Tree dating at the great dismal swamp
— Local legend maintains that an Indian maiden, who died just before her wedding day, can be seen periodically paddling her ghostly white canoe across the amber water of Lake Drummond in the Great Dismal Swamp.
It has a certain look with all the gnarled cypress trees,`` Lillie Gilbert said.Gilbert owns Wild River Outfitters in Virginia Beach.She, like many other paddlers, enjoys the swamp as a setting rather than a challenge. The scenery is uncommon.``The thing that makes it so interesting is that it`s very isolated,``said Gerald Levy, Old Dominion University professor of biological sciences,``and it lies within an area of a million people.``This National Wildlife Refuge, in the southeastern corner of Virginia and overlapping into three northeastern counties of North Carolina, consists of 107,000 acres of forested wetlands and a 3,100-acre lake.Lake Drummond is one of only two natural lakes in Virginia and has an average depth of only 6 feet.
But who can distinguish ghosts from fox fire when you`re worrying about quicksand and snakes, when your clothes are being tugged and torn by passing thorns, when the gnarled and partly submerged cypress trees look like something else in the half light, when it`s night in the Great Dismal Swamp?
English writer Charles Frederick Stansbury described Dismal Swamp as ``a place in which the imagination plays tricks on the victim.`` Within the description lies the appeal of the swamp. They come here to catch a misty morning, skirt the fog along the uncertain shoreline, and allow their imagination to wander.``It has a very eerie feel to it, particularly early morning on a foggy day.