Sunday, July 19, 2015

Great Dismal Swamp

Joshua, Diana and I went to the Great Dismal Swamp today. The auto tour road is closed on Sundays, so we walked a mile or so to the Underground Railroad Pavilion and back. ("Underground" is not the same as "underworld"). The Pavilion talks about the maroons ("escaped slave") and how they survived in the swamp--mainly by hunting, surreptitious trading with loggers, and stealing from local farms. 

There are bears and bobcats in the swamp, but we only saw dragonflies and butterflies.

We did, however, see a couple of pines which had been stripped of their bark for their whole height. We suspect that this was due to the Great Swamp Bear, a reclusive species of 40ft tall ursines. During the day, they stay submerged in Lake Drummond, with only their adorable black noses protruding above water. They feed on alligators, giant mutant catfish, and canoes ("crunchy on the outside, chewy in the center!"). In the evening, they slip from their aquatic refuge and roam the woods. They strop their claws on the pines, removing the bark and sometimes breaking the tree in half when they get caught up in some particularly contentious philosophical point, or when strands of fiberglass are stuck in their teeth.

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