mask to breathe. We were there maybe 15 minutes and thought we were going to have to trash our clothes! Second - the slot machines wouldn't even let you play. We would have had as much fun flushing our money down the toilet. The stakes were set too high for our taste and the machines didn't even try to pretend you were winning. John & Anne lost almost $100 in a couple minutes. I lost $14 in seconds and decided to cash out.

That said, Birthday Boy Bill won $50 and we left.

No comments: