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Tree Tuesday: Cypress of the Marsh

A snapshot of cypress trees lining a beautiful marsh along the Owahee Trail of Grassy Waters Preserve.

Now protected by various federal and state agencies, these amazing trees were completely logged out in the 1930s and ’40s in Florida β€” only a scant few original trees survived the logging operations of this time. Most seen today are 7th- or 8th-generation cypress. But if untouched, they could live to 500 years.

Cypress Trees Along the Owahee Trail in Grassy Waters Preserve, FL

The Gentlemen

35 Comments Post a comment
  1. jimbey #

    …. I love cypress stands like that on the borders of a marsh, with good, deep water flowing next to the trees. Such a grouping forms the perfect recipe for critters – from snail eating Limpkins to tree eating woodpeckers. And GATORS! I just wanna string a hammock in that stand of trees, and live out my days in bliss! πŸ˜€

    March 5, 2013
    • So very true…. All the LIFE these strands support! It’s always hard to leave this beauty, sigh.

      March 5, 2013
  2. Gorgeous pic. Thank you for posting!

    March 5, 2013
    • Thanks so very much! I adore our cypress and marshes / swamps. Some of my favorite areas on the planet. πŸ™‚

      March 5, 2013
  3. So very beautiful!
    Happy Tree Tuesday! πŸ™‚

    March 5, 2013
    • Thanks so much!!

      Happy Tree Tuesday to you as well…. πŸ™‚

      March 5, 2013
  4. Great picture. Sad that so few now survive – are there any replanting/reforestation plans for these splendid trees in Florida?

    March 5, 2013
    • Ah, thanks! No matter how I try, the images just don’t do the areas justice… πŸ™‚ I remember reading somewhere that if cypress stands in an area that developers want to *attack,* they’re not allowed to do so… At least, where the cypress is. I have to look this up again; I hope it’s true. In terms of reforestation plans, I’m honestly not sure β€”Β just saving our present areas is enough of a challenge, here!!

      March 5, 2013
      • jimbey #

        …. I’ve seen new cypress stands (seedlings) at Winding Waters NA and Okeeheelee Park South. Winding Waters is a part of NENA. If the gomment will just shake loose some funding, it will become a tremendous resource with extensive flatwoods, marsh, swamp and prairie. Okeeheelee is a West Palm Beach city park that shows great promise. Once again, lack of funding has slowed the progress. We should all do what we can to pressure state and local bodies to fund and pursue natural area preservation efforts. It’s more than just purchasing the land; we also need to restore the lands to their natural state.

        March 5, 2013
      • Thanks so much for adding that…. I wrote / spoke FAR too quickly. I hike so much down here, and see these cypress seedlings so often, that I obviously rode right over it…

        But YES, most definitely they’ve made efforts. At least, pre-cuts, our county (and the neighboring northern county) has been VERY good about removing the non-native vegetation β€” an ENORMOUS feat, a huge expense β€” and planting native flora such as cypress. Down here, it’s a constant battle, and one we need to continue for the sake of the ‘glades and other threatened ecosystems.

        March 5, 2013
  5. Beautiful! I was NW Florida so nothing like this around us. I envy you!

    March 5, 2013
    • Thanks so much! Really…. No cypress that far up there? I DO love our cypress marsh and swamps β€” it’s some of my favorite areas on the planet, especially in the winter when you’re not being attacked by mosquitoes the size of small planes! πŸ™‚

      March 5, 2013
      • No, sadly. No standing fresh water to speak of in the tip of the panhandle. Oh, ‘skeeters just love me. I don’t miss them one bit! Ireland has none – yet – but we have “midges” that also love me and leave a similar, itchy welt. They’re so tiny you don’t know you’re bitten until too late! So much for Irish wildlife πŸ™‚

        March 6, 2013
      • Ooooh they’d love me too, then! The mosquitoes love me already β€” as do the SPIDERS here. And they’re BIG. Biiiiiig. I can walk in an open field and come out with web all over me. πŸ™‚ How, I’m still learning.

        March 6, 2013
  6. Hi ! , IΒ΄m glad that i stumbled in to your blog. I just love animals and nature it self .
    Your texts is so interesting and your photos is stunning .
    We have nothing like this in the upper part of Sweden where i live ..
    For sure , iΒ΄m gonna visit your blog again !! // Maria

    March 5, 2013
    • I’m so happy you stumbled across my blog, too! Thanks so very much for your kind words…. We live in such different worlds, such different environments β€” I can’t wait to see yours! You live in such an amazing area.

      March 5, 2013
  7. Lovely sepia tones and post work. Did I tell you I saw very impressive Cypresses in the Mt. Dora canal at Tavares? It was lovely.

    March 5, 2013
    • Thanks so much!

      Ah, I’ve only been to Mt. Dora once, but I’ve always wanted to return β€” it’s a lovely area!

      March 6, 2013
  8. I have always thought the Cypress swamps were so mysterious. I had no idea they can live for 500 years. Thanks for sharing this.

    March 5, 2013
    • You’re so welcome…! I adore our cypress strands and swamps. I could live in them forever. They support such a varied amount of life, and they’re always changing. Just wonderful.

      March 6, 2013
  9. Such beautiful trees. So sad they were logged to the extent that they were but I’m glad to hear that they are at last protected.

    March 6, 2013
    • Exactly… And as another blogger questioned: At least pre-budget cuts, the various natural areas have made tremendous efforts to remove the non-natives, and plant native flora such as cypress.

      March 6, 2013
  10. Oh I love this ! These trees are beautiful, with the water reflections and sepia feel. Glorious!

    March 6, 2013
    • Thanks so much! It’s tough to convey the beauty of these areas. They’re just magnificent.

      March 6, 2013
  11. marialla #

    WHOA, WHOA, WHOA – TRUE GENTLEMEN!!! THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH!!!

    March 7, 2013
    • Aw, thanks so much! They really do look like a row of gentlemen, don’t they?? πŸ˜‰

      March 8, 2013
      • marialla #

        yes indeed~!!!

        March 8, 2013
  12. Most people outside of southeast Texas have probably never heard of the Big Thicket, but your photograph could have been taken there. Like the Everglades, the Big Thicket has lost a lot of its original area to development, but some has been saved and become a preserve:

    http://www.nps.gov/bith/historyculture/the-story-of-big-thicket.htm

    In northeast Texas there’s a similar area around Caddo Lake, which Wikipedia says has the largest bald cypress forest in the world:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caddo_Lake

    March 8, 2013
    • WOW…. Both of these places look absolutely stunning. I would LOVE to visit both, but especially the latter, for the sake that it’s the largest bald cypress forest (REMAINING) in the world today. Thanks so much for that link!!

      March 8, 2013
      • You’re welcome. I’ve been to both, but not in the last ten years. The picture opportunities with current camera equipment would be wonderful.

        March 8, 2013
      • Ah, I’d love to see the outcomes of a visit, if you ever made it back out there!

        March 9, 2013
  13. Lovely edit of the photo. May these cypress enjoy a long life.

    March 11, 2013
    • Thanks so much! It was a quickie edit, but I agree…. I dearly pray and hope that we can continue to protect these beautiful trees, these that provide shelter to so much LIFE in this ecosystem.

      March 12, 2013
  14. These trees amaze me! The first time I saw them was during an airboat tour in Titusville and I was speechless! Actually, I still am. πŸ™‚

    March 19, 2013
    • AH, my brother was born in Titusville! πŸ™‚

      And my mother tells stories of what that entire area (well, from Orlando to the Coast) looked like before Disney… Panthers roaming, the trees…. Just amazing.

      March 20, 2013

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