Things to See in the Congaree (that do not involve firefly orgies)

I didn’t get any shots of the firefly orgy in Congaree National Park a few weeks ago, sadly. But I’m not too broken up about it, as you can tell if you read the post I linked. It was magical to just watch.

I did, however, get lots of other shots to share here, including this one I like a lot of the Congaree River itself.

 

 

The Spanish Moss was everywhere, and sometimes I could see interesting or funny patterns in its growth. I think this bit looks like Jesus-on-a-Popsicle-stick that some people wear around their necks.

 

 

There were so many different sorts of wildflowers growing, I could have just shot them for weeks on end in their scattered splotches of sunlight through the canopy.

 

 

I was trying to get a nice shot of this diagonally-aligned flowers (I love diagonal lines) when I was rudely photobombed.

 

 

Well, I like butterflies, so I’ll let it slide this time. There were lots of dragonflies of different sorts, some more obliging than others.

 

 

This sign seemed an important reminder as I got lost in shooting flowers and dragonflies and butterflies. The forest can still be dangerous, if you don’t pay attention.

 

 

I very nearly stepped on this crawfish. I’d never in my life seen one so big. We called them crayfish when I was growing up outside of Philly, and they were like two centimeters long. This one was closer to a dozen, if I had to guess.

 

 

And also very nearly stepped on this Velvet Ant. Velvet Ants are cool. They’re not actually ants, they’re wingless female wasps. That black and red coloration is to warn potential predators of their very nasty sting. They’re sometimes called Cow Killers, if that tells you anything.

 

 

And of course there were the birds. Always the birds. I love this very considerate Red-headed Woodpecker for giving me this wonderful shot.

 

 

And after years of looking for them, I finally added the Summer Tanager to my life-lists. That made me so very happy I think I danced a little in the forest.

 

 

And on one trail, I looked up and boom, added the Mississippi Kite to the life-lists, too.

 

 

 

 

 

The Congaree is a wonderful park, a national treasure if ever there was one. I’ll definitely be back, and might even have another go at shooting the fucking fireflies.