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Audubon’s Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary
Monthly eNewsletter
Ghost Orchid blossoms
The "Super" Ghost Orchid is Blooming!
Like tiny fireworks, the first buds began blossoming in time for the July Fourth holiday weekend. These rare, flowering plants rely on extremely sensitive, wetland habitats, and are only known to live in South Florida and Cuba. Our “Super” ghost orchid, the largest ever discovered, is located about 70 feet off the ground on a bald cypress tree roughly 100 feet off the boardwalk. This week’s photo depicts a small caterpillar on one of the blossoms – we’ve seen this before and it is natural. To see the blooms, orchid enthusiasts are encouraged to bring a spotting scope or binoculars, and a recommended lens length of 600 mm to get a good photograph. Online tickets are recommended.
 Read more.
The "Super" Ghost Orchid on July 9. Photo: R J Wiley
A view of a wetland surrounded by green vegetation
Rainy Season has Returned to the Sanctuary
Right on cue, the rainy season returned in early June with the arrival of a large tropical system that brought more than five inches of rainfall to Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary. Since June 1, water levels have gone from below ground throughout most of the Sanctuary to several feet of standing water in the deepest spots (nearly three feet of standing water at the Lettuce Lakes). Our rain gauge recorded a whopping 13.75 inches for the month of June!
Water levels are rising. Photo: Allyson Webb
side-by-side comparison of site 2021-A one year
250 More Acres Are Under Restoration
Audubon has an ambitious goal to restore 1,000 acres of marsh and wet prairie habitat at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary by 2023, and we’re already seeing extraordinary results from our efforts. Sanctuary staff are hard at work transforming these shrub-dominated landscapes back into highly productive and biologically diverse wetlands. During this dry season, we were able to mulch more than 250 acres, with much more progress on the horizon.
Side-by-side comparison of site 2021-A before and one year after mulching.
Photo montage of camper activities
What a Week! Wild Florida Adventure Camp
What does the ideal summer camp look like to you? If it includes nature discovery, swamp buggy rides, and alligators, we have it covered! With themes like “Insect Investigators” and “Talons, Teeth, and Claws,” kids ages 6 to 10 are immersed in all sorts of activities related to life in the swamp. At the end of each fun-filled week, we undoubtedly hear our campers telling their parents, “I want to do MORE weeks of this camp!” There are still some spaces available in late July and early August. Many thanks to our volunteer photographer Donald Sawin for capturing many of these precious moments.
Summer campers are engaged in nature discovery.
A person standing on a wooden platform with arms outstretched in fog
Relax Your Mind, Body, and Spirit on National Hammock Day
Immerse in the healing powers of the forest. On July 22, visitors can take advantage of hammocks and rocking chairs placed around the Blair Audubon Visitor Center, as well as the benches located along the shady boardwalk to soak in nature. Visitors are also invited to sign up for a guided boardwalk tour or a Forest Bathing Meditation, led by Candyce Stafford, in our newly renovated amphitheater on the boardwalk. Come out to learn about animals in the swamp at the interpretive table and enter the drawing for a free family membership. 

National Hammock Day admission on July 22 is $5 per person and FREE for Friends of Corkscrew Members, Members of the US Military/Veterans (with ID), and for children under 15 years old. Select July 22 with regularly priced tickets and the Hammock Day discount will be applied at checkout. The guided tour and meditation are an additional fee of $3 each (separate tickets are required).
Forest bathing. Photo: David Korte
Photo of a duck on a palm tree.
Audubon Photography Awards
The National Audubon Society announced the winners of its thirteenth annual Audubon Photography Awards. This year, judges awarded eight prizes across five divisions from a pool of 2,416 entrants from all 50 states, Washington D.C., and seven Canadian provinces and territories. Award winners and honorable mentions will travel the country as part of an Audubon Photography Awards exhibit, where they will be on display at 28 venues in 19 states – including at Audubon’s Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary. We’re proud to see two award winners from Florida! The Video Honorable Mention went to Xiao Hu, who’s video of a Great Blue Heron in flight was filmed at the La Chua Trail in Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park. The Youth Award Winner, Jayden Preussner, photographed a pair of Black-bellied Whistling Ducks at Farm 13/Stick Marsh, in Indian River County.
Scroll past the news for more information and events!
in the news graphic
Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary in the News
Swamp Tours – Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary offers an Ancient Forest Tour from 9 a.m.-noon. Corkscrew’s ancient bald cypress forest is the world’s largest remaining old growth bald cypress forest and was protected from logging in 1954.

Searching Big Cypress National Preserve For Cigar Orchids
Dr. Hong Liu’s trip into the Big Cypress National Preserve was off to a bad start. The Florida International University professor was searching for a particularly rare orchid. She and her crew of  students had a long way to ride to get near to where they had been reported. Recently, they have been a target for poachers as surely as the better-known but equally rare ghost orchid found in nearby Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park and Audubon’s Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary.

