Bradford Torrey’s “Water Turkey Contortionist”

An excerpt from naturalist Bradford Torrey’s 1895 book, A Florida Sketch-Book: “At another time, on the same stake, sat some dark, strange-looking object. The opera-glass showed it at once to be a large bird sitting with its back toward me, and holding its wings uplifted in the familiar heraldic, e-pluribus-unum attitude of our American spread-eagle; but evenContinue reading “Bradford Torrey’s “Water Turkey Contortionist””

Okefenokee Squirrels and Hawks

A passage from my March 5, 2017 Okefenokee journal: Sunday, 9:04 AM – ​Another bright, blue calm morning on Billy’s Lake as we slowly paddle westward for a day up the brown trail to The Sill. Passing on close to the edge of the lake, a funny acting Eastern Gray Squirrel has himself pressed tightly flatContinue reading “Okefenokee Squirrels and Hawks”

When a Little Blue is a lot of white – April Fools!

An early start on a somewhat overcast morning. Grackles and Vultures greet us at the entrance to Billy’s Lake. The Lake is without wave. Although most is still and the stage has not awakened in a dawn-chorus of voices and activity, a cooperative white heron stands upon the floating spatterdock, the gentle breeze muffling hisContinue reading “When a Little Blue is a lot of white – April Fools!”

The Finest of Embroidery

An excerpt from naturalist Bradford Torrey’s 1895 book, A Florida Sketch-Book: “We were at that moment approaching a bird about which I felt a stronger curiosity,—a snake-bird, or water-turkey, sitting in a willow shrub at the further end of the bay. ‘Pull me as near it as it will let us come,’ I said. ‘I wantContinue reading “The Finest of Embroidery”

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”

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”

Every Feathered Creature

Excerpt from The Last Remaining Indian in the Okefenokee Swamp, by Tommy Hartley: “It soon became very noisy in the swamp that morning. It seemed to me that every feathered creature in the whole swamp was trying to make a sound or squawk all at once. Whooping  Cranes were so numerous that they would block theContinue reading “Every Feathered Creature”

Paddle to Billy’s Island

An excerpt from my Okefenokee Journal on March 11, 2015: Wednesday, 12:17 PM – Grabbing our life vests (but neglecting seat cushions, as we would later regret), we loaded our canoe and headed up the channel toward Billy’s Lake. As we floated by, a beautifully camouflaged American Bittern, Botaurus lentiginosus, popped his head up fromContinue reading “Paddle to Billy’s Island”

Anhingas on a Chilly Okefenokee Morning

Okefenokee Journal: Monday, March 6, 2017. 9:20 AM. Billy’s Lake is perfectly calm, still and quiet. The clear, dark, tannin-stained waters reflect the swamp landscape like a mirror of obsidian. Only an overcast sky and somewhat chilly breeze. It is amazing how chilly it can be on an Okefenokee early spring morning. ​We have theContinue reading “Anhingas on a Chilly Okefenokee Morning”

Okefenokee Pileated Woodpecker Designs

“I feel like I’m beating my head against the wall.” Obviously, that’s an expression we use to describe a pointless pursuit that accomplishes nothing but pain. However, it is an action that a woodpecker does on purpose! I marveled as I watched a Pileated Woodpecker hammering away in the Okefenokee Swamp… chunks of bark andContinue reading “Okefenokee Pileated Woodpecker Designs”