September 8th, 2007 – by: diisha392
Inside the Visitor Center
Stop two: Battle Creek Cyprus Swamp and Nature Center not quite a half hour north. To get to the trail, I had to go into the Visitor Center building. From there I choose to go through the exhibit room rather than heading straight outside. The room gives a very nice introduction to the area and has a rare albino snapping turtle on display. Also of interest especially to kids is the loft where a ranger displays live snakes, skinks, and tarantulas. Out on the trail I spotted a young skink (bright blue tail) and quite a few birds including a few woodpeckers. The baldcyprus trees definitely caught my interest. They stretch 100 feet into the air. Their needle-like leaves shaded me from the sun but only for a few more months; they shed the leaves in the fall. The trees also have "knees," knobby short growths out of the ground that help the trees survive during the wet season (spring and fall) especially by providing oxygen to the submerged roots. At a crossroads I chose to follow the trail around to a former tenant house (when the area was still a tobacco farm) and a small pond. Returning to the Visitor Center I visited a small garden out front before checking out the small gift shop area.