Vigorous Prairie Sawgrass

Okefenokee Swamp prairie ecosystem. Maidencane grasses, Golden Club, cypress hammocks, and water lily. Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, Georgia, USA. October 24, 2020. ©

The swamplands and marshes of Georgia and Florida are similar in appearance: vast, wide, flat, void of defined travelways, and extremely hot and humid much of the year. Dead-end runs and a lack of landmarks were a much greater hazard before the days of satellite GPS. This excerpt from Clifton Johnson’s 1918 narrative called The Everglades, is typical of swamps like the Okefenokee:

“Almost the entire floor is covered with a layer of muck, which varies in thickness from a few inches to several feet. In this muck grows the saw grass, sometimes attaining a height of ten feet. Its vigor never varies, for neither heat nor cold ever weaken its vicious energy. The grass hides the water, save in the numerous little channels which wind aimlessly about, sometimes coming to a blank end, sometimes broadening into a clear space abloom with pond-lilies. These leads or openings are full of promise to the explorer, but are usually only a snare.”

Johnson, Clifton. (1918). “The Everglades”. From Highways and Byways of Florida. New York, NY: The Macmillan Company.

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