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.

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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