Swamp Citizens – Drought Relief

As large, voracious predators at the top of the food chain, we might think that alligators do nothing but devour their fellow creatures that inhabit the swamp. And it is only the sense, swiftness or camouflage that keeps the alligator from causing the extinction of all in its path. But this stereotype is not necessarilyContinue reading “Swamp Citizens – Drought Relief”

Hot Okefenokee Afternoon Sun

An excerpt from my Okefenokee Journal from March, 2015: Wednesday, 3:30 PM – After our hike on Billy’s Island, we rowed back toward the Stephen C Foster State Park campground. Even though it was early spring, the sun was still high and bright. It became quite hot sitting in the open sun of the canoe.Continue reading “Hot Okefenokee Afternoon Sun”

Take it Slowly

An excerpt from my March 2017 Okefenokee Nature Journal: Our desire was to reach Big Water, a lake several miles up the Suwannee Middle Fork (red trail). To cover the ground, I was paddling rather quickly… probably too quickly to enjoy the Okefenokee. Just past 11:00 AM we entered upon Minnie’s Lake and grasped byContinue reading “Take it Slowly”

Guardian Mother Gator

Thursday, 2:20 PM – Trying not to disturb the exhilarating, tense moment, I whispered to my daughter Amanda in a low voice, “Momma gator has to be here somewhere.” Sure enough, in the midst of the dozen or more colorful babies, her eyes peered at us attentively from between the abundant swamp vegetation; her bodyContinue reading “Guardian Mother Gator”

Up the Suwannee Middle Fork

An excerpt from my March 2015 Okefenokee nature journal: Thursday, 9:12 AM – The number of large basking gators quickly dwindled as we paddled up the narrower channel toward Minnie’s lake. Large lily pads crowded in toward the canoe on either side; Spanish moss hung overhead. After about a mile we came to the coveContinue reading “Up the Suwannee Middle Fork”

Deep Booming Roar

An excerpt from E.A. McIlhenny’s 1935 book, The Alligator’s Life History: “​The deep booming roar of a twelve foot male alligator is a sound that once heard will never be forgotten. It is not unlike the first boom note of the ostrich, or the deep, slow-throat roar of the lion before he begins the quickContinue reading “Deep Booming Roar”

Colorful Baby Alligators

An excerpt from my 2015 Okefenokee nature journal: On our first day in the Okefenokee, the number of huge gators lining the edges of Billy’s Lake was quite mind blowing. As our count climbed higher, we lost track of how many of the big swamp sentinels we saw. In some places, groupings of four toContinue reading “Colorful Baby Alligators”

A Place of Memories

A passage from my Okefenokee journal on Mixon’s Hammock, March 5, 2017: After tensely navigating through over a mile of the Narrows, the scene expanded forth into a beautiful prairie. A juvenile alligator and a pair of Ibises welcomed us into the opened, bright sky. Yet again, I missed a photo of a colorful maleContinue reading “A Place of Memories”

One Large Specimen

Excerpt from the 1926 History of the Okefenokee Swamp by AS McQueen and Hamp Mizell: “To make certain that there was a large opening or prairie ahead, my father waited and listened for the bellow of the alligators, which comes always just after sunrise. Shortly after the first rays of the sun began to penetrate through theContinue reading “One Large Specimen”

Okefenokee Trolling Motor

In 2017 I added an electric trolling motor to our canoe, my daughter acting as captain of our vessel. Not only does the motor mean relaxed travels with little rowing, but it allows hands-free for photography. In addition, our patrols of the shores of Billy’s Lake to spot the large alligators basking are much quicker.Continue reading “Okefenokee Trolling Motor”