Okefenokee Farewell

Today my daughter Amanda turns eighteen. Each trip with her to the Okefenokee has been a special time that I will always cherish. The following is an excerpt from my journal on the last day of our 2017 excursion…

Baby Alligator in the Stephen C Foster State Park; Okefenokee Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, Georgia. March 7, 2017. ©www.williamwisephoto.com. Download and use this image legally at Dreamstime.com.

As if signaling our departure from the swamp, a group of Ibises flew overhead, heading off into the distance. After returning to Stephen C Foster, loading the canoe and breaking camp, we went for one last walk. There was more activity on the boardwalk this time: a hammering Pileated Woodpecker, a flock of ground foraging Ibises, and a solitary white Great Egret. Several of Sophie’s babies basked in the canal; so small, so cute. Amanda wanted to grab one, but being illegal, had to settle for purchasing a resin cast of a baby gator in the park’s gift shop.

I’m so thankful that Amanda is still interested by these outings. I know I would not still be returning to the Okefenokee twenty years after my first visit if she had no interest. It is always a rewarding refresher to get away from civilization’s fast pace. But it is even more rewarding to spend the time with my daughter. These are experiences we will never forget.

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