Saturday, September 10, 2011

Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge

One of our first adventures here was our trip to the Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge. We were bored Saturday afternoon so we decided to go for a drive. There were some areas of town we hadn't seen yet and we figured we might as well check them out. The drive aroud town was fun, but not super exciting. We found ourselves on a road that headed south out of town and decided to see where it went. It sure was a pretty drive! There were lots of pretty houses and lots and lots of trees. We've started to get excited any time we come across a big open stretch of land; we're just not used to all the trees! After driving awhile we came to the Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge and decided to check it out. At first it was a little boring; all you could see were more trees. Then we saw a sign for a boardwalk to a lake and decided to check it out.
It was awesome! The boardwalk led us off through the trees and into a swampy area. Most of the water was gone this time of year, but it was still really cool!

There was Cypress trees growing everywhere, with what appeared to be huge vines hanging off them. You could almost see Tarzan swinging through the forest on them! Apparently these are the areal roots of the wild grape vines that grow in the swamp. When the swamp is full, the roots can't breathe and so they send out these vine-like roots that hang all over the place.

Sticking out of the ground was a forest of "tree's knees", which are growths up through the soil, about a foot high, that come from the tree roots. These serve the same purpose as the areal roots on the vines, making possible for them to breathe when the swamp is full.

Bluff Lake, at the end of the boardwalk, was really pretty. It had large carpets of lily pads that were really cool. The leaves were at least two feet in diameter, easily the biggest lily pads I'd ever seen. All over the lake were tree stumps sticking out above the surface of the water.
We spent quite a while just enjoying the water fowl and the view here. As you can see though, Erik wasn't terribly impressed with the whole thing.

We really enjoyed our surprise visit to Noxubee and can't wait to go back and see some more of the area. The biggest dissapointment of the day was when on our way out of the refuge we stopped at an information booth and discovered that there are alligators living in Bluff Lake and we hadn't seen a single one. We're going to have to keep going back until we see one. We'll have to keep a safe distance from the edge though. We were talking to a couple in our ward and they told us one of their friends had been walking her dog along the lake shore and a gator jumped out and almost got the dog. They also told us there is a 13 foot alligator that calls Bluff Lake home. Poor Ethan is now not allowed to go fishing there as he'd hoped to do. I still can't wrap my mind around the idea that I live somewhere where there are wild alligators. I guess I'm going to have to see it to believe it.


  1. 13 feet! Holy alligator. That's amazing. What a fun find!

  2. Alligators are pretty cool to see - mostly from a distance! I do hope you get to hold a small one while you are there! I loved the cypress trees when we lived in Florida, I didn't know they had them in Mississippi as well. Makes me a little homesick to see pictures of the cypress grove and all the knuckles (tree knees).

  3. Ooh, sounds like y'all are having some grand adventures so far... even if Erik isn't enjoying them as much. ;) He is adorable!! Wish I could pick him up through the computer screen! :)

    I am glad you started this! Fun to see what you're up to. :)

    Love, Sarah

  4. Wow, a swamp is just not something I can imagine very well. Thanks for the pics and I hope you'll go back when it isn't dry. What fun you are going to have. I remember when we moved to Ohio, our first adventure was a drive into the trees - to look at the colors change. It was beautiful and so different from anything I had seen before. Life is wonderful.