Outside the Okefenokee: Greenfield Lake Park

When I visit the Okefenokee Swamp, I expect to see alligators. So when I find alligators in a small, local park, it is a special treat…

American Alligator; Greenfield Lake Park, Wilmington, North Carolina. October 16, 2020. ©www.williamwisephoto.com. Please don’t steal my images. Download and use legally at Dreamstime.com.

I recently went on a short trip to attend a pioneer pastor’s conference in North Carolina. Even though we spent most of our weekend driving, my wife and I were able to connect with friends and fit in some wildlife photography in a small park in Wilmington. The pleasant experience got me thinking about the value of a local park.

Greenfield Lake Park in Wilmington, North Carolina is small compared to our National Parks, but good sized for a local park. There was some surprisingly nice scenery and wildlife in this 190-acre municipal park. Although surrounded by development and neighborhoods, we were immediately transported into a low-country cypress wetland. The yellows, reds and greens of fall were reflected in the dark waters. Curtains of Spanish Moss hung from the textured Cypress trees.

White Ibis feeding in Greenfield Lake Park, Wilmington, North Carolina. October 16, 2020. ©www.williamwisephoto.com. Please don’t steal my images. Download and use legally at Dreamstime.com.

A break in the afternoon rain showers allowed us to rent the paddle boats for an hour. I was again surprised by the abundance of wildlife. Cormorants and Anhingas preened in the Cypress, White Ibis fed along the banks and small birds flitted about with joy. And it’s always a treat to see gators, especially in a very developed area. The value of this small lake is beyond measure for the wildlife that may have otherwise been pushed out or exterminated.

And how nice to have a quiet area to spend the afternoon with our friends. Local parks provide city residents a quick opportunity to recharge in nature without travelling great distances. Even our small parks give us a quiet place to de-stress, relax and bring down the blood pressure while enjoying the company of friends and loved ones.


iNaturalist observations:

Published by William Wise

Hi, I’m wildlife photographer and nature writer William Wise. Nature journaling and wildlife photography has been a favorite pastime since the ‘90s. I graduated from University of Georgia Warnell Forestry School's wildlife program in 1996. I'm currently an animal shelter manager/photographer and reside in Athens, Georgia, USA with my wife and two teenage daughters. My website www.williamwisephoto.com is a wildlife and birding photo website documenting the beauty, design and wonder of creation. I have a deep love of the Okefenokee Swamp National Wildlife Refuge in Georgia. I became a devoted Christian in 1993 under a campus ministry while studying wildlife biology. My love of the outdoors quickly turned into a love for the Creator and His works. Creation Speaks is my teaching ministry that glorifies our Creator and teaches the truth of creation. I am also a guest author at Lee's Birdwatching Adventures and The Creation Club. The theme of my blogging comes from The Message version of Psalms 104 -- "What a wildly wonderful world, God! You made it all, with Wisdom at Your side, You made earth overflow with your wonderful creations."

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