Okefenokee Anticipation

Whenever an Okefenokee excursion comes to an end, I am immediately antsy about another trip. Typically I have to wait another year, but sometimes two! During the wait, the anticipation builds. I frequently gaze at the large fold-out National Geographic topographic map I purchased at the Stephen C Foster State Park trading post in 2015Continue reading “Okefenokee Anticipation”

Great Egret, The Handsomest Heron

​In 1894, naturalist and ornithologist Bradford Torrey wrote of the Great Egret in his book, A Florida Sketch-Book. “Incomparably the handsomest member of the heron family (I speak of such as I saw) was the great white egret. In truth, the epithet ‘handsome’ seems almost a vulgarism as applied to a creature so superb, so utterlyContinue reading “Great Egret, The Handsomest Heron”

Okefenokee Alligator – a log with eyes

“Sam lay rolled in blankets beside Frodo. ‘I had a funny dream an hour or two before we stopped, Mr. Frodo,’ he said. ‘Or maybe it wasn’t a dream… I saw a log with eyes!’  ‘The log’s all right,’ said Frodo. ‘There are many in the River. But leave out the eyes!’” – Lord ofContinue reading “Okefenokee Alligator – a log with eyes”

Graceful Genius

​An excerpt from A Florida Sketch-Book, by naturalist Bradford Torrey, written in 1895: “​I look up from my paper to see a turkey buzzard sailing majestically northward. I watch him till he fades in the distance. Not once does he flap his wings, but sails and sails, going with the wind, yet turning again and againContinue reading “Graceful Genius”

Okefenokee Deer Chase Prairie

Prior to being set aside as a National Wildlife Refuge, White-tailed Deer were commonly hunted on the open prairies of the Okefenokee Swamp, as described in an excerpt from the 1926 book History of the Okefenokee Swamp: Chase Prairie derives its name from the fact that it was a favorite place to chase down deerContinue reading “Okefenokee Deer Chase Prairie”

Okefenokee Hooded Pitcher Plants

Multiple trips to the Okefenokee and I hadn’t seen a Pitcher Plant since 1997. So on this May 2020 trip I was going to find and photograph that signature swamp Sarracenia! From what I had read, some of the largest Hooded Pitchers – up to three or four feet – grow in the Okefenokee Swamp.Continue reading “Okefenokee Hooded Pitcher Plants”

Okefenokee Floating Islands

“These floating islands present a very entertaining prospect; for although we behold an assemblage of the primary productions of nature only, yet the imagination seems to remain in suspence and doubt; as in order to enliven the delusion and form a most picturesque appearance, we see not only flowery plants, clumps of shrubs, old weather-beatenContinue reading “Okefenokee Floating Islands”

Okefenokee Social Distancing

“Every cloud has a silver lining.” While I’m typically not one to use happy little inspirational poster quotes, this one held true for me in May 2020. The coronavirus shutdown of the entire world gave many of us weeks of free time as we isolated at home. I chose to take isolation to the extremeContinue reading “Okefenokee Social Distancing”

Okefenokee Turtle Egg Predation

While an adult turtle’s shell is hard and seemingly impenetrable, an unborn turtle’s eggshell is nowhere near as tough. In fact, turtle eggs are a swamp delicacy! From the number of scavenged nests I found on my May 2020 Okefenokee paddling trip, it seems everything eats turtle eggs. Bears, raccoons, skunks, opossums, crows, bobcats andContinue reading “Okefenokee Turtle Egg Predation”

South Georgia Pine Flat-woods

Headed to the Okefenokee I kissed my wife goodbye and headed south with my daughter for 217 miles on Interstate 75. The further south we drove, the higher the temperature readout displayed. Hour after hour, and mile after mile of semi-trucks, exits, and billboards until finally, just 16 miles shy of the Florida line, weContinue reading “South Georgia Pine Flat-woods”