Anhingas on a Chilly Okefenokee Morning

Okefenokee Journal: Monday, March 6, 2017. 9:20 AM. Billy’s Lake is perfectly calm, still and quiet. The clear, dark, tannin-stained waters reflect the swamp landscape like a mirror of obsidian. Only an overcast sky and somewhat chilly breeze. It is amazing how chilly it can be on an Okefenokee early spring morning. ​We have theContinue reading “Anhingas on a Chilly Okefenokee Morning”

Okefenokee Woodpecker Excavations

The flooded prairies and hammocks of the Okefenokee Swamp hold acre after acre of standing, dead wood. An abundance of snags (dead trees) means abundant woodpeckers. There are eight species of woodpecker found in the Okefenokee, and one formerly occurring species – the Ivory Billed Woodpecker – that is now extinct. ​ The excavations ofContinue reading “Okefenokee Woodpecker Excavations”

Terrifying Screams of Owls in the Deep Swamp

“​The evening was however, extremely pleasant, a brisk cool breeze sprang up, and the skies were perfectly serene, the stars twinkling with uncommon briliancy. I stretched myself along before my fire; having the river, my little harbour and the stern of my vessel in view, and now through fatigue and weariness I fell asleep, butContinue reading “Terrifying Screams of Owls in the Deep Swamp”

He has come here to die…

​A spooky excerpt from A Florida Sketch-Book, by naturalist Bradford Torrey, written in 1895: ​There—going one day farther than usual—I found myself in the borderland of a cypress swamp. On one side was the lake, but between me and it were cypress-trees; and on the other side was the swamp itself, a dense wood growing inContinue reading “He has come here to die…”

Okefenokee – Ornithologist’s Delight

“The ornithologist is thrown into an ecstasy of delight, for birds ranging from the majestic whooping crane to the lowly wren, inhabit this swamp, and too, there are many rare species almost extinct in other sections of the country to be found here. And to those who like to observe and study the wild inContinue reading “Okefenokee – Ornithologist’s Delight”

Like an Umbrella

– Excerpt from William Bartram’s Travels; Part II, Chapter III “From the buttress, the Cypress, as it were, takes another beginning, forming a grand strait column eighty or ninety feet high, when it divides every way around into an extensive flat horizontal top, like an umbrella, where eagles have their secure nests, and cranes and storksContinue reading “Like an Umbrella”

The Heron is at Home

In 1895, naturalist Bradford Torrey wrote of the Green Heron being at home in watery woods such as the Okefenokee Swamp: “The day was before me, and the place was lively with birds. Pine-wood sparrows, pine warblers, and red-winged blackbirds were in song; two red-shouldered hawks were screaming, a flicker was shouting, a red-bellied woodpeckerContinue reading “The Heron is at Home”

Francis Harper’s Okefenokee Florida Barred Owl

In October 1913, Francis Harper explored the Okefenokee Swamp and published his journal in The Auk, the official publication of the American Ornithological Society. FLORIDA BARRED OWL; ‘ Deer Owl’; ‘Hoot Owl.’- Very common. Its deep, booming cry is sure to be heard at night, and is so characteristic of the Okefinokee that the natives use it as one ofContinue reading “Francis Harper’s Okefenokee Florida Barred Owl”

Okefenokee Green Heron

An excerpt from my March 10, 2015 Okefenokee Journal; my daughter’s first trip to the Okefenokee. Tuesday, 4:13 PM – After pitching camp in the Stephen C Foster State Park campground, the game with my daughter was to see who would spot our first alligator. So we headed down the Trembling Earth Nature Trail andContinue reading “Okefenokee Green Heron”

Virtual Okefenokee Exploration through iNaturalist

The Okefenokee has grown into an obsession! Even though I have opportunity for only a few “boots-on-the-ground” days in the Swamp each year, I love exploring it year-round through online and print publications. I just can’t get enough! My favorite way to get into the swamp (virtually) is through iNaturalist. Just like paddling down an OkefenokeeContinue reading “Virtual Okefenokee Exploration through iNaturalist”