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Fakahatchee Preserve State Park

This is a discussion on Fakahatchee Preserve State Park within the The Jungle forums, part of the Land Plants category; Wow, the photo trips into the jungles of Vietnam and Borneo are so awesome. Here ...

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  1. #1
    Tmai's Avatar
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    Default Fakahatchee Preserve State Park

    Wow, the photo trips into the jungles of Vietnam and Borneo are so awesome. Here is a small photo journey or our recent trip into the Florida Everglades. The orchids we photod were not blooming but we were excited about finding them just the same.
    Our trip began with a stay with our good friends Molly Taco and family. From there we went to Sanibel Island for Thanksgiving and shelling, and then to Collier-Seminole State Park on the edge of the Everglades. The park is home to the last remaining 'walking dredge' used to build the road (Tamiami Trail - hwy 41) thru the Everglades. It was fascinating! Check out the link. #172 Bay City Walking Dredge (1924) - Landmarks
    The park has several walking/biking trails but we only walked a short trail on this trip. However, we did see some butterfly orchid plants and helmet orchid plants. Our short trip this year gave us the plans for our next trip!
    In 2005 hurricane Wilma destroyed many of the orchids, broms, and upper tree story of the area but is it starting to recover. Just off hwy 41 is popular half mile boardwalk into the palm and mangrove hammacks. Don't miss this. As busy as it is, if you walk slow, stop, look, and listen, you will see incredible things.
    The Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park is piece of land that was once logged for it's fantastic old growth cypress trees. Most of the huge cypress are gone but the ones that were too little to be logged then are coming along nicely now. The drive thru Fakahatchee is gorgeous but it is clear that orchids along the drive have been poached to the max. We did see some orchids and I'm sure we missed many, but it was tearful to see so few orchid plants in an area that hosts 40+ species. [B]We will take the swamp tour next time we come down.[B] Lead by a park ranger, you will see many of the orchids now protected and thriving in the swamps. I can't wait to go back!

    Here are a few photos. Darwin is somewhere in that big machinery picture.
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    Leopard frog
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    Vanilla plant
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    going into the Fakahatchee

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    A strangler fig, our spot in the campground, a look at the Fakahatchee swamp
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    Hotel California?
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    Name this orchid..... OK bad pic I know but you can do it
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    Love the photo of the trees in the water! Thanks for sharing all of them. I really need to get out to Florida and do some exploring.

    Cheers,
    BD

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    Tami,is verry intresting the photos of the trees in water !What it is the name of this trees?
    Ruxandra

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    Really interesting. Did you see any ghosties.

    Susan

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    Ruxandra, the trees growing in the water are cypress trees. They are very beautiful and can grow as old as 600+ years. They have roots that stick up out of the water near the base of the tree called 'knees', and it is thought that these 'knees' provide air for the tree and help anchor them. The wood is highly desired because it is strong and does not rot. And it smells nice too! They host a variety of air plants and orchids and grow through out the wet, swampy areas in the southeastern United States.
    Susan, we saw very few orchids from the main road, and no ghost orchids at all. The ghosties may have been there but they are incredibly hard to spot when they aren't blooming as they are just root masses on the trees,and probably have been poached in the easily accessible areas. The big ghost at Corkscrew Swamp (I'll talk about Corkscrew in another post) is now visible from the boardwalk due to Hurricane Wilma clearing the view.
    The Fakahatchee and adjoining Big Cypress preserves, Everglades National Park, and Corkscrew Swamp Preserve, are home to most of the epiphytic orchids in the US, with the exception of the green fly orchid that grows as far north as south Georgia and Alabama, and the bronze fly and encylia tampensis which grow north almost to Gainsville, FL. The ghosties are alive and well and thriving in the swamp along with some 40+ species of epiphitic and terrestrial orchids. Fakahatchee hosts guided tours back into the swamp to see these beauties and we can't wait to go back and take a tour! Some 600+ ghost orchids have been documented in a place called ‘Little Slough’ in Big Cypress. Here is the link where I got the info: http://www.rv-orchidworks.com/orchid...treply&t=18097
    A few more pics sorry for the poor quality:
    African Tulip tree blooming at Collier-Semnole S.P.
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    Helmet orchid

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    string lily

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    more cypress swamp

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    PS the unnamed orchid in the forth post is an African spotted orchid (Oeceoclades maculata). Not native to the US, it is an escapee that has become naturalized here. It is not believed to be a threat to our native species. The leaves are beautifully mottled similar to some paphs. The flowers are small and colorful, but are thought to be self pollinating so many of the flowers do not open fully.

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    Nice pics, Tami! Thanks for sharing.

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