I was supposed to go to the Corkscrew Sanctuary with my boyfriend after he took Colloquium because he enjoyed it so much. I never made it there with him in the last few months. After my own experience with the Colloquium class, I can see why he wanted to take me there. It was said to be a bad time to go since it was pre blooming season and there weren’t too many wildlife sightings. I was pretty excited to be there from the moment we got off the bus. In fact, after watching the YouTube video the night before I was looking forward to seeing the toilet system that filtered water from the restrooms with a plant system. I was surprised to learn that the plants were considered a biohazard due to the metals and nutrients they absorb from our wastes. It’s also interesting to think the project that started there could be offered and used in lesser developed countries to improve their way of life.
After watching the Youtube video in the syllabus, I came across a video of a Florida panther walking the same boardwalk I would be walking to explore the Sanctuary. It was exciting to imagine the different wildlife that I could come across.
The sign about plume hunting really grabbed my attention. In the late 1800s women’s fashion was all about bird bonnets and it took this one sign for it to really hit home about some of the first conservation movements in history that were just brushed upon in Social Studies. For example, Teddy Roosevelt and how he influenced the start of conserving parts of the nation with National parks. At home, I started reading about Frank Chapman’s experiment in which he counted the amount and variety of birds incorporated on the hats on top of the heads of women. According to archives of the Audubon Magazine, there were a total of 174 birds counted in two afternoons. Completely insane!
I also loved the fact that the oldest cypress trees in Florida are conveniently located in the area. Having that kind of access to a such a preserved natural Florida is a complete privilege. It made me realize that even though I consider myself an outdoors person, I am taking for granted what Florida has to offer. It made me realize that although I feel as though I am knowledgable of the area from Collier County through Sarasota County, I am only familiar with the small commercialized boundaries east and west of I75 and 41. There is still much more for me to explore.
I spoke with my uncle at dinner about the three different ecological systems that the Sanctuary had and how it differs from upstate New York. Its crazy to learn that in Florida it just takes inches to come across a new ecological system. Even though the Sanctuary is 11000 acres, we were able to see the pine flats, prairie, and swamp in a convenient 2.25mi boardwalk. I told him about the baby alligators being eaten by the father alligator, the red shouldered hawk, the roots of the cypress trees, the Zebra Longwing and even about the video of the panther on the boardwalk. His response? “That’s nothing, you should check out CREW.!” After my experience at the Corkscrew Preserve, I just might have to listen to him.