Struggle through Mixon’s Hammock

A toil through Mixon’s Hammock from my March 5, 2017 Okefenokee journal:

American Alligator half submerged in Maidencane along Mixon’s Hammock; Okefenokee Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, Georgia. March 5, 2017. ©www.williamwisephoto.com. Please don’t steal my images. Download and use legally at Dreamstime.com.

Sunday, 3:45 PM – The journey along the wide canal known as The Sill was quite easy, especially with an electric trolling motor aiding our progress.  But as we turned east back up the brown trail, our trouble began. That wonderful downstream current we enjoyed this morning through Mixon’s Hammock was now a forceful torrent impeding our way back to camp.

Small but forceful streams of water were pouring off the prairie adding to the current. Amanda kept the trolling motor on the highest setting and it barely held us in one spot. I lunged with all the strength of my shoulders and biceps to press us forward, but progress was slow and laborious. It was also getting late.

The thoughts of not making it back to Billy’s Lake before dark were becoming an ominous presence in my mind. When we were passed by some barefoot fishermen in a gas powered john boat, I desired to ask for a tow. “You’re going to have a tough go against this current”, was all the help they could muster. Such toil, and we still had the passage through the dreaded Narrows ahead.

I got quite a workout as I pulled and pulled the paddle against the current. Needless to say, I have no photos along this stretch of our journey, for anytime I quit paddling even to catch my breath, we immediately were pulled backward. And only an occasional alligator watched as we labored past.

But we finally made it through the prairie into the Narrows, and things actually improved. The narrowing and twisting of the channel slowed the current and the trolling motor carried us along without paddling. Navigation by trolling motor was easier up-stream! Amanda did an incredible job of steering through the Narrows on our return journey.


iNaturalist observation: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/34153914

Published by William Wise

Hi, I’m conservation 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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