Monday, July 7, 2014

The Day of the Ghost Orchids . . .

Ghost orchids  

Spider lily and strangler fig

And scarlet hibiscus, pickerel weed, spider lily, alligator flag and more!

Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary was the perfect place for a shady walk in July with walking buddy, Mary Murray. The prospect of viewing the ghost orchids was a special bonus. Volunteers had a scope trained on the elusive blooms so visitors could share the thrill. Reporters from the Naples Daily News arrived to see firsthand the cause for the buzz. No question seeing the ghost orchids was a treat, but we thoroughly enjoyed the other wildflowers, whether or not we could identify them.

Juvenile red shouldered hawk
Wildlife too . . . We heard a lot of hawk noise. Then we were rewarded with a view of a juvenile red shouldered hawk who watched us watching him. Eventually he flew off squawking apparently hoping for his next meal. Along the way we had a great view of an alligator lounging just below the surface. We saw a cardinal having lunch on the boardwalk railing. Wow!

Quantities of butterflies flitted from flower to flower well within viewing/identification range. Yay!
Not to be missed are the landmark cypress trees, some more than 500 years old, towering 80+ feet and boasting a girth of 14 – 22’.

We also learned an unhappy history lesson. Wading birds were slaughtered for their plumage to adorn hats popular in the late 1800’s.

So much more. History + nature = an interesting excursion. Bring your lunch. There is an excellent interpretive center and nature store. Do plan to take it all in.  Plenty of parking. Admission fee.

“I only went out for a walk, and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.”  

 John Muir

Host tree with orchids, bromeliads, fungi


  1. Great blog. This sounds like a great place to visit.

  2. Fabulous excursion for the nature lover and families too. There is boardwalk for the entire walk wide enough for a stroller. It is shady for the most part so perfect for a hot day.