Okefenokee Pine and Palmetto Uplands

Slash Pine and an understory of Saw Palmetto in the pine uplands of the Okefenokee Swamp. Chesser Island; Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, Georgia, USA. November 14, 2021 ©www.williamwisephoto.com

Not all of the Okefenokee is swamped with water. There are some sandy islands within the refuge and plenty of pine uplands that surround the swamp. Large puddles readily form after rainfall, but do drain, especially in a drought. Slash Pine, Saw Palmetto and grasses are the dominant growth in these upland areas. The once over-logged Longleaf Pine is making a comeback in these upland areas due to managed plantations by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The drier upland areas provide habitat for wildlife not as regularly found in the wetter habitats like Glass Lizards and Gopher Tortoises. One may also be more likely to find one of the three rattlesnake species – Eastern Diamondback, Pygmy and Timber – found within the Refuge in the drier upland areas.


      1. Before retiring I worked in Appling County for Bell South. The northern area of the county, especially Moody Forest is a good place to find an Indigo or the equally elusive Pine Snake. I observed both in that area.

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