A walk through the swamp

I’ve always lived in tourist areas.  There is always, always something fun and interesting to do.   So visiting somewhere with pretty much nothing to do is rather interesting…especially when those you are visiting still have to work during the day.

My parents, who drove their RV up here just to see my brother and his family me, came up with a brilliant idea to take us to see the Congaree Swamp.  I was intrigued, but a little nervous about that plan. 

First of all, I was unaware that South Carolina even had a swamp.  I always thought we kept them all in Florida and the bayous of Louisiana.  Second of all, aren’t swamps the place you take people and then never hear from them again? Hmmmm….

Fortunately, the swamp we were headed to was actually a State Park and they have very strict rules against feeding guest to the gators. (Whew!) When we first entered the boardwalk that wove through the swamp, I was highly unimpressed. It looked like we were just heading into the woods…it was pretty, but it was no big deal.

swamp1

As we walked further in, I started to notice these things poking up from the ground that brought to mind some sort of alien life form.  Mom was quick to inform me that they were called “knees” that were thought to help the cypress trees breathe.  (Mom never did have much imagination!)

swamp2

The further in we walked, the more swamp-like (not to mention spooky) it  became.  The water started pooling up and we could see thick black muck underneath it.  We could now see dark green moss growing up to where the water had come up to in the last wet season.  (I’m not really clear on where the water comes from, my brain wants to connect it to the tide table somehow)

swamp3

We had to be careful for snakes dangling down from the trees above us.

swamp4

You probably think that’s a tree branch like Mom did…Dad and I knew better.  I preferred to play it safe and just pretend to gaze at all the Spanish Moss hanging down while secretly watching out for Attack Snakes.

swamp5

Nestled in the middle of the swamp was a steel box that had once been used by bootleggers.  They used distilled “corn squeezings” through copper tubing and cleverly hid it among the trees, guarded by vicious snakes and ‘gators.

swamp6

Another swamp hazard lives in hollow trees. Six species of bats inhabit this swamp.  Fortunately, they only come out at night.  When they do, they consume over 600 insects per hour.  And trust me, there are a lot of bugs out in that there swamp.

swamp7

Despite my reservations, I found that the swamp is really a magical place. I’m really glad that we went.

And I’m really glad that we managed to avoid that hungry gator lurking around in there…

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26 Responses to A walk through the swamp

  1. I am definitely a non-humidity girl. Moss creeps me out. But I’m glad you had fun!

  2. Jay says:

    Too bad you didn’t run into Swamp Thing! I’m sure he would have posed for pictures with you. πŸ˜‰

  3. Amanda says:

    OH MY GOSH. You are so much braver than me! I was getting all nervous just looking at your pictures! I’m glad that you enjoyed it, and your pictures are neat, but I’m the most glad that it was you and not me!

  4. Pamela says:

    Just as I imagined it to be — inspiringly spooky! whooooooeeeeeeee

  5. Lisa's Chaos says:

    That all looks so beautiful!

  6. chrisb says:

    That looks really beautiful but I’m shivering at the thought of all the unwelcome wild life one might stumble upon!

  7. Marla says:

    Beautiful but not a place I would visit. I don’t do spiders, snakes, bats or alligators LOL. Thanks for sharing your pictures.

  8. Cheryl says:

    I love the SC lowcountry. Absolutely would move there if my family moved with me. I love Spanish moss and live oak. Your pictures of the swamp really brought the story to life. I’m so glad you didn’t have snakes or alligators in any of them. I try to pretend they’re not around.

  9. Betty says:

    That would be pretty spooky at night, I bet. Ew. I scared myself.

  10. Ann says:

    Did you see Shrek????

  11. TexasGal says:

    The pictures are beautiful! I was looking for a snake though? Was there a snake hidden in there somewhere? I used to go trapesing thru the swamps when I was younger with my cousins. They were all boys, I was the only girl – but the oldest. We used to hunt snakes with our bb guns in the swamps in East Texas along the old Trinity River. I’d die if my girls ever did such a thing!

  12. Peggy says:

    I love swamp walks like that. I have been on a few in Florida. The thing that always caught my attention was not the snakes (not afraid of ’em) but the HUGE ass spiders! They were the size of Buicks! No birds?

  13. Lynne says:

    Frankly I’d be more worried about those old bootleggers hiding out than the snakes or alligators. They can be pretty nasty when disturbed.
    πŸ˜›

  14. Karina says:

    I loved this post! The pictures were beautiful and I loved the way you told the story as you moved along…I felt I was right there with you, even got the “willies” when you pointed out the hanging snakes…creepy!

  15. giveitatry says:

    Amazing pictures!

  16. snhamlett says:

    I had no idea there were swamps in South Carolina… when you started off, I thought it was gonna be some kind of exaggeration. I mean, my family is from Louisiana, I KNOW swamps. And you were definitely in a serious swamp! : ) You did have me looking for snakes in that one photo… shame on you!

    Seriously, those photos were beautiful. Gave me a mini break, and I definitely needed that.

    Thanks you for sharing your visit. If you get a chance, drop by my place, I’m having a giveaway for an autographed copy of the book, Style Statement: Live by Your Own Design.

    Happy weekend!

    Shauntelle

  17. Musing says:

    Now, this is my idea of experiencing a swamp. You brave the snakes, I enjoy the pictures. πŸ™‚

  18. Cazzie says:

    Awesome images, what a lovely relaxing place to look at.

  19. Tanja says:

    Wow! That’s just beautiful. Some great pictures in here. Thanks for sharing.

  20. While your pictures are very, very nice, nope… couldn’t do it… I would not be able to keep focused on where I was walking, talking and breathing, knowing creepy crawly things could be dangling overhead. Nope, just couldn’t do it.

  21. Ghazala Khan says:

    Hello Dear and Respected,
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    We at TPS are carrying out a new series of interviews with the notable passionate bloggers, writers, and webmasters. In that regard, we would like to interview you, if you don’t mind. Please send us your approval for your interview at my email address “ghazala.khi at gmail.com”, so that I could send you the Interview questions. We would be extremely grateful.

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    Ghazala Khan
    The Pakistani Spectator
    http://www.pakspectator.com

  22. Dorky Dad says:

    Wow! You got a comment from the Pakistan Spectator! I’ve ALWAYS hoped that they would notice me and they got you first! Man am I jealous.

    Oh, and about your post …

    So you’ve been to the Congaree Swamp! I’ve been there. Neat little place. How’d you enjoy the mosquitoes?

  23. Tink says:

    Pretty much all our parks are swamps and I never knew about the knees. I always thought they were trees the swamp ate. πŸ˜‰

  24. I love it when I see folks defy what to them might be logic. You went into the swamp, took a lot of pictures and blessed a lot of people and had an epiphany moment. I am a naturalist/wildlife photographer specializing in bears and love the wild places. The next time you will enjoy the swamp or whatever even more because you extended yourself. Blessings, Chaz

    P.S. Take a look at my blog and let me know about any of your new excursions. C

  25. Patsy says:

    Oh, Sue those “knees” actually are called “knuckles” I made minor mistake/got mixed up or some such. mom