Time Moves Slowly

An excerpt from my March 2017 Okefenokee nature journal… Saturday, 8:41 PM – I’m sitting on a cot in our spacious tent. What a pleasant feeling after several hours out on the water of Billy’s Lake. Although just a half day, the first day was therapeutic. What a joy as I journaled the events ofContinue reading “Time Moves Slowly”

Okefenokee West Entry Road

No matter how many trips I make to the Okefenokee, my excitement always builds exponentially as I near the refuge border. It is a twenty mile drive from Fargo, Georgia on the western edge of the Okefenokee until you reach the dead-end within the Stephen C Foster State Park campground. This long stretch of HighwayContinue reading “Okefenokee West Entry Road”

Alligator Tail

An alligator is a whole lot of tail! Full of muscle and strength, the tail makes up half of an alligator’s total length and is designed for efficient swimming. The tail is laterally compressed (which means it is taller than it is wider) and is topped with tall crests of epidermal scales. This design meansContinue reading “Alligator Tail”

The Same Baby Gators?

A passage from my Okefenokee journal from March 2017 after coming upon a pod of juvenile alligators: At 9:50 AM, we reached the Middle Fork Junction and headed north on the Suwannee River up the red trail through beautiful channels of Spatterdock and Neverwet. We had made this journey in 2015 and marked in theContinue reading “The Same Baby Gators?”

The Chirp

A 2015 encounter with a mother alligator and her babies in the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge reminded me of the first time I heard that “chirp” in the wild… January, 1997 – ​A shallow, circular pond reflected the tall Longleaf Pines that lined its perimeter. A solitary, sluggish alligator floated on the waters, too coldContinue reading “The Chirp”

Where are the Birds?

An excerpt from my March 11, 2015 Okefenokee nature journal: Wednesday, 9:20 AM – At the onset of the pontoon boat tour, our guide had asked us if there was anything in particular we wished to see. Of course, one lady ejected, “A BIG GATOR!” I more quietly let it be known that we wantedContinue reading “Where are the Birds?”

A Change of Plans – Okefenokee Journal, March 2015

Tuesday, March 10, 2015, 8:30 AM – Faith in the forecasters completely changed our plans. Because of a predicted 80% chance of precipitation, instead of heading north to the mountains, we decided at the last minute to head south to the dryer and warmer swamp. I had done a good bit of planning and packingContinue reading “A Change of Plans – Okefenokee Journal, March 2015”

Okefenokee Farewell

Today my daughter Amanda turns eighteen. Each trip with her to the Okefenokee has been a special time that I will always cherish. The following is an excerpt from my journal on the last day of our 2017 excursion… As if signaling our departure from the swamp, a group of Ibises flew overhead, heading offContinue reading “Okefenokee Farewell”

When the Okefenokee Swamp Burns

Hot summers… extended periods of drought… plenty of exposed organic peat material… and a random but well-placed lightning strike; all these ingredients cook up to make large fires. South Georgia, and especially the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, face this imminent threat every year. Often, hundreds upon hundreds of square miles burn for several days atContinue reading “When the Okefenokee Swamp Burns”

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”