Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Swamp

I read a guest post over at Money Saving Mom 9 Ideas for Planning a Fun Summer Vacation,  accompanied by photos of the author and her kids by the Golden Gate Bridge and at the beach. Clearly playing the tourist is more exciting when you live in the San Francisco Bay Area than in Any Small Town U.S.A. Here teens hang out in the car wash parking lot and Walmart is the biggest thing going on Friday night (outside of football season, naturally). Rating local parks won't carry us far. There are two in town; one is so small it's hardly worth mentioning. We can't all live in the same place. Thankfully. Good ideas are relevant for some, not for others. Any kind of fun you can have in SFO: not relevant for me.

After so many moves, I'm learning the lesson: love where you are, not where you aren't.

Yesterday we made a trip to the airport. Four hours driving, round trip. While we were out "in the world" we stopped at a trail,  played the tourist. Except a tourist would never have found that place. Like so many interesting places in Arkansas, there were no road signs. Only an article clipped from a newspaper, lucky turns down country roads, and a 15 minute walk out into the swamp.

But it was the Cypress-tupelo swamp that lured us there. We'd never been to a swamp before, though we'd had long discussions what they might be like as we zipped by them on the highway. We were bent on discovery.

So, tongue in cheek, I'll ask: what kind of fun can you find two hours from home?

Above and below: the Bald Cypress trees

A word on the snakes: We saw three snakes on our walk. Another couple on the trail told us they were cottonmouths. Looking at their photos on the computer, I wonder if they really are. Rumor has it cottonmouths (water moccasins) have slanty, cat-like pupils. These seem to be round. As with any nature ID I attempt, I've looked at three internet sites and have no real clarity on this issue. Perhaps my brother would like to weigh in?

Zoom lens. I make it my rule in life to never, under any circumstances, come in any contact, nor invade the space of any snake no matter how harmless it may trick you into believing it may be. That way I'm safe. Snakes = NO!

1 comment:

  1. From what I remember, poisonous snakes in North America (with the exception of one: the coral snake) are pit vipers. The pits give them funny looking heads, and that's how I've always identified poisonous snakes: by looking for the angular head. But still, better safe than sorry. I could be wrong. Maybe the one-time herpetologist of the family can weigh in.