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Francis Beidler Forest

Francis Beidler Forest

It was a long day at the workshop today, and an even longer one tomorrow, so another brief entry.

One of my favourite places in my two trips to the southeastern USA, Francis Beidler Forest near Charleston, South Carolina, protects old-growth cypress-tupelo swamp. Both bald-cypress (Taxodium distichum) and tupelo (Nyssa aquatica) are present in this photograph. The base of bald-cypress trees is buttressed (often with accompanying knees), while the base of the tupelo trees seem like swollen trunks (the leftmost two trees completely in the image are tupelo, while the next larger one is a bald-cypress). It is difficult to see in the photograph at this size, but the bark is also quite different: tupelo bark resembles the platiness of some reptile skins, while bald-cypress bark is stringier and forms a bit of a diamond pattern.

8 Comments

Daniel, thank you for this one. A wonderful photo and a great chance to see those exotic cypress knees. A swamp in South Carolina looks pretty good from the vantage point of our (Maine) snow - both piled up on the ground and falling.

Having spent many enjoyable hours at Beidler Forest, your photo is a great representation of the grand trees. However, you did not mention that they are festooned with lovely orchids, ferns, and epiphytes; a subtropical swamp at its best. Thanks to the Audubon Society for preserving and making this place available to all. Well worth the 40 or so minute drive from Charleston.

Thanks for sharing - what a great picture and wonderful to see given that it is about 5°F outside here in Pittsburgh!

Very nice mood-creating photo, Daniel. Whenever I read the word "tupelo" I am automatically transported to the deep south and spanish moss and southern live oaks - and oddly, Elvis Presley, who was born in Tupelo, Mississippi.

...and that's what I love about the South. Beautiful picture! Captures the feel of the swamp. Thank you for this site!!

I visited this forest 25 years ago. Worth the time, if one wants to experience what's left of old growth bald cypress.

Being in such woods exist only in my imagination; I've never seen such a forest. The moodiness you captured is wonderful on this late winter day here (MN)where it is warm enough today to create puddles, running water and to lower the piles of snow from a winter to remember for a while. Tupelo is such a wonderful name to roll off the tongue. Thanks!

What a wonderful picture, with its perfect dream reflections. (And how I envy you that workshop!)

Hmmm.... SC has Cypress swamps and apparently a fair amount of longleaf pine (both now getting a bit more respect)... what would be the best time for a cypress swamp, anybody have a guess?

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