Big Cyprus National Preserve


Big Cyprus mangrove swamp photo courtesy of

Church like peace descending down through the canopy making our chatter falter as the hush reaches us.

We pause and listen to the distant drum, hollow skinned and far reaching. A pileated woodpecker drops through the canopy onto a silvered trunk. Anvil shaped against the bark and big. Black wings flicking against the tree. It is a primal dweller of the woods in this prehistoric world of coffee trees and poison ivy.

Big mouth fish slap their tails in dark pitted pools. Lichens and bryophytes drip from the trees, strangler figs wrap clawed hands in a death embrace around the cyprus trees. The world hisses and sings with insect noise as it did in a swampy past. Above us the air explodes as grackles come off the swamp to roost in the trees. Their calls see-saw overhead but Pete and I walk in reverence, along the boardwalk to a pond where wood storks preen and herons fish.

We have walked into the past and two mourning doves watch us depart.


2 thoughts on “Big Cyprus National Preserve

  1. An appropriately evocative post Carol, for we have been there too, and stood in awe below 400 year old cyprus trees accompanied by the sounds you heard. Yes, we met you and Pete, do you remember, we had a lovely time paddling through the Everglade mangrove swamps together, four lives crossing paths at Florida’s southern tip (and we are both from South Hornchurch, Essex!)
    America has amazing National and State Parks, Sanctuaries and Preserves, and as they still are fortunate enough to have huge areas of land in their natural condition they go to great lengths and expense to preserve and enhance them. We love travelling in America and the West is our favourite part of the world for connecting with the wilderness and nature.
    Looking forwards to more posts, Barry and Rebecca
    PS. regards to Pete, he is great company

  2. Meeting you both was one of the highlights of my trip along with swimming with the manatees (hope you don’t mind the comparison) I have mixed feelings about Florida, the parks are beautiful but so much of the countryside is being sold off in lots for development and the strip malls as soul destroying. Big Cyprus was a delight though. We took your tip (and map) and enjoyed the boardwalk you recommended. Love to you both and hope to see you before long.

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