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”

Okefenokee Bird Roost – Quite a Stir

Excerpt from the 1926 Okefenokee Swamp journal of Hamp Mizell: “We ​arose early the next morning, before daylight, and before the sun began to rise (and a clear sunrise in the Okefenokee swamp is a most beautiful site) the birds began to twitter and call for their mates. When daylight comes at a large bird roostContinue reading “Okefenokee Bird Roost – Quite a Stir”

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”

Little Blue Heron Leap Frog

An Okefenokee photography journal entry from March 6, 2017: Monday, 9:25 AM – ​Frustrated by my pursuit of a quality Wood Duck photograph, we continued our travel along the edges of Billy’s Lake. We began a “leap frog” chase of a pretty Little Blue Heron. It was bold, but cautious. Standing on the Spatterdock, we’dContinue reading “Little Blue Heron Leap Frog”

“Gentlemen” Plume Hunters

“Plume hunting” for sport and fashion was common in the years before laws were enacted to protect our birds. The following is an excerpt from A Florida Sketch-Book by naturalist Bradford Torrey in 1895, mocking those who engaged in such activity: “Happily, the lawmakers of the State have done something of recent years for the protectionContinue reading ““Gentlemen” Plume Hunters”

Okefenokee Wood Duck Pursuit

By day three of our 2017 trip, several of the birds I had hoped to see were checked off the list… except the Wood Duck. The Wood Ducks eluded my camera in 2015, but I would get one this time! …or would I? Monday, March 6, 2017. 10:33 AM. – Far in the distance IContinue reading “Okefenokee Wood Duck Pursuit”

William Bartram’s Snake Bird

A passage describing the Anhinga from the nature journals of William Bartram, published in 1791: “HERE is in this river and in the waters all over Florida, a very curious and handsome bird, the people call them Snake Birds. I think I have seen paintings of them on the Chinese screens and other India pictures:Continue reading “William Bartram’s Snake Bird”

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”