If we want to use forests as a weapon in the fight against climate change, then we must allow them to grow old, which is exactly what large conservation groups are asking us to do.
~ Peter Wohlleben, The Hidden Life of Trees
The Great Cypress Swamp, which is also known as the Pocomoke Swamp or Big Cypress Swamp, runs from southern Delaware through southeastern Maryland on the Delmarva peninsula. Most of the The Great Cypress Swamp is in Delaware although finding it on a map isn’t easy even though they say it was the largest contiguous forest on the peninsula as of the year 2000. You can find parts of it if you start at Trap Pond State Park in Laurel, Delaware, then make your way south along the Pocomoke River.
Our common word swamp comes from a rustic dialect of English, and only became widely used in North America in the seventeenth century. Swamp is a truly popular word, with a broad range of meanings, referring to wet spongy ground and often used interchangeably with bog, marsh, mire, and fen. But in precise usage, swamp refers to land with more trees than a marsh, better drained than a bog.
~ Robert Morgan in the book Home Ground: Language for an American Landscape (edited by Barry Lopez and Debra Gwartney)
According to Wikipedia, Joe Biden, in 1980, proposed that the swamp be made into a national park. Environmentalists requested the action, but local folks were afraid it might lead to large numbers of tourists coming to visit.
The Great Cypress Swamp is the source of the Pocomoke River which is where M and I went for our boat outing on Sunday. The Pocomoke River runs from the Great Cypress Swamp in Delaware down through Maryland and out to the Pocomoke Sound. We put the boat in at the Rehobeth boat ramp. The boat ramp is not too far from where we live and it is, I think, the next to the last public boat launching site before you arrive at Pocomoke Sound (which goes out to the Chesapeake Bay). The river, of course, flows into the sound.
Sound, referring to a feature of coastlines, comes from the Middle and Old English sund, “to swim.” The word in its modern guise evokes both this watery root, as well as the idea of soundings — measurements of depth, quests, or probings, downward and inward. A sound is a waterway connecting two larger bodies of water or two parts of the same body, though the term can refer to an arm of the sea forming a channel between a mainland and an island.
~ Gretchen Legler in the book Home Ground: Language for an American Landscape (edited by Barry Lopez and Debra Gwartney)
We traveled upriver, going north and east. To the right (or the east of us, most of the time, depending on the bends in the river) is Hickory Point Cypress Swamp. M and I visited the area on land (by foot) back in 2014, something I vaguely remembered. Here’s the post, if you’re interested: Hickory Point.
It was quiet out on the river. We did not see any other boats until we finished our trip and we were back at the boat ramp where we started.
The Great Cypress Swamp is home to 73 breeding species of birds. Lots of migrating birds come through this area, too. This time of year the birds you will see most along the river are Bald Eagles. We saw several of them. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the long lens with me so most of the photos I took of them look like this:
Or like this:
I could have continued to crop those images but they end up so pixelated that’s it is difficult to tell what’s what.
Looks like we might have some storms coming. I should probably get some things done outside before that happens. Thank you for visiting today and taking a little trip on the river with me. I’m still sorting through images and will probably be back with more. Heck, I’m still sorting through images from Cape May, now that I think about it. lol! Ah well. I’ll get to all of it eventually. Maybe.
Be good, be kind, be loving. Just Be. 🙂
A few of the 10,000 reasons to be happy: 931) The knobbly knees of cypress trees. 932) Record turnout for early voting reported in Maryland. I hope that holds true everywhere, early voting or not. 933) People waking up. 934) An early morning walk in the mist and fog. 935) Love.