‘For everyone who departs this life, they say, a cypress is planted.’

“Since the consensus among those who know the flora of the area is that cypress trees are not native to Sarasota County, when you find cypress trees here you can usually assume they were planted. But I know of a cypress head in Myakka that was not planted.  It’s in the Wilderness Preserve across from the entrance to Myakka Valley subdivision.  A path that runs along the east side of a borrow bit pond (probably dug for fill when the highway was paved) takes you to a very nice cypress stand.  These large trees are covered with butterfly orchids, which are beautiful in June when they are all in bloom.  Of course you can expect to be wading knee-deep in swamp water that time of year, with mosquitoes buzzing around your head.  But some years the rains begin later, delaying the arrival of hatching mosquitoes… When questioned about the origin of the cypress swamp across from Myakka Valley, he said that when he was a young boy there was only one big old cypress tree in a marsh in that location.  Old maps show that an old wagon road passed along that marsh, so perhaps a wagon traveling through the area sometime back in the 1800s dropped a seed that was the beginning of the only cypress swamp in Sarasota County not actually planted by people.”


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