I took this photo in April, 2009. My cousin was visiting from New York and Sarah was showing us the Natchez Trace which stretches diagonally across Mississippi, cuts through Alabama, then winds down to end in Nashville, Tennessee. The original path is over 8,000 years old and was traced by buffalo, trekked by Indians and trampled by trappers, traders and missionaries. It’s also known as the “Path to the Choctaw Nation” (Kirkpatrick). The Lower Natchez Trace is where the famous Cypress Swamp is located and we didn’t want to miss an important spot! Sara parked the car, we dutiful grabbed out cameras and walked into the swamp’s shadowy heart.
I was a little nervous venturing into the Cypress Swamp – I wanted to see an alligator but at the same time I really didn’t. There was nothing but stillness all around although I kept imagining movement in the stagnant water. It was eerily quiet and dark, beams of sunlight fought their way through the water tupelo and bald cypress trees. Moisture hung in the air, not in a stifling way but more like a soft dew that encouraged the microscopic insects to swarm in your face. I felt like no place on earth could be so isolated, so solitary. Anything could happen in a swamp like that and nobody would ever know.