"The Big Cypress Swamp of southwest Florida is basically a flat, gently sloping limestone plain. During the rainy season (June through September), water flows slowly southward over this plain into the mangrove swamps bordering the Gulf of Mexico. Water also flows below ground through the porous underlying limestone. In places, limestone has dissolved, forming elongated sloughs or channels which have accumulated deep organic soils. These channels or sloughs have been colonized by cypress and other trees, creating swamp forests that stand out on the horizon in contrast to the open prairies and pinelands that occupy the sterile veneer of marl soil which is on top of the remaining limestone. The local term for these linear swamps is strand."
Fakahatchee Strand State Preserve P.O. Box 548 Copeland, FL 33926
This is a large area that I visit when I'm up for a quiet drive along dirt roads which is quite often. I like the Janes Scenic Drive designated section which also happens to be the road we were on the only time we've ever spotted a Florida Panther. While it was quite far away it was unmistakably a panther as we watched it cross the road. As we expected it was long gone by the time we reached the where it had been but we were happy to have gotten a brief spotting.