While watching the video on the field to the Six Mile Cypress Slough, I learned a lot of fascinating information and facts about this environment. I learned about impervious surfaces and how water cannot percolate in the ground, which is a major part of Florida. Wetlands will absorb the water and release it into downstream ecosystems and filter pollutants out of the water. The parking lot at the Six Mile Cypress slough has hardwood trees and pine trees.
I also learned that by coming at different times in the year, you will notice that the area will be drier. The cypress trees will lose their leaves in the wintertime and the water levels will fluctuate. The wood duck pond has depressions that allow the water to persist in those areas during the dry season. Different species of lichen grow on the trees and creates a mutual relationship with the trees.
This environment has a lot of diverse animal species (like alligators, turtles, birds, and otters) and plants. You could hear the crickets chirping and the sounds of wildlife throughout the video, which was nice. On mark 7 of the trail guide, it points out the slash pines. They expend as much energy as they can when they are younger trees before they get branches that grow above the fire line. Some areas of the water have an iced-tea color which is from the tannic acid in the water. The leaves fall off of the trees and as they decay in the water, they release the chemical tannins.
At station 10 of the trail, there is a large diverse tree that is nicknamed the “grandmother tree” which is an old cypress tree. The categories of wetlands are based on topography. One of the most common one is the basin wetland which is low-lying area where water collects. In places with increased elevation, more upland species will appear. Just a few inches of elevation can cause major differences in the environment.
The Six Mile cypress slough is important to preserve because it provides a home to many creatures and plants, as well as absorb water, filter it, and release it to other ecosystems. The threats to the continued existence of this park would include disruptive and harmful human activity and fires (which are rare in these wetlands).
This trip helped me understand sense of place because you are able to witness an environment that serves multiple purposes to both wildlife and humans. Leaving a positive ecological footprint will allow places like this to flourish and continue to bring more life and sustainability to all living things.