Things to Do at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary
Join us for our NEW and exciting nature-based summer camp for children ages 6-10 years at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary. Each week features a different theme with fun, interactive, hands-on activities for campers to explore the natural wonders of the Sanctuary.
Corkscrew SIGHTINGS: Great crested flycatchers can be seen and heard
While not often seen, these birds are common, and once you’ve learned to identify their calls, you can discover their location high up in the treetops. Most commonly heard is a loud, clear “whee-eep” whistle that will rise quickly and end abruptly. They use this sound to communicate between mated pairs, parents and young, or as a warning call when a threat is spotted. On your next trek along the boardwalk, perhaps you’ll hear the call or see a great crested flycatcher.
"Super" ghost orchid at Audubon Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary in bloom again – video interview
"Super" ghost orchid at Audubon Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary in bloom again. The record breaking orchid is blooming. Interview with Sally Stein, director of public programs.

A rare 'Super' ghost orchid is blooming at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary. Here's how to see it
Fireworks of another kind have begun in the wilds of Southwest Florida. Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary in Collier County announced July 1 that the rare "Super" ghost orchid has begun blooming. Ghost orchids are rare flowering plants that rely on extremely sensitive, wetland habitats, and are only known to live in southern Florida and Cuba. “I love seeing the first ghost orchid blossom of summer for its beauty and hope,” said Sanctuary Director Lisa Korte, PhD, in a news release.

Rare ghost orchid found at Audubon Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary
Volunteers at Audubon’s Corkscrew Swamp sanctuary in Collier County found something incredible while they were working in 2007. It’s called a ghost orchid because it doesn’t have any flowers until it suddenly blooms - which it did this week.
Sally Stein, the director of public programs for Audubon Florida, explained that this is a rare flower. “We only have about a thousand of them in Florida,” Stein said. “Half that are mature enough to bloom. They’re hard to see.”

Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary’s “Super” ghost orchid is blooming
The “Super” ghost orchid at Audubon’s Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary is now blooming. Ghost orchids (Dendrophylax lindenii) are rare flowering plants that rely on extremely sensitive, wetland habitats, and are only known to live in South Florida and Cuba. “I love seeing the first ghost orchid blossom of summer for its beauty and hope,” says Sanctuary Director Lisa Korte, Ph.D. “This delicate, dancing, white flower shows that we are protecting Corkscrew Swamp in a manner than allows nature to thrive — we are lucky to have one of these amazing orchids visible from our boardwalk,” she added.

The 9 Best Boardwalks to Visit in Florida
Long walks on the beach are great and all, but have you tried strolling along a boardwalk? Boardwalks come in a few different forms. When it comes to the best boardwalks in Florida, it's hard to beat the two-mile Audubon Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary boardwalk in beautiful Naples on the west coast. As you walk along the twists and turns of this boardwalk through pine flatwoods, wet prairie, marshland, and the largest old-growth Bald Cypress forest in North America, you may feel as if you've stepped back in time, beholding the Florida that once was. Make sure to keep your eyes peeled for wildlife such as white-tailed deer, raccoons, and alligators.
Morning view of boardwalk.
Early Access Days for Friends of Corkscrew Members
Friends of Corkscrew membership has its privileges. In addition to free admission to the boardwalk all year, members can now access the boardwalk at 7 a.m. one day a month! Members have the opportunity to observe early morning wildlife activity and enjoy this magical early hour on the boardwalk. See dates and details.
Morning view of the boardwalk.
People on the boardwalk
Upcoming Events
Check out these upcoming tours and events!
NABA Butterfly Survey July 21
National Hammock Day July 22
Night Walk July 25
Ancient Forest Tour July 27
Night Walk August 1
Ancient Forest Tour August 4
Sunset Stroll August 10
Night Walk August 11 Guided tour details and registration.
People enjoying the boardwalk. Photo: David Korte
Butterfly on a flower
NABA Butterfly Survey July 21
The annual butterfly survey at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary is part of the North American Butterfly Association (NABA) butterfly surveys that are conducted across the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Anyone with an interest is invited to participate in this half-day event – it is a great way to learn more about the butterflies of our region.  Read more and register.
Monarch butterfly.
photo of butterfly merchandise
What's New at the Nature Store
Find books, photography, and wares by area artists, t-shirts, and other items produced by local businesses, there’s even hand-crafted jewelry, housewares, and more. We constantly receive new merchandise! Don’t forget to stop in on your next visit. Check out the offerings at our online store.
Butterfly merchandise at the Nature Store.
Donations and memberships provide crucial support for conservation work at the Sanctuary. The Blair Audubon Center and boardwalk are open daily with timed admissions from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Online tickets are required at
Audubon’s Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary
375 Sanctuary Rd., Naples, FL 34120 USA
(239) 348-9151 |

© 2024 National Audubon Society, Inc.

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