Rock Star Alligator Paparazzi

Huge, intimidating, armored beasts all decked out in bony spikes and dark leather – they are the rock stars of the reptile world! And I’m the paparazzi that follows them. What exhilarating photo subjects (sure beats baby photography!). Most of the time the gators lay there or slowly slide into the swamp water as youContinue reading “Rock Star Alligator Paparazzi”

Sophie’s Yawn

An Okefenokee evening entry from my March 5, 2017 journal: Sunday, 6:14 PM – Nine hours on the canoe trails of the Okefenokee Swamp! Nine continuous hours in the canoe without a break to stretch our legs or use the bathroom. Nine hours of pulling on the paddles in the mid-day sun. Tiring, but IContinue reading “Sophie’s Yawn”

Stephen C Foster Canoe Rentals

Even if you don’t own a canoe or kayak, the Stephen C Foster State Park is worth a stay. The park has plenty of canoes lined up along the canal ready for rental. If your time is short, or your body doesn’t agree with paddling, there are motor boats too. The park ranger guided pontoonContinue reading “Stephen C Foster Canoe Rentals”

Alligator Appetite for Hound Dogs

​Excerpt from The Last Remaining Indian in the Okefenokee Swamp, by Tommy Hartley. “​They say the Lee’s never carry dogs in the swamp anymore without caring a long, keen, Cypress sapling with a knife blade fastened to one end. Mr. Lee says one stick with that knife and them gators lose their appetite for hound dogsContinue reading “Alligator Appetite for Hound Dogs”

Struggle through Mixon’s Hammock

A toil through Mixon’s Hammock from my March 5, 2017 Okefenokee journal: Sunday, 3:45 PM – The journey along the wide canal known as The Sill was quite easy, especially with an electric trolling motor aiding our progress.  But as we turned east back up the brown trail, our trouble began. That wonderful downstream currentContinue reading “Struggle through Mixon’s Hammock”

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”

The Monsters of The Sill

A travel journal from our canoeing up The Sill Recreation Area in the Okefenokee Swamp on March 5, 2017: Sunday, 12:45 PM – ​Compared to the challenging navigation through The Narrows (brown trail), the paddling through Mixon’s Hammock became much easier. The strong current caused by the low water levels carried us quickly into theContinue reading “The Monsters of The Sill”

Okefenokee Snake Hunting Competition

An excerpt from my Okefenokee Journal dated March 11, 2015: Wednesday, 11:50 AM Walking further down the swamp boardwalk, my eyes were constantly scanning left and right among the shallow waters and cypress knees. My daughter and I were constantly engaged in a silent competition to spot snakes. I don’t know how, but it seemsContinue reading “Okefenokee Snake Hunting Competition”

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”