Tall Tree at Gum Swamp

Tall Tree at Gum Swamp : Hiking on the trail loop of the Big Gum Swamp was interesting for a few minutes but became repetitious as the landscape remained the same and we sometime felt as if we were in a maze! The Big Gum Swamp is a large, almost 14,000 acre, fairly level fresh water flat and when we hiked the trails it was dry and there were few signs of life in the trees. This relatively undisturbed cypress-gum swamp is filled with endless stands of identical trees…are they pine Flatwoods? As we hiked, it seemed Big Gum Swamp was untouched by humans or any other life form but we later read in our guidebook back at camp that logging, or "turpentining", operations started in this area of Florida in the late 1800's and early 1900's. Most of the original existing timber stands were logged for the larger pine and cypress trees from 1915 to 1920. Since then, with the protection of the State of Florida, nearly all of the man-made intrusions into the Big Gum Swamp have been repaired and time has restored Big Gum Swamp to a condition that approximates the original “natural state”…ummm…and we named that “natural state” the “State of Boring.”! The long, hot , dry hike really was not the best we’ve ever seen in Florida as there was no wildlife but maybe it was the season? I did love this tall towering tree rising above everything else and for me it was the highlight of our trek that day! The tree is magnificent the way it stands above everything else! DAMI

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