Clouds of Vapour from Their Nostrils

A favorite passage from William Bartram’s Travels,​ published in 1791. “I have seen an alligator take up out of the water several great fish at a time, and just squeeze them betwixt his jaws, while the tails of the great trout flapped about his eyes and lips, ere he had swallowed them. The horrid noise ofContinue reading “Clouds of Vapour from Their Nostrils”

Walk Across on Their Heads

A favorite passage from William Bartram’s Travels,​ published in 1791: “IT was by this time dusk; and the alligators had nearly ceased their roar, when I was again alarmed by a tumultuous noise that seemed to be in my harbour, and therefore engaged my immediate attention. Returning to my camp I found it undisturbed, and thenContinue reading “Walk Across on Their Heads”

Distant Heavy Thunder

An excerpt from William Bartram’s Travels​ published in 1791. “BUT what is yet more surprising to a stranger, is the incredible loud and terrifying roar, which they are capable of making, especially in the spring season, their breeding time; it most resembles very heavy distant thunder, not only shaking the air and waters, but causing theContinue reading “Distant Heavy Thunder”

His Rival Champion

A passage from William Bartram’s Travels, published in 1791. “​THE verges and islets of the lagoon were elegantly embellished with flowering plants and shrubs; the laughing coots with wings half spread were tripping over the little coves and hiding themselves in the tufts of grass; young broods of the painted summer teal, skimming the still surfaceContinue reading “His Rival Champion”

Where the Wandering Seminole Lives

Excerpt from Travels by William Bartram, published in 1791: “HOW happily situated is this retired spot of earth! What an elisium it is! where the wandering Siminole, the naked red warrior, roams at large, and after the vigorous chase retires from the scorching heat of the meridian sun. Here he reclines, and reposes under the odoriferous shadesContinue reading “Where the Wandering Seminole Lives”

William Bartram’s Cypress

Excerpt from William Bartram’s Travels, published in 1791: “THE Cypress stands in the first order of North American trees. Its majestic stature is surprising, and on approaching them, we are struck with a kind of awe, at beholding the stateliness of the trunk, lifting its cumbrous top towards the skies, and casting a wide shade uponContinue reading “William Bartram’s Cypress”

Trees So Lofty

Excerpt from William Bartram’s Travels, published in 1791: “On the West side it was bordered round with low marshes, and invested with a swamp of Cypress, the trees so lofty, as to preclude the sight of the high-land forests, beyond them; and these trees, having flat tops, and all of equal height, seemed to be aContinue reading “Trees So Lofty”

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”

Some Sovereign Alligator – William Bartram

An excerpt from William Bartram’s ​Travels Through North and South Carolina, Georgia, East and West Florida. “​I HAD now swamps and marshes on both sides of me, and evening coming on apace, I began to look out for high land to encamp on, but the extensive marshes seemed to have no bounds; and it was almost darkContinue reading “Some Sovereign Alligator – William Bartram”

Assiduous and Courageous Mother

Excerpt from William Bartram’s Travels, written in ​1773-1777; Part II, Chapter V “The female, as I imagine, carefully watches her own nest of eggs until they are all hatched, or perhaps while she is attending her own brood, she takes under her care and protection, as many as the can get at one time, either fromContinue reading “Assiduous and Courageous Mother”