It’s almost like walking on water, following this amazing boardwalk constructed over the wetlands in Corkscrew Swamp. The boardwalk is over two miles long and allows for viewing the wildlife in their natural habitat without getting your feet wet.
In the late 1800’s, this swamp was a base camp for “plume hunters,” killing birds for their plumage. The fashion of the day for ladies hats used the feathers, and sometimes entire stuffed, exotic birds.
By the late 19th century, plume hunters had nearly wiped out the Snowy Egret population of the United States. More than five million birds were being killed every year, including 95 percent of Florida’s shore birds.
Thanks to early environmentalists such as Adeline Knapp, the 1911 Plum Bill was enacted to make it illegal to sell native bird feathers. The Audubon Society was created and exists today, continuing the mission to protect natural resources and make it possible for me to see Corkscrew’s 500 year old giant bald cypress trees, egrets, ibis, anhingas and so much more.
Including this venomous cotton mouth snake. Yikes! The very knowledgable volunteer guides pointed out the snake with a sign, directing us to look out from the walkway.
What I really wanted to see was the Super Ghost Orchid in bloom. Corkscrew Swamp is home to the largest, highest growing, most flower producing Ghost Orchid ever found. The buds bloom in succession, each flower lasting about two weeks from June until October with up to fourteen flowers open at once. I’m sure I’m not finished with Ghost Orchids as a subject for future quilts.
I really enjoyed doing this commission quilt for a private client. I hated to send it off to a new home!