Oct 30, 2012

Swamps get scared, too

Are the swamps spooky?

To the uninitiated, “yes."

All Ye Who Enter:
Beware!
And who could blame them, they are wooded, dark, and watery.

Alligators lurk, and panthers too – but those worries are misguided:


The animal you really have to watch out for are water moccasins.

Not that they chase you – they won’t!

Nor do they spook – they don’t!

Can you see the spider?

If not, you'll feel it on your face
when you unwittingly walk
into the web

Rather, it’s because they don’t spook when they hear you that causes the real fright.  If you walk without caution in their path, you could be surprised by a strike when you least expect it.

And yes, that could bite.


There are giant spiders too!

But even worse is a trunk-to-trunk spanning web on your face (and in your hands as you try to remove it after the fact),


Is a spider there too, in my hair or crawling down my neck?

It rarely the case, but the thought certainly spooks!

Craggily pond apple
forests look foreboding
Hollywood-inspired legends of a Swamp Thing and local lore of a Skunk Ape may have you fearing knee-deep cypress forests alone at night the same way Jaws kept you in the knee-deep shallows of breaking saltwater waves in a crowd at the beach with the sun at its peak.


The truth is that humans evolved to fear the swamps.

They are virtually uninhabitable by modern day standards, and efforts to inhabit them quite literally ruin whatever swamp was once there by way of digging, draining, filling, cutting, and building;

The cypress are lovely,
dark and deep ...

Don't get lost!

Not to mention the real Frankensteins of the quagmire – Maleleuca trees, Brazilian Pepper, Old World Climbing Fern, pythons, plus every other invader ...

On the rapidly-spreading list of non-native invasives!


I’m here to tell you it’s not we who should fear the swamps.

They are a misunderstood beauty in need of love instead.


The truth in actuality is quite the opposite:

It’s the swamps that should fear us!

In the right light:
Cypress aren't
so spooky after all!
So tread lightly in a swamp near you, and trust in me whenever you do – by sun or night or nearing twilight – its liquid realm is a beautiful sight, from top to bottom and start to end, it’s silence is the comfort of your oldest friend.

Happy Halloween!

1 comment:

Flawda said...

This is one of my favorites yet. Thanks!