Friday, January 11, 2013

Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary

We've never been ones to ease into vacations, and our recent trip to Florida was no exception. Midnight flight from Denver, land at Southwest Florida International Airport before 6 a.m., grab the rental car and get to Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary east of Naples around 8:00.

Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary
TripAdvisor had turned us on to this Audubon preserve, with travelers touting it as one of the top area attractions.  The half-mile boardwalk seemed like a good way to shake off the red-eye drowsiness, but Taryn and I couldn't stop there.  We did the longer two-mile trek, complete with more barren stretches than I'd expected.  January is January, even in Florida.

Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary
Soon enough we were back in the sort of lush environs I'd imagined.  The reflection of the blue sky in the still water gave the place the appearance of being a forest floating in the clouds.

Red-shouldered Hawk
Taryn spotted a Red-shouldered Hawk, who looked a bit like he'd had his head blown off while preening.

Red-shouldered Hawk
If the previous picture creeps you out like it does Danelle, here's one showing that his head was, in fact, still attached to his body.

Swamp lily
Some blooming swamp lily stood out gorgeously amidst all the surrounding greenery.

Pileated Woodpecker
A Pileated Woodpecker entertained us for a while hunting for insects.

White Ibis
A small mixed flock of Great Egrets and White Ibis lazily waded through the undergrowth.

Pied-billed Grebe
The scummy surface of the water didn't seem to bother this Pied-billed Grebe, who appeared content to just float and soak up some morning sun.

We wandered around here for a couple of hours, also seeing herons, cardinals, squirrels and a couple of raccoons on our trek.  A nice appetizer for what was to come once we forged deeper into the Everglades!


Suzanne Beiner said...

Steve, these photos are so beautiful - I love your blog! I meant to hear more about all of this when you visited but time went too quickly. You're very talented and reading your blog and viewing the photos is very serene and calming. Love it!!

SteveHarbula said...

Thanks, Suzanne! Definitely something we can talk about more when you guys come out to Colorado. :)