A Cypress Swamp

These are pictures from September, 2008 when I took a friend of mine to Heron Pond, a cypress swamp. I live on the east side of southern Illinois. Heron Pond is about 45  miles southwest from my house.

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The Cache River (obviously not a river) meanders through the wetland area of the Cache River State Natural Area. The trail leads to a floating boardwalk that zigzags out into the swamp.

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Duckweed covers the surface of the water. The curvy trail shows where a snake swam through.

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This is one duckweed plant. Duckweed has the smallest flower known — 0.3 mm.

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Frogs call in swamps. An occasional duck might call as it flies in or out of the swamp.

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Frogs jump with a splash. Turtles occasionally a turtle slides off a log into the water.

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These pictures were all taken on the same trip. The swamp differs with every season and type of weather.

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The sunlight came and went.

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The swamp has a silence all its own.

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It’s a place where I would just sit on the boardwalk and become totally immersed in the experience.

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On one visit my best friend and I followed the trail to an Illinois state champion cherrybark oak.

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This sign gives all the information on the tree — 22 feet 6.5 feet circumference, 100 feet tall and the crown spread of 113 feet!

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I’m on the right and by best friend on the left. It was hard for us head for home. It was a special day. Any day in the swamp can be special.

————–

My husband took me and the boys to Heron Pond one cold winter day. We sat on the boardwalk, eating lunch. The water had been much higher, and a strong winter front froze the water four to five inches thick. The weather then moderated somewhat. The water level dropped, leaving ice tables clinging to the trees. The four of us sat on the boardwalk, eating our lunch. Occasionally an ice table fell off a tree, the crash echoing through the swamp.

Later we drove to another part of the swamp and walked down to it. We walked around, staying where we could see the bluff. Keith, my oldest son, was always investigating. Ron saw him just in time to holler at him … he was a step away from a cotton mouth … mouth open, showing the “cotton.” Davis rode on my husband’s back the rest of the way back to the vehicle.

 

 

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6 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Tree Lover Therese on September 6, 2015 at 2:47 pm

    Happy, happy memories!

    Reply

  2. I could do without the cotton mouths but what a great place to explore. And what a tree! I just had an author who wrote a guide to big trees in the northeast contact me the other day. I’m sure he’d be impressed by that one!

    Reply

    • Heron Pond is quite a place. Wild enough to be a tad scary (one time sat on boardwalk and a cottonmouth swam right up behind me. I’d like to go, but they don’t allow dogs and I can’t leave Buffy home that long. the memories are great.

      Reply

  3. Great pictures !!!!

    Reply

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