Alligator’s Diverse Diet

As an iNaturalist project admin, I completed a review of over 19,000 American Alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) observations uploaded to iNaturalist between 2009 and December 31, 2020. Photographs which depicted an American Alligator eating a prey item were added to the iNat Alligator Appetites Project. The result revealed a gruesome smorgasbord of dainties enjoyed by thisContinue reading “Alligator’s Diverse Diet”

Okefenokee’s Coastal Plain Cooter Turtles

While there are reportedly 15 turtles in the Okefenokee Swamp, my most commonly photographed species has been the Coastal Plain Cooter (Pseudemys concinna ssp. floridana). While abundant in the Okefenokee Swamp, they are found all along the coastal plain (hence the common name) from southeastern Virginia, south into Florida, and west into Alabama. ​ They can beContinue reading “Okefenokee’s Coastal Plain Cooter Turtles”

“It’s the poisonousest snake there is!”

A humorous story from naturalist Bradford Torrey’s 1894 book, A Florida Sketch-Book. (It would be even more humorous if ignorant snake killing wasn’t still common.) “It was a ‘copper-bellied moccasin,’ he declared, whatever that may be, and was worse than a rattlesnake.” A few minutes later, when, as the boat was grazing the reeds, IContinue reading ““It’s the poisonousest snake there is!””

Okefenokee Odonata

Skimming all throughout the Okefenokee are the gorgeous Odonata. The dragonflies adorn the swamp with their vibrant greens and blues. In the heat of the day, when most of the birds hide and the alligators sink in the cooler waters, the dragonflies are constantly buzzing about. If your camera’s autofocus is worthy – and yourContinue reading “Okefenokee Odonata”

Okefenokee Photography Practice Run

In 2017, I brought along a new “toy” to the Okefenokee: a Sigma 150-600mm lens. I soon realized that the first day of that trip was going to be a photography practice run! Saturday, March 4, 2017 – As the sun was setting, groups of Little Blue Herons, which seemed more abundant than on ourContinue reading “Okefenokee Photography Practice Run”

Bugaboo Island Deer

Excerpt from the 1926 book History of the Okefenokee, by Hamp Mizell and AS McQueen: “When Bugaboo Island was first discovered it was then traversed by various trails and paths made by the numerous wild animals on this particular island. There were quite a lot of deer on this island, and it is said by theContinue reading “Bugaboo Island Deer”

I Love You Too, Dad

Why is the Okefenokee so dear to me? Since my college days I loved the swamp, alligators, snakes, etc. But the Okefenokee has grown so fond in my heart because of the bonding moments I’ve shared with my daughter canoeing and camping there. Below is an excerpt from my March 2015 nature journal describing why IContinue reading “I Love You Too, Dad”

Okefenokee Watersnake Fight

I was paddling up the beautiful Suwannee, a blackwater river that is born within, and meanders throughout, the Okefenokee Swamp. Being overcast and cool, it was slow day for reptiles… as slow as the current that carried my canoe along. But on a sudden, I had that feeling. Birders know that feeling… a sense thatContinue reading “Okefenokee Watersnake Fight”

Okefenokee Gold Mine

The Okefenokee continues to make the news as conservationists sound the alarm against a proposal from Twin Pines Minerals to mine thousands of acres alongside the National Wildlife Refuge. This mining operation isn’t a modern day gold rush, but a search for titanium dioxide. Even so, there is Gold in the Okefenokee! A different sortContinue reading “Okefenokee Gold Mine”

Snowy Okefenokee

It is January. And it is cold. But who has ever heard of snow in the Okefenokee Swamp??? January 21, 2021 – As my canoe drifted back toward the boat launch of The Suwannee River Sill Recreation Area, I assumed the small white bird up ahead was a juvenile Little Blue Heron. I could see itContinue reading “Snowy Okefenokee”