Across Billy’s Lake

Excerpt from my Okefenokee Journal, October 26, 2022…

A Red-shouldered Hawk dries out after a wet night in the Okefenokee Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, Georgia. Billy’s Lake, October 26, 2022. ©

Wednesday, 9:47 AM – The first leg of my journey to my overnight camping in the Okefenokee Swamp takes me across Billy’s Lake. Billy’s Lake, especially first thing in the morning, is always a moving experience. You leave the bustle of the Stephen C Foster campground and come upon a large, open lake that is often smooth as glass in the morning. If there are no john boat motors running, the tranquility is tangible… I sometimes feel the splashing of my paddle is too loud!

​A boisterous Red-shouldered Hawk’s screams echo across the entire lake. A heron’s croak is clearly heard, although the bird itself is hidden in the Spatterdock and Maidencane. The flap of a cormorant’s wings can be heard a quarter mile across the water. I just want to sit and float, but the current lead’s me away from this day’s journey to the Canal Run platform. I must break the silence of mind and surroundings and push my paddle into the water toward’s Billy’s Island.

Paddling Billy’s Lake from Stephen C Foster State Park launch to Billy’s Island. Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, Georgia. October 26, 2022.
– Partly cloudy with a high near 83.
– Sunrise 7:40 AM, Sunset 6:46 PM
– Daylight hours: 11 hours, 6 minutes (-1m 43s)
– Moon 1% Waxing Crescent

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