The cypress and the strangler fig.

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A green tapestry of vegetation, softened in the falling rain, along the boardwalk of Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary. Strangler figs embrace an old-growth cypress resting on a bed of ferns.

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Zebra Longwing butterfly

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The Zebra Longwing butterfly, (Heliconius charitonia) rests among vegetation in Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary. On a three to four-inch wingspan, they flutter lightly and slowly across the landscape, stopping often to sip nectar and consume pollen. The added nutrients in pollen consumption prolong their lifespan to several months.

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swamp walk

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Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary.

A swamp adventure through the beautiful orchid-enhanced environment of a cypress swamp, then across Hidden Lake, always on the lookout for reptiles, amphibians, and birds.

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rain in the swamp

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Walking Corkscrew Sanctuary boardwalk under rainfall is an under-appreciated experience. Being prepared is key. Umbrella, wellies, a towel for camera protection. The subdued palette of colors, intoxicating scent of fresh vegetation and patter of rain through the leaves soothes a restless spirit. A raging storm with thunder, lightning and wind is less soothing and not advised.

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Black-bellied Whistling-ducks

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That squeaky whistle overhead usually indicates a flock of Black-bellied Whistling-ducks, Dendrocygna autumnalis, passing by. These cinnamon, black and grey ducks are becoming plentiful in Corkscrew backcountry.

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Sunday morning walk

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Lisa walks through a swamp garden. Cypress, Sabal palm, air plants, and Alligator flag; a few plants lining this flooded track in the backcountry of Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary.

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gathering of Swallow-tailed kites

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A gathering of Swallow-tailed kites prepare to launch into rising thermals on a warm summer morning.

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panther on the prowl

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A Florida panther on the move well before sundown in Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary.

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White peacock

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A White peacock butterfly is common along roadsides and broken forest cover.

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Deer in the cypress

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A deer passing through a cypress island in the backcountry of Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary.

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