A Place of Memories

A passage from my Okefenokee journal on Mixon’s Hammock, March 5, 2017:

Pied-billed Grebe, Podilymbus podiceps, swimming in 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.

After tensely navigating through over a mile of the Narrows, the scene expanded forth into a beautiful prairie. A juvenile alligator and a pair of Ibises welcomed us into the opened, bright sky. Yet again, I missed a photo of a colorful male Wood Duck, but captured a sharp shot of a nervously diving Grebe.

A young American Alligator on the swamp prairie near Mixon’s Hammock; Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, Georgia. March 5, 2017. ©www.williamwisephoto.com. Please don’t steal my images. Download and use legally at Dreamstime.com.

It appeared as if we had emerged onto a remote African savannah in another time. Tall brown grasses lined the sides of the canoe trail and stretched far off into the distance. Large green Spatterdock leaves floated in small bays as the canoe channel began to widen.

​This beautiful prairie was a place of solitude, a place of memory; memories of logging and wild fires of centuries gone by. Like passing through jagged dragon’s teeth, the waterway was lined on both banks with large, jagged Cypress stumps, blackened by fire. We passed through a double line of vertical pilings standing five feet out of the water; the remains of a logging train track. ​

White Ibis; Okefenokee Swamp National Wildlife Refuge. March 5, 2017. ©www.williamwisephoto.com.

iNaturalist observations:

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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