Skipper and First Mate Millard (Big Bear and Pepe)
Mon 21 Nov 2011 23:47
The Great Dismal Swamp Visitors Centre
When I came in to park I managed to get a good twang on a fine branch and it rained pine needles all over us. The Captain snarled when he saw the state of his nice clean deck now half an inch deep. I went to make myself look busy indoors, he got the dustpan and brush, muttering something under his beard. That done we went to sign the visitors book in the small centre this side of the canal, Bear bought me a tiny pair of bee earrings and he chose a fridge magnet of a mosquito with the words “asking for blood, any type will do”. Then we trotted over the eighty foot, floating pedestrian bridge to visit the larger visitor centre on the other side.
On the way over the bridge we did the ‘photo thing’, Beez the last boat of the three, I hope the black bears we find like my super hero trousers
The Visitors Centre
We were welcomed by a lady, bimbled round the exhibitions, then we sat in the theatre, in the dark, in the back row of course, and watched a short film about the park. The Great Dismal Swamp is the largest remaining swamp in the eastern USA. Approximately 112,000 acres are protected by the US Fish and Wildlife Service in the Great Dismal Swamp Wildlife Refuge. In 1974 the state of North Carolina purchased 14,344 acres from The Nature Conservancy for $2.2 million to establish the Dismal Swamp State Park, here in Camden County, North Carolina, so that valuable biological, geological, scenic and recreational values could be protected. The area is very flat and the soils are almost entirely peat of various depths. The Division of Parks and Recreation is charged with preserving these values and providing park experiences that promote pride in, and understanding of, North Carolina’s natural heritage. The park is on the National Register of Historic Places, designated a National Historic Engineering Landmark, and recognised as part of the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom Program. It is also part of both NC and Virginia Civil War Trails.
The swamp supports a large variety of migratory neotropical birds, mammals (including the Dismal Swamp southeastern shrew, black bear and bobcat), reptiles, amphibians and significant butterfly fauna.
I asked Bear to pose – bad idea
He wasn’t impressed and this one wanted to chew his own foot off
The rest were stunned
We wandered the boardwalk until closing time, Bear not too thrilled at the number of wrigglies we might see
I got to feel Tony and his weapon (these Park Rangers are also Law Enforcement Officers)
ALL IN ALL LOOKING FORWARD TO THE BEAR HUNT TOMORROW
NO WRIGGLIES PLEASE