Thursday, March 20, 2008

A Walk on the Wild Side in Cypress Gardens

In the late 1920's, Dean Hall Plantation in Berkeley County was owned by Benjamin Kittredge as a winter retreat and hunting preserve. Mr. Kittredge especially enjoyed duck hunting in the black water impoundments that were remnants left from the days when Dean Hall was a mojor rice plantation on the Cooper River. The story is told that one day when he was out hunting, he became entracted by the reflection of a red maple leaf in the mirror-like waters of the swamp. This experience inspired Mr. Kittredge to re-capture this image by planting thousands of azaleas, cammellias, dogwoods, wisteria, daffodils and iris along the dikes of the impoundments. He imported winter-blooming Daphne and paid a penny for each Atamasco lily bulb that local children brought him from nearby woods. As the years passed, Mr. Kittredge created the 163 acre swamp garden presently known as Cypress Gardens. The reflections of fuschia, red, white, lavendar, and pink on the smooth black water enthrall visitors from around the world.


Pictures with all the beautiful flowers and trees in this garden, scroll down and see my posts from yesterday and days before!



The butterfly house and fresh water aquarium feature native species of butterflies, reptiles, fish and amphibians for public view as well as education programs. Benches in the butterfly house afford guests the opportunity to relax and watch as the colorful creatures flit about and feed on the plants. At any one time visitors can count eight or more species of butterflies. Included in the butterfly house is an observation beehive and arthropod exhibit. Visitors can learn about tarantulas, scorpions, hissing cockroaches and various other arthropods. The pond is home to turtles, fish and Woody the Wood Duck, while the box turtles roam about in their own grassy pastures. The flowering plants in the butterfly house have a purpose in that they are either nectar food or larval food for the various butterflies.



The alligator snapper turtle named "Frankenturtle", is on loan to Cypress Gardens from Raorks Reptiles. Weighing in at 120 pounds and being about 42 years old, "Frankenturtle" has visible signs of a hard life. Years ago the huge turtle was shot through the head and its skull was shattered. The wires used by the vet to put the pieces back together still show on the top of his head - hence the name "Frankenturtle".



Cypress Gardens is home to countless wildlife species from tiny mosquito fish to the mighty alligator. Wood ducks, hawks, osprey, herons, egrets and even white ibis and wood storks can be seen at certain times. Many warblers, including the golden prothonotary, next here each spring and summer, and the winter's silence is often broken by the raucous call of the blue jay or the chattering of the Carolina Wren. Deer, raccoon, opossum, and bobcat tracks are a constant reminder of lively nocturnal wanderings. Otter are often seen slipping through the black water on warm winter days. Lots of turtles can be seen basking in the sun and an occasional snake can be noticed slipping into the water. Of course, the most popular creatures at Cypress Gardens are the alligators.



The big white Heron bird in Cypress Gardens. It took me many shots to get him posed like that. :-)

15 comments:

Norma Padro said...

Hi Sue. Your pictures are very beautiful. Very nice.

RennyBA said...

Lovely photos as always - very well captured.

I liked the first one best as it reminded me a bit of Norwegian forest and it was so beautiful to see it mirroring in the lake.

Susanne49 said...

Hi Norma,

nice to meet you! Thanks for your kind compliment to my photography.

Susanne49 said...

Hi Renny,

I think it looks pretty similar to the Norwegian waters...except there are no alligators...right? :-)

Thanks for your visit here and for your kind comment.

Carole said...

WOW wonderful images. I like the white Heron, never seen a white one only grey ones here. Love the butterfly image too. All really lovely. I really do enjoy looking at your pictures Sue. Very nice indeed.

Carole

aroengbinang said...

Hi Sue, wonderful photos you have here, congrats! I haven't really explored all those wonderful things out there in the mother nature. Thanks for the inspiration...

Susanne49 said...

Hi Carole,

thanks for stopping by and writing your comment. The big white Heron is a common bird here and special in Florida and the Florida Keys. I photographed there a lot.

Susanne49 said...

Hi aroengbinang,

you should do it if you ever see a chance, it worths, I can promise you!

Thanks for visiting my blog and for your kind comment.

Anna said...

Susanne wow, as I reached this post, I looked at first photo, amazing, and as I was scrolling down, more and more beautiful photos, love the last brid photo. Thanks for all the info. Anna :) btw Happy Easter.

Bob Johnson said...

Wow, great images Susanne, that first one is incredible.

Susanne49 said...

Thank you Bob for your comment to this post.Thanks for visiting.:-)

Toni said...

Love your blog. I just found it. The reflection photo is so gorgeous and I enjoy your writings.

Susanne49 said...

Hi Toni,

Very nice to meet you too! Thanks for your kind comment to my photos. I'll hope to see you back soon.:-)

Mark Antony said...

Superb photographs, Susanne, you have marvellous talent. The Swan pictures I particulary enjoyed, you must have known how to talk to the Swan nicely to get it to "pose" like that!

Susanne49 said...

Hi Mark

yep, I used my magics, how did you know that?...LOL...The Heron is beautiful, isn't he?

LinkWithin

Blog Widget by LinkWithin