Transitions-Oakville, Burlington and Mississauga Real Estate Blog: Florida: Naples

Real Estate blog about property, home buying and selling, life in Burlington, Oakville and Mississauga Regions of Ontario, Canada.

Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, Naples, Florida - Winter Home For Our Birds

Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, Naples, Florida - A Winter Home For Birds From Oakville, Burlington and Other Areas and of Ontario.Barred Owl in Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary

As we drove down the straight country road heading north out of Naples and deeper and deeper into scrubland, we wondered what kind of hiking trails we were setting ourselves up for now. The surrounding wild lands looked anything but hospitable hiking territory.

Soon, after making a few turns off the main road and driving deeper into the cypress and scrub pine forests, we came upon a sign that announced we had reached our destination - Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary.
My heart quickened a few beats as the excitement of exploring a wilderness park in a foreign location settled in.

We were pleasantly surprised to see a beautiful building as we rounded the corner of the parking area.
The Blair Audubon Centre, a spacious post and beam structure which is off the grid and environmentally friendly, welcomed us at the entrance to the long boardwalk through the swamp.

As we began our hike along the boardwalk, we were entranced by the gentle majesty and peacefulness of the cypress forests and tall pines that graced the edges of the swamp.Swamp Lily in Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary

Beautiful herons, anhingas, hawks, owls and songbirds seemed to be waiting for us at every turn. They sat gracefully on stretched out branches and rested in the afternoon sun. Some were busy wading in the shallow swamp waters as they quietly searched for an evening meal.

Epiphytes and orchids clung to tree trunks or rose in the crotches of old tree trunks, adding colour and beauty to the grey bark of the winter trees.

We had found paradise; a paradise which has disappeared from more than 90% of the lands in Canada and the USA.
'This is where they come to', I sadly thought to myself. Epiphyte in Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary
What little paradise is left, our northern birds flock to when winter winds howl and our northern lands shut down for the cold months of December, January and February.

On that day, we were so amazed at how unafraid the creatures of the swamp were of us that we decided to go back the next day for the 'Moonlight Swamp Walk'.

It turned out to be an enchanting evening with a full moon hanging low in an azure sky. Haunting winter cyrpress trees and a boardwalk that seemed to glow stretched out in front of us.


Our guide, a spry little man in the latter years of his life whose love of nature had brought him to volunteer for this beautiful place, was as intriguing and eccentric as the forest creatures and flora he showed us.

Each plant and bird and creature had a story; a uniqueness that was all it's own and he seemed to be privy to the mysteries of the universe itself.Great Blue Heron in Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary

Of all the places in southern Florida to visit, I recommend a visit to the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary the most.

Children will come away enthralled and perhaps, as happened the day we were there, will be able to watch a small racoon forage for food from two feet away or have a Great Blue Heron land 3 feet away and curiously watch them with quick eye and cocked head.

In no other wild place, that I have been, do humans and nature interact so closely, both with a deep trust for one another, than at the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary.


Spring seems somehow closer at hand when the cold winter months are broken up with a trip south to visit our birds in their winter home - The Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary.
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As one Canadian to another, Naples is an absolutely beautiful town and one well worth considering if you are thinking of buying a winter retreat or an investment property in Florida.
Contact me for more information.
I would be more than pleased to refer you to one of my real estate contacts in the Naples area who I am CERTAIN will take good care of you.


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Comment balloon 8 commentsJo-Anne Smith • February 26 2013 06:23PM
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