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…”

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”

Here Lived and Loved Another Race of Beings

In an 1825 oration, early American poet ​Charles Sprague beautifully laments the  extirpation of the American Indian that once roamed the lands like the Okefenokee: “Not many generations ago, the rank thistle nodded in the wind, and the wild fox dug his hole unscared. Here lived and loved another race of beings. Beneath the sameContinue reading “Here Lived and Loved Another Race of Beings”

Okefenokee Alligator – a log with eyes

“Sam lay rolled in blankets beside Frodo. ‘I had a funny dream an hour or two before we stopped, Mr. Frodo,’ he said. ‘Or maybe it wasn’t a dream… I saw a log with eyes!’  ‘The log’s all right,’ said Frodo. ‘There are many in the River. But leave out the eyes!’” – Lord ofContinue reading “Okefenokee Alligator – a log with eyes”

Okefenokee – Dark, Dangerous and Foreboding

“The artist can find in this Swamp scenes for masterpieces – from the beautiful to the somber – for a while there are scenes of unsurpassed beauty, there are others dark, dangerous and foreboding.” Excerpt from the 1926 History Of Okefenokee Swamp by A S McQueen And Hamp Mizell iNaturalist observation: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/29933513

Okefenokee Golden Club

In my earlier days, I never was much of a plant enthusiast. In fact, I primarily overlooked vegetation, or looked through it to spot snakes and birds! But as one paddles the black waters of the Okefenokee Swamp you can’t ignore the colorful spikes of gold, white and pink that rise above the lily padsContinue reading “Okefenokee Golden Club”

Okefenokee Blackwater River

The Suwannee; a mysterious blackwater river. Textured cypress tower high above, doubled in their height by their reflection in the obsidian-glass water. Their knees bumping and hindering the passage of the canoe. Pale green lichens and mosses creep out of the waters, ascending the base of every tree. Like swaying specters, the Spanish moss hauntsContinue reading “Okefenokee Blackwater River”

Okefenokeology Video Series, Episode 8

The Okefenokee Swamp Park is broadcasting Professor Don Berryhill’s video series, Okefenokeology! Subscribe to their YouTube channel to receive updates. “Watch this episode of Professor Don Berryhill’s Okefenokeology Program. In this episode, he will provide information about ‘How did the Okefenokee Swamp get here?’”

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!”

Okefenokee Plant Life: the White Water Lily

When one says, “swamp”, one of the first images related to the flora and vegetation of the habitat is, of course, the towering Cypress trees and flowing curtains of Spanish Moss. On my forth trip to the majestic Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, I spent some time to learn the other floral inhabitants of this beautifulContinue reading “Okefenokee Plant Life: the White Water Lily”