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Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, Naples, Florida - Winter Home For Our Birds

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Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, Naples, Florida - A Winter Home For Birds From Oakville, Burlington and Other Areas and of Ontario.Barred Owl in Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary

As we drove down the straight country road heading north out of Naples and deeper and deeper into scrubland, we wondered what kind of hiking trails we were setting ourselves up for now. The surrounding wild lands looked anything but hospitable hiking territory.

Soon, after making a few turns off the main road and driving deeper into the cypress and scrub pine forests, we came upon a sign that announced we had reached our destination - Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary.
My heart quickened a few beats as the excitement of exploring a wilderness park in a foreign location settled in.

We were pleasantly surprised to see a beautiful building as we rounded the corner of the parking area.
The Blair Audubon Centre, a spacious post and beam structure which is off the grid and environmentally friendly, welcomed us at the entrance to the long boardwalk through the swamp.

As we began our hike along the boardwalk, we were entranced by the gentle majesty and peacefulness of the cypress forests and tall pines that graced the edges of the swamp.Swamp Lily in Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary

Beautiful herons, anhingas, hawks, owls and songbirds seemed to be waiting for us at every turn. They sat gracefully on stretched out branches and rested in the afternoon sun. Some were busy wading in the shallow swamp waters as they quietly searched for an evening meal.

Epiphytes and orchids clung to tree trunks or rose in the crotches of old tree trunks, adding colour and beauty to the grey bark of the winter trees.

We had found paradise; a paradise which has disappeared from more than 90% of the lands in Canada and the USA.
'This is where they come to', I sadly thought to myself. Epiphyte in Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary
What little paradise is left, our northern birds flock to when winter winds howl and our northern lands shut down for the cold months of December, January and February.

On that day, we were so amazed at how unafraid the creatures of the swamp were of us that we decided to go back the next day for the 'Moonlight Swamp Walk'.

It turned out to be an enchanting evening with a full moon hanging low in an azure sky. Haunting winter cyrpress trees and a boardwalk that seemed to glow stretched out in front of us.

Our guide, a spry little man in the latter years of his life whose love of nature had brought him to volunteer for this beautiful place, was as intriguing and eccentric as the forest creatures and flora he showed us.

Each plant and bird and creature had a story; a uniqueness that was all it's own and he seemed to be privy to the mysteries of the universe itself.Great Blue Heron in Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary

Of all the places in southern Florida to visit, I recommend a visit to the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary the most.

Children will come away enthralled and perhaps, as happened the day we were there, will be able to watch a small racoon forage for food from two feet away or have a Great Blue Heron land 3 feet away and curiously watch them with quick eye and cocked head.

In no other wild place, that I have been, do humans and nature interact so closely, both with a deep trust for one another, than at the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary.

Spring seems somehow closer at hand when the cold winter months are broken up with a trip south to visit our birds in their winter home - The Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary.

As one Canadian to another, Naples is an absolutely beautiful town and one well worth considering if you are thinking of buying a winter retreat or an investment property in Florida.
Contact me for more information.
I would be more than pleased to refer you to one of my real estate contacts in the Naples area who I am CERTAIN will take good care of you.

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Let's Get to Know One-Another:


Gary Woltal
Keller Williams Realty - Flower Mound, TX
Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth

Great bird and plant life photos Jo and you do sound like you are enjoying your trip to Naples so well. I like the spontaneous feeling you have on this trip and for sure you found a gem with the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary.

Feb 26, 2013 11:15 AM
Bruce Walter
Keller Williams Realty Lafayette/West Lafayette, Indiana - West Lafayette, IN
Jo, what a great place to visit outside of Naples, Florida! Those pictures were amazing! Enjoy your visit in warm, sunny Florida!
Feb 26, 2013 11:41 AM
Jo-Anne Smith
Oakville, ON

Hi Gary,

We had a wonderful time visiting Florida and the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary last month. If you've never been, you should make it a point to go sometime soon. You would love it there.


Feb 26, 2013 11:49 AM
Jo-Anne Smith
Oakville, ON

Thank you Bruce! We had a fabulous time there and can't wait to go again next year.


Feb 26, 2013 11:52 AM
John McCormack, CRS
Albuquerque Homes Realty - Albuquerque, NM
Honesty, Integrity, Results, Experienced. HIRE Me!

J0 - Simply stunning.... Thanks for sharing!

Feb 26, 2013 12:19 PM
Jo-Anne Smith
Oakville, ON

Thanks John! It's certainly a rare and beautiful sanctuary.


Feb 27, 2013 09:20 AM
Jennifer Fivelsdal
JFIVE Home Realty LLC | 845-758-6842|162 Deer Run Rd Red Hook NY 12571 - Rhinebeck, NY
Mid Hudson Valley real estate connection

JoAnne looks like a great place to visit, I will keep this sanctuary in case I visit the area.   Thanks for sharing your great finds.

Feb 28, 2013 11:57 AM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Hi Jo-Anne,

I've been to Naples several times and love it but I didn't know there was a Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary.

If I ever get back there, I'd definitely like to explore it. Thanks to you, I'm more excited about going back to Naples some time in the future. What an exciting place to visit and your photos, especially the owl are fantastic!

Mar 01, 2013 12:25 AM