A Slightly Soggy Swamp Hike
I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order. —John Burroughs
This was definitely one of those days — we needed to have our “senses put in order.” During the continued exploration of West Palm Beach’s Grassy Waters Preserve, we finally managed the entirety of the beautiful Apoxee Trail — “beyond tomorrow” in the Miccosukee language (pronounced A-po-hee). We also hiked part of the outer Owahee Trail, looping around to the Apoxee — where we spied the most amazing untouched cypress swamps and waterways. We previously weren’t (mentally) prepared for a flooded-trail hike, but on this day, we knew what to expect, so trusted our boots to do their stuff. Sadly, my sturdy pair lasted until the last half-mile…. Which, out of an entirety of 6 miles, was fairly frustrating. That’s when a startled OH! sounded from ahead on the trail, which one NEVER wants to hear while navigating waters that are the same height as the neighboring swamp / wetlands. Poisonous snakes swim down here. As do alligators. Ker-plunk goes my leg into the deepest section yet. No worries — there was so much beauty to be had, what’s a pair of soppy socks?
Not sure what the weather holds this weekend, but we’re sure to hit another of my favorite natural areas — one with a lovely, ancient history of habitation, magnificent old growth trees, and one where we spied fresh panther and bobcat prints — so needless to say, I’m excited. May your weekends hold equal anticipation and beauty!
If your mission was to get people to visit Grassy Waters Preserve, I think it was accomplished. Once at Wakodahatchee I spoke with a photographer who told me of the preserve but now your pictures have made me really want to visit….even though you did capture a spider web on one of those trees!! It certainly is hard to be a nature person when you are an arachniphobe 🙂
The woodpecker picture is very nice!
Oh I sure hope so!! It’s an amazing place — truly a shock to my system when we leave, and return to the concrete jungle. It’s one of the few remaining examples of an Everglades ecosystem in the area… While this trail is usually flooded (at least now), there are so many others to explore — check out my post “A lush and rocky little trail.” Hog Hammock is also lovely — a great-horned owl took off right in front of us, there! Argh, too fast for camera! 🙂 But I was happy to nab the woodpecker — he was darting from tree-to-tree, and rested for a few secs. He was far away, but they’re SO large, the shot came out decently.
Gorgeous! And you are adventurous – I haven’t actually put on my boots and waded through the swamps! Woodpecker is beautiful!
Thanks so much! This area is just magnificent… One of the last remnants of an Everglades ecosystem in the area, and a definite must-see for everyone. There are ALL types of trails, too, which is great about this place. They’ve done a wonderful job!
Ah, this is NUTHIN’ — we hiked Ocala once, when it was flooded (ignoring the sign, “what’s a few puddles?”)… Several miles out, we realized those “puddles” were waist-deep. Errrrgh. That’s when it gets fairly scary down here. Love those pileated woodpeckers — he was so far away, but since they’re huge, he still came out in the photo! 🙂
…makes me want to “go to nature and be soothed….” My favorites are “Waterway” and the Woodpecker. GREAT shots! thx as always for allowing me the vicarious….
On this particular day, both of us REALLY needed some soothing-of-the-spirits — and Nature delivered, as always. I’m so glad you enjoyed with us! I wish I was closer to the woodpecker — he was really far away, hopping from tree-to-tree, but being a pileated, and huge, he still came out in the shot.
looks like a fun place to explore 🙂
It really is… What’s so wonderful about this area is the variety and lengths of trails offered — and so far, we’ve always been alone!
Another great post! I am especially intrigued by the epiphytes! Thanks for including a close-up of the big one.
Thank so much! It’s a most beautiful and amazing area — I love to share it. That particular plant was enormous — feet wide / high. I see tiny examples for sale up north, and I laugh (akin to us spending $$ for pumpkins!). 🙂
These are absolutely beautiful ! You do such a beautiful job capturing nature at its best. Thanks for sharing.
Thank so much!! That’s really a lovely compliment… Especially when confronted with the cacophony of the Everglades flora! I can breathe when I’m out there, though — and this unique beauty needs to be preserved.
I have never visited your part of the country but I know I would like it because I sure enjoy your photos of it. I did spend time in coastal North Carolina back in the 60’s and enjoyed the swamp areas there (except for training sessions).
Aw, that’s truly an utmost compliment — that my photos would inspire such an outing! Thanks so very much! But if you can allow yourself a visit, it’s truly a must-see for any explorer/hiker — the Everglades being the only ecosystem of its kind on the entire planet. What training were you doing in the swamps of NC, dare I ask?
Ah! I have Marine, Navy, and Army in my family. Needless to say there was always interesting talk. I’m trying to remember when the Marine was at Quantico (around Vietnam era)….
Love your blog and nominated it for the One Lovely Blog Award. You can see the nomination here: http://www.themuseisworking.com.
THANKS so very much for the vote of confidence, and nomination!! ♥
A swamp hike (even a soggy one) is awesome! Beautiful scenery, FeyGirl. ❤
Exactly — you would know, hee! Thanks much, this is a truly beautiful and unique area. I’m thrilled they managed to preserve it!
I enjoy always to compare American birds with European! Brilliant sharpness and post here…
Thanks so much! I was happy to grab a shot of the pileated woodpecker — he was flitting from tree-to-tree, very quickly. But they’re SO large, that he came out in the image, despite the distance. 🙂
I get a lovely primeval feeling from many of these photos. Such a treat to view – for their beauty and for their contrast to what I see here in typically dry Utah.
It’s amazing, and so wonderful to view our shockingly different ecosystems… Your vast expanses are a sight to behold. But primeval is definitely the word for it, here! It’s sad that we have to hunt these areas down — so much having been destroyed without a thought — but I have great hope with funds recently being diverted towards the restoration of the ‘Glades. There’s only one Everglades, after all.
Flooded Apoxee Trail: Take Three, the doozy
An amazing capture. Good for you to bring your camera out. Tell me you used a neck strap, just in case!
Thanks so much!! Oh, most definitely… ALWAYS! We often hike in the Everglades, or similar environments — and if I didn’t have a neck strap, my poor (and heavy, after several hours of hiking) Canon would LONG be gone to the wilds! It’s the first thing that meets the flora in many cases. 🙂
ONE OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL OF MODELS IS THE TREE – BEAUTIFUL PICTURES AND VANTAGE POINTS. EASY TO FALLOW AND GET LOST IN ALL THE GLORY. THANK YOU VERY MUCH.
I’m so glad you enjoyed as much as we did! It’s a lovely area. I can’t wait to return! Truly a beautiful example of our Everglades.
Fantastic poem and piccies! Ann
Thanks so much!! ♥