Ghost Orchids, Moths and Fireflies

Waddy Thompson captured this incredible image and several others during a recent after hours walk along the boardwalk at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary.

Waddy Thompson captured this incredible image and several others during a recent after hours walk along the boardwalk at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary.

Experience Corkscrew's boardwalk and ancient bald cypress forest at the next After Hours event on Friday, July 12, when visitors can explore the forest on their own and participate in group discussions and guided walks and at interpretive stations. The Sanctuary will stay open until 9 p.m., past its regular closing time of 5:30. The July 12 event is the last After Hours of the 2012-13 season. The popular events will resume in October 2013.

An evening walk through the forest allows visitors a respite from the summer heat. The boardwalk and forest are kept cool -- at least 10 degrees cooler than daytime -- by shade from the giant bald cypress and the luxuriant growth of vegetation.

Interpreters stationed along the boardwalk will help guests spot ghost orchids, fireflies and rare fungi growing on pop ash trees -- visible during one week of July.

Frankie Colt, a Naples native, will perform live music from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Colt writes and plays her own music including fusion, bluegrass, folk, pop, and grunge.

The July 12 After Hours event is also notable for deeper levels of water in the swamp, and a cacophony of frogs calling, fireflies showing their brilliance and summer plants and flowers in bloom.

The sun will set at 8:23 p.m., giving visitors an extended evening show of the sky and forest bathed in pastel colors while animals begin to stir for a night of foraging.

After Hours Details

• A naturalist presentation on the ghost orchid will be held in the classroom at 6 p.m. for visitors to learn more about the elusive orchid.

• Local musician, Frankie Colt, performs at 6:30 p.m.

• A naturalist guided walk will leave the center at 7 p.m.

• A telescope will be positioned on the boardwalk from 8:15 to 9 p.m. for observations of stars and planets, courtesy of Rick Piper of the Everglades Astronomical Society.

*Please Note: It is suggested that participants bring a red light, or cover their flashlights with red cellophane before using them on the boardwalk. The use of red light reduces the loss of your night vision which occurs when using a white light.

There is no additional charge beyond the regular admission of $12 per adult; $6 for college students with ID; $4 for children 6 to 18 years old, and free for Friends of Corkscrew Members and children under 6.

This story is contributed by a member of the Naples community and is neither endorsed nor affiliated with In The 239

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