Can you guess the forest type featured in the photo below:
a. Cypress tree,
b. Cabbage palm or
c. Slash pine?
|Can you see the last |
cypress tree still standing?
Despite what your eyes may be telling you (i.e. b), the correct answer is a. -- a forest of cypress trees. What probably fooled you is that none of the cypress trees are currently standing, or even alive. Frequent wildfires and a decades long drought has wiped them out (except for one -- can you see it leaning to the right on the far left?).
These two photos give a closer look at the forest floor.
|Fire resistant cabbage palm (standing)|
and the the cypress trees they replaced
(lying on the ground).
As bleak as this may seem, the good news is that help is near:
The Picayune Strand Restoration Project.
This particular patch of over-drained swamp could start seeing a rising water table in the coming year.
The rest of the 55,000 acres is scheduled for completion in 2018.
|I see a cypress forest|
(in the future twenty years)
Finally, the end of the fifty year drought is near!