Monday, June 02, 2008

Swamp Serenade

On Saturday, the Audubon Center at the Francis Beidler Forest hosted Piccolo Spoletto's Swamp Serenade. Guests began the evening with wine and hor'dourves in the nature center followed by a short walk into the swamp to the Meeting Tree at #4 along the boardwalk.

Kathy Livingston of Nature Adventures Outfitters sang and played guitar under the massive Bald Cypress tree that is surrounded by the boardwalk and seating for 30 people. Guests enjoyed food and drink while singing along with Kathy. Before leaving, a male Prothonotary Warbler (Protonotaria citrea) made an upclose appearance, sang a few notes of his own, and provided our guests from Mississippi with a "life bird."

Continuing the leisurely walk through the nearly mosquito-free swamp (they don't like the flowing water, contrary to recent newspaper reports), guests arrived at Goodson Lake for additional refreshments. The evening in the swamp was spectacular with clear skies, pleasant temperatures, low humidity and wonderful music. At the lake, Jessie Cockcroft entertained the group with a variety of accordion numbers, including requests. The alligator did not make a formal request, but its non-verbal did appear to say, "Have you no homes of your own?"

The final stop before returing to refreshments at the nature center was with Jack Smith, Poet Laureate for Dorchester County. Jack told several stories spanning American history from Colonial times to the present. His announcement that the "Barrrrge is coming!" to a Colonial plantation along the river was answered by a present-day Barred Owl (Strix varia) hooting just over Jack's head.

We hope you'll be able to join us next year!

Images by Mark Musselman

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