Lost in the Okefenokee

An excerpt from my Okefenokee nature journal, March 2017: As the afternoon wore on, we pressed north more quickly. After we passed the green trail junction that leads to Floyd’s Island, the run grew narrower, the fetterbush shrubs grew thicker, the floating beds of peat and spatterdock choked in closer. Did we get off theContinue reading “Lost in the Okefenokee”

Okefenokee’s Prophecy of Preservation

Thankfully, Hamp Mizell’s words in this passage from the 1926 book, History of the Okefenokee Swamp, were prophetic when he wrote of the restoration of the Okefenokee. The entire swamp was stripped of the timber in the early 1900’s but in 1937 President Franklin Delano Roosevelt established the Okefenokee as “a refuge and breeding groundContinue reading “Okefenokee’s Prophecy of Preservation”

Long Leaf Pine “Bottle Brush”

Before the industrialist loggers of the early 20th century arrived, the Longleaf Pine dominated the upland areas surrounding the Okefenokee Swamp. Because of its ability to survive wildfires in its fire resistant “grass stage”, the Longleaf is well suited to the fire prone South Georgia landscape. The thick, grassy clump of needles protects the budContinue reading “Long Leaf Pine “Bottle Brush””

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”

The Long Moss

An excerpt from William Bartram’s Travels, Part II, Chapter III: “The long moss, so called, is a singular and surprising vegetable production: it grows from the limbs and twigs of all trees in these southern regions, from N. lat. 35 down as far as 28, and I believe every where within the tropics. Wherever it fixes itself,Continue reading “The Long Moss”

Okefenokee Primeval Prairies

An excerpt from Francis Harper’s 1913 paper “A Biological Reconnaissance of the Okefinokee Swamp”, published in The Auk, the official publication of the American Ornithological Society: “In the eastern United States few, if any, areas of equal extent afford such exceptional opportunities for the study of animal life in a primeval state as does Okefinokee Swamp.  The ‘prairies’Continue reading “Okefenokee Primeval Prairies”

Okefenokee Oak Mistletoe

A large clump of thick green leaves sits high in otherwise bare tree. The thick glossy leaves growing are completely unlike the normal foliage furled out by that tree in the spring. This makes Mistletoe easy to spot, especially in the winter. Its parasitic nature – stealing water and nutrients from its host – isContinue reading “Okefenokee Oak Mistletoe”

Beautiful Billy’s Lake – Okefenokee NWR

Excerpt from the 1926 History of the Okefenokee Swamp by AS McQueen and Hamp Mizell: “When the Lees followed the Seminole Indians as the first white settlers on Billy’s Island it was as the God of nature made it. Both the Indians and the Lees left the magnificent trees which covered the island; both took so muchContinue reading “Beautiful Billy’s Lake – Okefenokee NWR”

Okefenokee Beauty and Charm

From the broad, sweeping bird’s-eye-view, down to the smallest detail of living organism, the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge is full of beauty and charm. Perhaps alligators and snakes are the first thing conjured in the mind upon hearing the word “swamp”, but peace, solitude and fascination come to my thoughts. My first visits to theContinue reading “Okefenokee Beauty and Charm”

Floating Fields of Nymphea

“​WE approached the savanna at the South end, by a narrow isthmus of level ground, open to the light of day, and clear of trees or bushes, and not greatly elevated above the common level, having on our right a spacious meadow, embellished with a little lake, one verge of which was not very distantContinue reading “Floating Fields of Nymphea”