We all know about Groundhog Day. This cute, little furry critter crawls out of his hole and peaks around looking for his shadow and promptly crawls back in. But, has anyone ever introduced you to Sammy and Sally? No, well let me be the first. Meet Sammy and Sally Snake, Shallotte River Swamp Park’s very own weather forecasters, and SssSssseriously cool creatures.
Sammy and Sally have been in brumation during the winter. What is that? Well, it is a similar state to hibernation. Cold-blooded animals like snakes brumate during the cold weather months. Their body systems slow down-eating, drinking, etc. stops or nearly stops. When temperatures begin to rise, snakes will leave the protection of their homes in search of a nice, sunny area to warm their weary bones and grab a bite to eat.
It has been a bit lonesome around here this winter without our friends Sammy and Sally. But, here at Shallotte River Swamp Park, we have it on very good authority that spring will be here before you know it. How do we know this? Well, Sammy and Sally have been spotted peaking from their homes recently. So, again I say, who needs a groundhog anyway? Shallotte River Swamp Park has some SssSssseriously cool weather forecasting snakes. Oh, I nearly forgot to mention in the anticipation of Spring, we are OPEN now on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays by reservation.
Swamps throughout the years have commonly been looked at as a waste and a nuisance, but that just isn’t the case. Swamps are a necessary part of our ecosystem and should be respected for what they are and not just what they can do for us.
Throughout the world, you can find swamps of many varieties: Saltwater, Freshwater, Forested and Shrub. Most are found located near rivers or streams and others can be found on tropical coastlines. What is a Swamp? Well, it can best be described as an uncultivated, generally low-lying area where water gathers. A wetland if you will. These waters can be slow moving or still and their water levels vary with season, weather, and tides. Some swamps are former lakes or ponds, others are formed by ancient sinkholes or tidal flooding. The portion of the Green Swamp where the Shallotte River Swamp Park is located in a forested (Cypress Tree), freshwater swamp located on a river on a sub-tropical coastline. Phew, now that was a mouthful.
So why should you care about swamps? Well, swamps serve a very important role in flood protection by storing excess runoff water and often act as a natural water treatment facility, filtering water through its dense vegetation. They prove to be an essential part of our ecosystem housing a variety of vegetation and animals-some endangered. Without swamps, loss of entire species would be guaranteed.
Here’s an idea–why not come and visit a swamp and see what all the fuss is about. There are lots to do and see.