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”

Time Moves Slowly

An excerpt from my March 2017 Okefenokee nature journal… Saturday, 8:41 PM – I’m sitting on a cot in our spacious tent. What a pleasant feeling after several hours out on the water of Billy’s Lake. Although just a half day, the first day was therapeutic. What a joy as I journaled the events ofContinue reading “Time Moves Slowly”

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”

Okefenokee Alligator Farm?

Before becoming protected in the 1960’s, alligators were hunted to near extinction for their skins. The following is a headline from an 1875 newspaper. Thankfully the “Okefenokee Alligator Farm” vision never became a reality, for there probably would have been only a lot of “harvesting” and very little management. The Galveston News thinks alligator skinsContinue reading “Okefenokee Alligator Farm?”

Where are the Birds?

An excerpt from my March 11, 2015 Okefenokee nature journal: Wednesday, 9:20 AM – At the onset of the pontoon boat tour, our guide had asked us if there was anything in particular we wished to see. Of course, one lady ejected, “A BIG GATOR!” I more quietly let it be known that we wantedContinue reading “Where are the Birds?”

A Change of Plans – Okefenokee Journal, March 2015

Tuesday, March 10, 2015, 8:30 AM – Faith in the forecasters completely changed our plans. Because of a predicted 80% chance of precipitation, instead of heading north to the mountains, we decided at the last minute to head south to the dryer and warmer swamp. I had done a good bit of planning and packingContinue reading “A Change of Plans – Okefenokee Journal, March 2015”

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”

When the Okefenokee Swamp Burns

Hot summers… extended periods of drought… plenty of exposed organic peat material… and a random but well-placed lightning strike; all these ingredients cook up to make large fires. South Georgia, and especially the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, face this imminent threat every year. Often, hundreds upon hundreds of square miles burn for several days atContinue reading “When the Okefenokee Swamp Burns”

Swamp Citizens – Drought Relief

As large, voracious predators at the top of the food chain, we might think that alligators do nothing but devour their fellow creatures that inhabit the swamp. And it is only the sense, swiftness or camouflage that keeps the alligator from causing the extinction of all in its path. But this stereotype is not necessarilyContinue reading “Swamp Citizens – Drought Relief”

Hot Okefenokee Afternoon Sun

An excerpt from my Okefenokee Journal from March, 2015: Wednesday, 3:30 PM – After our hike on Billy’s Island, we rowed back toward the Stephen C Foster State Park campground. Even though it was early spring, the sun was still high and bright. It became quite hot sitting in the open sun of the canoe.Continue reading “Hot Okefenokee Afternoon Sun”