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Big Thicket National Preserve
Near Beaumont, Texas


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Big Thicket Visitor Center

Big Thicket Visitor Center

The Big Thicket National Preserve visitor center and museum in the Turkey Creek Unit.

Big Thicket National Preserve, Texas

Date photographed: November 7, 2017

Swamp display in Big Thicket Visitor Center

Swamp display in Big Thicket Visitor Center

Displays about the different habitats within Big Thicket include a swamp association with an alligator and a water mocassin.

Big Thicket National Preserve, Texas

Date photographed: November 7, 2017

Carnivorous plant display in the Big Thicket Visitor Center

Carnivorous plant display in the Big Thicket Visitor Center

Carnivorous pitcher plants inhabit the wetland pine savannah at Big Thicket. In the visitor center a model pitcher plant has a window showing the insect trap structure inside.

Big Thicket National Preserve, Texas

Date photographed: November 7, 2017

Kirby Nature Trail in Big Thicket

Kirby Nature Trail in Big Thicket

On the Kirby Nature Trail in the Turkey Creek Unit, near the visitor center. This trail samples the exceptional biological diversity of the Big Thicket.

Big Thicket National Preserve, Texas

Date photographed: November 7, 2017

Big Thicket forest

Big Thicket forest

The diverse forests of the Big Thicket include bald cypress, tupelo, beech, magnolia, sweet gum, oaks, and pines .

Big Thicket National Preserve, Texas

Date photographed: November 7, 2017

Bald cypress grove and pond

Bald cypress grove and pond

A bald cypress grove around a seasonal pond. The Big Thicket is inhabited by 60 mammal species, 86 reptile and amphibian species (including alligators), 96 fish, and over 300 birds.

Big Thicket National Preserve, Texas

Date photographed: November 7, 2017

Big Sandy Creek bridge

Big Sandy Creek bridge

The bridge over Big Sandy Creek connects the Kirby Nature Trail to the much longer Turkey Creek Trail. During floods earlier in the year water levels crested more than twenty feet above this bridge.

Big Thicket National Preserve, Texas

Date photographed: November 7, 2017

Big Thicket forest

Big Thicket forest

This mid-slope forest contains beech, magnolia, loblolly pine, and white oak. Higher on the slope are found longleaf pine and red oak, lower down sweetgum and blackgum trees.

Big Thicket National Preserve, Texas

Date photographed: November 7, 2017

Purposely burned pine forest

Purposely burned pine forest

The pine forest is kept diverse and vigorous by frequent fires. This area was opened up by a management fire two years previously.

Big Thicket National Preserve, Texas

Date photographed: November 7, 2017

Pitcher plants in pine savanna

Pitcher plants in pine savanna

Open forest in the wetland pine savanna is prime habitat for carnivorous pitcher plants. The hollow stems are lined with down-facing bristles which prevent insects that have ventured inside from climbing out. The insects are eventually digested by enzymes in the bottom of the tube.

Big Thicket National Preserve, Texas

Date photographed: November 7, 2017

Sarricenia carnivorous plants in the Big Thicket

Sarricenia carnivorous plants in the Big Thicket

Big Thicket is home to four of the five types of carnivorous plants in the United States. Most dramatic is the two-foot tall pitcher plant, Sarracenia, ocurring here along with the inconspicuous sundew.

Big Thicket National Preserve, Texas

Date photographed: November 7, 2017

Pitcher plant boardwalk

Pitcher plant boardwalk

The Pitcher Plant Trail boardwalk leads through a dense stand of carnivorous plants in a wet pine savanna.

Big Thicket National Preserve, Texas

Date photographed: November 7, 2017

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