Until Next Time

An excerpt from my March 2015 Okefenokee Journal: Thursday, March 12, 2015 – As the afternoon wore on and the cypress shadows lengthened, I realized we couldn’t paddle the full ten miles to Big Water and make it back before sunset. We paused to relax in the peaceful sanctity of the swamp stillness before turningContinue reading “Until Next Time”

The Same Baby Gators?

A passage from my Okefenokee journal from March 2017 after coming upon a pod of juvenile alligators: At 9:50 AM, we reached the Middle Fork Junction and headed north on the Suwannee River up the red trail through beautiful channels of Spatterdock and Neverwet. We had made this journey in 2015 and marked in theContinue reading “The Same Baby Gators?”

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”

Navigating The Narrows

A passage from my Okefenokee nature journal dated March 5, 2017: Sunday, 9:37 AM – By advantage of the trolling motor, we quickly traveled to the western end of Billy’s Lake. As the lake tapered, the trees and shrubs on the shore greatly increased. We soon passed a sign pointing toward “The Narrows/The Sill.” EvenContinue reading “Navigating The Narrows”

Take it Slowly

An excerpt from my March 2017 Okefenokee Nature Journal: Our desire was to reach Big Water, a lake several miles up the Suwannee Middle Fork (red trail). To cover the ground, I was paddling rather quickly… probably too quickly to enjoy the Okefenokee. Just past 11:00 AM we entered upon Minnie’s Lake and grasped byContinue reading “Take it Slowly”

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”

Little Blue Heron Leap Frog

An Okefenokee photography journal entry from March 6, 2017: Monday, 9:25 AM – ​Frustrated by my pursuit of a quality Wood Duck photograph, we continued our travel along the edges of Billy’s Lake. We began a “leap frog” chase of a pretty Little Blue Heron. It was bold, but cautious. Standing on the Spatterdock, we’dContinue reading “Little Blue Heron Leap Frog”

Okefenokee Trolling Motor

In 2017 I added an electric trolling motor to our canoe, my daughter acting as captain of our vessel. Not only does the motor mean relaxed travels with little rowing, but it allows hands-free for photography. In addition, our patrols of the shores of Billy’s Lake to spot the large alligators basking are much quicker.Continue reading “Okefenokee Trolling Motor”

Cypress Knee Bend

Passing north beyond Minnie’s Lake along the Suwannee River Middle Fork trail, the kayak channel constricts through a more mature Cypress forest. Here the dense, towering trees cast their shadows and darken the swamp below. One gets a feel for what it was like throughout the entire Okefenokee before the saws and lumber mills ofContinue reading “Cypress Knee Bend”