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Swamping the Suwanee River
- To: <Aquatic-Plants at actwin_com>
- Subject: Swamping the Suwanee River
- From: Thomas Barr <tcbiii at earthlink_net>
- Date: Mon, 02 Sep 2002 21:42:47 -0400
- In-reply-to: <200205061948.g46Jm1k02247 at acme_actwin.com>
- User-agent: Microsoft-Outlook-Express-Macintosh-Edition/5.02.2022
Oh well, folks will hate me now. I went to the infamous Suwannee River
today. I just got back. I wish I had my camera. It's okay, I'll be back with
Ever seen a huge stand of submerged Ludwigia repens? Bacopa? Moneywort?
Lotus? Utricularia? Red marble Val? Knee deep in Lizard's tail, Bald cypress
everywhere. Micrantherum umbrosum, some Hairgrass, Prosperpinaca, I don't
count sword/Taro/Hydrillia/Myriophyllum etc plants, there's more besides
those and I grabbed a few things.
It was neat seeing all these plants growing very well in tannic water,
blooming and it large mixed assembledges like this. There was some degree of
monocultures in the pools but overall there was more species than I would
Most of my trip was centered around a back road that has standing water
along each side of the road about 1-2 feet deep full of plants and quite tea
colored. So you'd just drive about 45 minutes from town, stop every few
hundred yards and get out and poke around.
I drove out into an open grass swamp and found the Vals in a flowing creek.
I doubt I'll ever see them in a road side ditch like most of these plants.
Water is clearer than you might think but the tannins are high, just like
you would expect in the Amazon. You have a rough time seeing below 18 inches
or so. The weather and the bugs here are also probably very similar to the
Amazon. Very cool & huge spiders, monster lubber grasshoppers. Some water
spiders also, at least 2.5 inches across. Lots of turtles, a few snakes,
some blue bellied Chameleons rather than common ones. These are good for
eating the plant pest. All sorts of birds.
I think I'll take a Canoe rental and go for a wood hunt along the banks, I
saw tons of very tasty pieces. Lizard tail does very well along the banks.
The River itself has a good flow to it as do most of the creeks.
There's quite a few plants that I don't know. I was able to get most of the
trees down in the lowland areas now. Water oak(neat roots), bald cypress and
where to find little ones, Pignut hickory which I know from the bark and
it's present back in IN where I grew up in lowland swampy places although
rare there. Sweet gums etc. Damn swamp pine and Live oak.
Lots of folks here have swamp buggies and love their fishin. I'm bringing
the rod and bug netting next time. It's fine as long as you are moving. Stop
for a couple of second and you'll be flayed alive. So some might find some
satisfaction in knowing it's not "perfect" as the bugs are everywhere and
Saw some nice sunfish.
I was going to cut over to Rainbow Springs which is about 10 minutes away,
but ran out of time. You'd figure lots of people would be out here, but
nope, hardly anyone. Not even the gators where out today. The Crypts will
have to wait. I think I'll go down to Cedar Key which is also about 10
minutes away from the Lower Suwannee next time.
I'll work my way up the river to it's starting point in the Okefenokee swamp
along the FL/GA border. There's a couple more big swamp areas not including
these also not far.
Cool thing is no traffic to go places and relatively short distances.