(4.1) EXPLORATION: Swamp-Stomp to the Almost Lost World

Swamp-Stomp to the

Almost Lost World

Of the Ocklawaha River Valley

Photo Memory Gallery

NOTE: Click-on individual photos to enlarge them!

Live Oak

An Information, Opinion, Photos, & Sources Report

Compiled by Ocklawahaman Paul Nosca

Photos by Ocklawahaman Paul Nosca, Captain Erika Ritter, Gwen Parramore Ritter, Roy R. "Robin" Lewis III, & K. Alwine

Created: 19 February 2013

Last Revised: 24 December 2016

ATTENTION: SWAMP-STOMPING EXPLORERS OF THE FLORIDA WILDS

AN ADVENTUROUS AND DETERMINED SWAMP-STOMPER, equipped with the proper gear, can explore the Ocklawaha's Almost Lost World island--if he or she can find it! Slightly elevated above the encircling floodplain, this is the most remote mesic-hammock island of the entire Ocklawaha River basin. The Almost Lost World contains a nearly ancient-looking "loblolly pine-red cedar-mixed hardwood" forest. Along with its surrounding "bald cypress-mixed hardwood" swamp, this segment of the Ocklawaha River's adjacent dense woods abounds in big and/or very tall examples of many different species of Florida-native trees including isolated living-giant, "old-growth" bald cypress (a.k.a. baldcypress) and live oak "survivors" that range from perhaps 200 up to possibly more than 1000 years old.

Live Oak

Live Oak

Baldcypress

BUT THIS ISOLATED small "world" of centuries-old cypress and oaks was almost "lost" forever back in the early 1970's! The enormous trees of the Almost Lost World island and its neighboring Ocklawaha River floodplain swamp grow from natural ground elevations at about 25 to 35 feet above sea level. The planned 40-foot elevation "Eureka Pool" (man-made barge navigation impoundment) to be flooded for the Cross Florida Barge Canal (CFBC) project would have DROWNED all of these living "mammoths" to death in the extra 5 to 15 feet of nearly perpetual backwater--if U.S. President Richard M. Nixon hadn't ordered a HALT to all further construction of the CFBC project on 21 January 1971.

http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2008-04-20/news/miket20_1_nixon-ocklawaha-river-johns-river

Circa October 1968: Captain Erika Ritter & "THE MONSTER"

300-ton+ Crusher-crawler machine that was used to destroy

the Ocklawaha River's floodplain forest for the construction of Rodman Reservoir.

"Eureka Pool" was scheduled to be built next. Much of its forest would have been cut, crushed, or drowned!

SOMEWHERE out there in the swamps of north-central Florida's Ocklawaha River

--IT LOOMS--

the ALMOST LOST WORLD island

beckons the swamp-stomping hiker

who is full of "gusto" and knows that "You only go around once!"

Baldcypress

Baldcypress

Baldcypress

Live Oak

Live Oak

Live Oak

Live Oak

Live Oak

Live Oak

Live Oak

Live Oak

Live Oak

Live Oak

Live Oak

Pumpkin Ash

Southern Red Cedar (NOTE: This tree is NOT a bald cypress)

Southern Red Cedar

Southern Red Cedar

Southern Red Cedar

Southern Red Cedar

Southern Red Cedar

Loblolly Pine

Loblolly Pine

Longleaf Pine

Swamp Tupelo

Swamp Tupelo

Sweetgum

Baldcypress

Baldcypress

Baldcypress

Baldcypress

WARNING TO ALL THOSE WHO ARE FULL OF "GUSTO"

The Almost Lost World island is "protected" at various times by many creatures including: "skeeters", ticks, hornets, wasps, scorpions, venomous spiders, cottonmouth moccasins, coral snakes, diamondback rattlesnakes, alligators, black bears, wild hogs, bobcats, coyotes, foxes, and rhesus monkeys plus quite possibly the ghosts of Florida panthers and ivory-billed woodpeckers.

Hornet nest

Cottonmouth (Water) Moccasin

Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake

American Alligator

American Alligator

Black Bear

Black Bear

Wild Hog "Razorback"

Wild Hog "Razorback"

Bobcat

Gray Fox

Red Fox

Rhesus Monkey

REFERENCE AS: Nosca, P. 2016. "Swamp-stomp to the almost lost world of the Ocklawaha River Valley" webpage report. "Paul Nosca's bass fishing photos" website. Paul Nosca, Eureka, FL.

https://sites.google.com/site/paulnoscasbassfishingphotos/swamp-stomp-to-the-almost-lost-world

Email: ocklawahaman1@gmail.com

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