Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary

Saturday, 29 November 2008:
Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, National Audubon Society, southwest of Naples, Florida.
The sanctuary was established to preserve a large stand of Bald Cypress which suffered extensive logging in the 1940’s and 50’s. The sanctuary is also an important breeding ground for wood storks, and part of the 2 1/2 mile boardwalk is closed off during breeding season.

astors on a vine, a strangler fig, and a grass-like flower

We might have seen more birds and wildlife if we’d been there in early morning, but the walk was beautiful. There were many butterflies, dragonflies, spiders (which built webs seemingly suspended from nowhere—I was glad not to be the first person to walk the trail in early morning), a couple of deer, anoles (or are they skinks?), frogs (one dead), an very large alligator, a couple of hawks, a green heron, a great egret, some anhingas, a snake (which looked huge to me when I almost stepped on it, but Mr. Tess said it was thinner than a pencil), and not so many other tourists.


The elevated boardwalk made the hike very easy and allowed us to see what a wild Florida looked like before all the development and agribusiness. Take a virtual tour yourself through pine flatwood, wet prairie, pond cypress, marsh, and lettuce lakes.

green-lizard_2600

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8 thoughts on “Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary

  1. I found your site while looking for a name of a certain fern. I was amazed when I saw the photo of the “Green Anole” what amazed me was that I think it is actually a Knight Anole that was introduced in Miami but I had no idead it was that far north. Was it photographed in Corkscrew?

    Larry

    • Hi Larry,
      As you can tell from my site, I’m no expert on Florida wildlife. My husband worked in Naples for about 2 months so he bought some guides to Florida flora and fauna, and he told me the creature was a green anole, but if you tell me it’s a Knight Anole, that is more detail than we know! (tourists, really!)

      I took the picture while sitting on the balcony at our hotel in Naples. You can see the plant in the background, which I’ve had here in Michigan as a houseplant, but it was used there as landscaping foliage around the hotel.

      My husband had seen many of these anoles around the site where he was working. I saw one other smaller one a few days before that picture, but I don’t have a fancy camera: he scampered up to the top of the palm tree before I could get a shot! And there was a similar looking animal in Corkscrew, dead on a path—it looked like someone had purposely stomped on it. That person must have been fast to do it, because this fellow was camera shy and moved very fast. It was too sad for me to see the dead one to take a picture.

      I have a larger image that I could upload and link to here if you like. And perhaps you would tell me more about a Knight Anole?

  2. Hey Tess, I just crossed paths again and guess I should have finished what I started Oh some many years ago. Here is a link to the Wiki page for the Knight Anole and it doesnt say anything about Lee or Collier county which is where Naples and Corkscrew are. You may have a new find. I will check further. Can you email the name of the hotel you were at?

    Larry

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