Working-3-hickey-river-trees.jpg
NPR News, Classical and Music of the Delta
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Community

Girdled Cypress

Ouchley
K. Ouchley
/

On this place where we live and that we call Heartwood, Rocky Branch flows intermittently throughout the year. With the shallow water table beneath its watershed now depleted, the creek bed is often bone dry during the dog days of summer. On the other hand, the entire bottom may be inundated ten feet deep during naturally occurring, spring backwater floods. It is a tentacle of the D'Arbonne Swamp.

By any measure, legal or otherwise, the bottom is a wetland. The soil is saturated for much of the growing season and water-tolerant plants grew there historically. Some, like cypress trees, still do. However, in this species and on this site lies a troubling mystery. 
 

Related Content
  • That an old, time-marred box turtle in my hand today could be the same one held by my great grandfather on the edge of this swamp a hundred years ago…
  • Swamps sleep naked and are slow to awaken. Long after green-up in the uplands, deep overflow swamps that sustain Louisiana bayous and rivers remain…
  • It is quiet here now on the edge of this swamp, quiter than it has been in many years. Perhaps the level of background noise approached that when my…