Sunday, October 05, 2008

Swampfest 2008

We had another amazing outdoor adventure this weekend. This time we went to "Swampfest" at Congaree National Park. This is the same Natl. Park where we took the free canoe trip a few months back. The girls and I have also participated in their junior Ranger program. The girls went to 2 classes and earned badges and everything.

This weekend was an annual event that celebrated the local heritage and environment. The local church just down the road from the park had free carnival rides and gospel music. There were lots of vendors, hayrides, and nature programs throughout the day. We got there late in the afternoon on Saturday just in time for a guided nature hike along the 2 1/2 mile boardwalk trail. The guide was a volunteer who is an elementary school science teacher. Walking the trail with him was like walking with a talking encyclopedia. It was only our family and a local photographer on the hike so we had his full attention and were able to ask lots of questions. He pointed out edible plants and trees along the way, told us about the history of the environment, and treated us to a wonderful learning experience.

Congaree National Park has the "largest remnant of old-growth floodplain forest remaining on the continent! Experience national and state champion trees, towering to record size amidst astonishing biodiversity" ( I just copied that from their website
since I'm tired and being lazy tonight.)

Here's our guide pointing to and telling us about the cypress and tupelo trees.
Here they are gazing up at the champion Loblolly pine tree. It was massive.

I'm posting this video so you can hear his voice and get an idea of the kind of detailed nature experience we were getting. He had just pulled up a rotting log and grabbed this salamander and proceeded to tell us all about it. It sounds like the discovery channel, doesn't it? He told us the Latin or scientific and common names to everything around.


William Kruidenier said...

Can't believe the size of that pine -- amazing to think that the entire continent was once filled with trees that size!

Just bought a fig tree this morning to plant, and am going to transplant the avocados into the yard -- will try to save you one. Pix to come.

SJ said...

Lol! He really DOES sound like an encyclopedia! That is hilarious!