Gir Forest National Park is a wildlife sanctuary in Gujarat, western India. It was established to protect Asiatic lions. Gir National Park is the only place in the world outside Africa where a lion can be seen in its natural habitat. The lions of Gir are a majestic animal, averaging 2.75 meters in length, and with a bigger tail tassel, bushier elbow tuffs and prominent belly folds than his African cousin which has larger mane. Gir is a home to 40 species of mammals and 425 species of birds.
We went on four safaris at Gir using open air utility vehicles. Here is a composite of the entrances to the park and two vehicles following a lion walking on the forest road.
The National Audubon Society’s Francis Beidler Forest in Four Holes Swamp contains within its 18,000+ acres, the largest remaining stand of virgin Bald Cypress/Tupelo Gum swamp forest left anywhere in the world. One thousand year-old trees and native wildlife abound in this pristine sanctuary that has been untouched for millennia.
On our camera club field trip, we were underwhelmed by the number of birds and wildlife that we saw, but viewing the swamp from the boardwalk was worthwhile.
A cypress knee is a distinctive structure forming above the roots of a cypress tree. Their function is unknown, but they are generally seen on trees growing in swamps. Some current hypotheses state that they might help to aerate the tree’s roots, create a barrier to catch sediment and reduce erosion, assist in anchoring the tree in the soft and muddy soil, or any combination thereof.
Water lilies at the The Highlands Biological Station, Nature Center, and Botanical Gardens, a public garden and nature sanctuary that showcases the diverse flora of the southern Appalachians in North Carolina