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”

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!”

Obliging Alligators

An excerpt from naturalist Bradford Torrey’s 1894 book, A Florida Sketch-Book: “​The river in that part of its course is comfortably narrow,—a great advantage,—winding through cypress swamps, hammock woods, stretches of prairie, and in one place a pine barren; an interesting and in many ways beautiful country, but so unwholesome looking as to lose much ofContinue reading “Obliging Alligators”

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 Swamp Pileated Woodpeckers

March 4, 2017 on Billy’s Lake – Around 5:00 pm, after getting shots of a beautiful, white, Great Egret, we pulled the canoe onto some spatterdock to observe two Pileated Woodpeckers on the bank. All of the Pileateds I had previously seen stayed fairly high up in the trees. But these two were foraging alongContinue reading “Okefenokee Swamp Pileated Woodpeckers”

Thank an Okefenokee NWR Ranger!

Okefenokee Swamp paddlers owe much to the federal Okefenokee NWR and Stephen C Foster state park employees that keep the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge’s canoe and kayak trails clear, maintained and well-marked. When one visits today, direction signs label and point to Billy’s Lake, Minnie’s Lake, Big Water, Canal Run and more. Since cell phoneContinue reading “Thank an Okefenokee NWR Ranger!”

A Cautious Eye in the Okefenokee

A great start to our 2020 Okefenokee paddling trek! As we pushed off from the Stephen C Foster State Park boat launch and into the blackwaters of the Okefenokee Swamp, I kept an eye on things. Although the giant reptiles weren’t immediately visible, there certainly could be alligators to the left and the right ofContinue reading “A Cautious Eye in the Okefenokee”

Which Way Okefenokee?

This morning my daughter and I embark on our annual Okefenokee Swamp paddling trip! And this time, she is bringing a friend who has never visited the swamp before. I love sharing this unique world of the Okefenokee with others. I’m sure she’ll be absolutely amazed. We will be staying at our regular spot: siteContinue reading “Which Way Okefenokee?”

The Okefenokee Swamp – Morning on Billy’s Lake

Thursday, March 12, 2015 – After a breakfast of freeze-dried biscuits and gravy, we loaded the cooler and our packs for a full day of paddling. We were going to press further up the Suwanee River than on our guided tour, perhaps 10 miles up closer to the heart of the swamp. Coming upon Billy’sContinue reading “The Okefenokee Swamp – Morning on Billy’s Lake”