Okefenokee Alligator Trails

Excerpt from the 1926 History of the Okefenokee Swamp by AS McQueen and Hamp Mizell: “It was in the early winter of 1874 that my father found Chase Prairie. On this trip, and on all others thereafter he always carried a small pole about 8 feet long with an old bayonet on the end which was usedContinue reading “Okefenokee Alligator Trails”

An Old Champion

An excerpt from William Bartram’s Travels, published in 1791: “AN old champion, who is perhaps absolute sovereign of a little lake or lagoon (when fifty less than himself are obliged to content themselves with swelling and roaring in little coves round about) darts forth from the reedy coverts all at once, on the surface of the waters,Continue reading “An Old Champion”

Gator, Boys!

This riveting story was published in 1875 in The Savannah Morning News from the journal of the Okefenokee exploration party: “As alligators are rather tardy in their movements, it is an accomplished trick with them to lay quietly for the passing little fish, or sometimes for a full-grown cow. When we thought of our carcassContinue reading “Gator, Boys!”

Juvenile Alligator Pod on Okefenokee Minnie’s Lake

At the north end of Minnie’s Lake on the Middle Fork of the Suwanee River in the Okefenokee, we paddled into a cove of Spatterdock and downed cypress that held an inspiring spectacle: no less than six or seven young alligators congregated in a small area. The center of attention were three that were perfectlyContinue reading “Juvenile Alligator Pod on Okefenokee Minnie’s Lake”

A Very Large and Terrible Creature

Excerpt from William Bartram’s Travels, Part II, Chapter V. ​”THE alligator when full grown is a very large and terrible creature, and of prodigous strength, activity and swiftness in the water. I have seen them twenty feet in length, and some are supposed to be twenty-two or twenty-three feet; their body is as large as that ofContinue reading “A Very Large and Terrible Creature”

One Live Alligator is Worth a Dozen Dead

An excerpt from naturalist Bradford Torrey’s 1894 book, A Florida Sketch-Book: “But as we were skirting along the shore I suddenly called ‘Hist! An alligator lay on the bank just before us. The boy turned his head, and instantly was all excitement. It was a big fellow, he said,—one of three big ones that inhabited theContinue reading “One Live Alligator is Worth a Dozen Dead”

Gator! Danger Here!

​In 1875, The Atlanta Constitution published the dramatic headline: “We now announce to our readers, and the people of Georgia, that we are fitting up an expedition for a complete and thorough exploration of Okefinokee. The full details of the plan and expedition will be published soon – if they come out alive.” Over the next months,Continue reading “Gator! Danger Here!”

Alligators of the Okefenokee Video

While many of the alligators quietly slip into the water as you paddly by, some gators can put on quite a show that is full of splashing and drama. The video below is a compilation of photography and some gator splash videos from our March 2020 trek to the Okefenokee Swamp. iNaturalist observation: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/49132311

Courage, My Daughter!

An excerpt from my March 11, 2015 Okefenokee nature journal: Wednesday, 9:45 AM – In exploring the swamps of Georgia and Florida in the 1700’s the naturalist William Bartram stated, “the alligators were in such incredible numbers, and so close together from shore to shore, that it would have been easy to have walked acrossContinue reading “Courage, My Daughter!”

This Incredible Boldness – William Bartram

“I saw before me, through the clear water, the head and shoulders of a very large alligator, moving slowly towards me; I instantly stepped back, when, with a sweep of his tail, he brushed off several of my fish. It was certainly most providential that I looked up at that instant, as the monster wouldContinue reading “This Incredible Boldness – William Bartram”