MAT MARTIN | Field Recording – Loop Road, Big Cypress, April 30 2018
22 May, 2018, 11:00
Sweetwater, Loop Road, Big Cypress, April 30 2018
The Loop Road strays from Highway 41 at Ochopee, and offers 27 miles of mostly dirt road through Dwarf Cypress forest/swamp.
The Gator Hook Trail, at the North end of the Loop Road, opens initially onto some beautiful open spaces, russet and silver in palette and scattered with limestone pavement. Here the wind was too high for a successful recording, but we walked the first few hundred metres, until it became clear we had neither the time nor footwear to delve into the swamp proper. A pair of Northern Cardinal followed us through the high grasses and silver birches, alternating percussive alarm calls with mellifluous song.
This recording was made further down the Loop Road and is from the edge of one of the many pools to either side of it. Having stopped for a very visible Black-crowned Night Heron, we slowly became aware of the presence of two huge Alligators, White Ibis, Great Egret, Least Bittern, Green Heron and the only American Bittern we would see on our trip.
Insects were prevalent, as were songbirds to our North, and although it didn’t call we were watched over throughout by a Red-bellied Woodpecker.
The pool was one of the last we stopped at before the road turned back to asphalt and we passed through the sleepy town of Pinecrest. Something of an underbelly was suggested by the abandoned gas station, outside which was a rusted out ’52 Dodge with old shop mannequins in the front seats and a plastic skeleton in the back.
Not a soul to be seen apart from the Wood Storks, standing sentinel in overgrown gardens.