Sunday, October 18, 2009

What I learned from the swamp

Since a lot of people liked my list about bears, I thought I would do one about the swamp, aka the Fakahatchee Strand. A strand is a drainage slough in case you were wondering. This one is located in south Florida, a jumbled wonderful wilderness that drains into the Big Cypress swamp.

1. Be who you are. The swamp doesn't pretend to be anything than what it is-a humid, dense, poison ivy filled, wet jungle.

2. Keep your secrets. Some of the rarest orchids, ones that bloom once a year, are only found here. But you have to work to see them and you might never find one. That's what makes it so great when you do.

3. Endure. People have paved it, hacked it, filled it, drained it. But the swamp always wins in the end.

4. Be open to possibilities. In the swamp, inches determine what grows. You can move from a hardwood hammock to a cypress swamp in minutes.

5. Be a safe harbor for those in need. The swamp harbors the endangered Florida panther. There are only fifty left in the world. Without the swamp, they would be extinct.

6. Wait out the bad times. The swamp fills, dries up, fills again. Eventually the rains come; they do every year.

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