Walk Across on Their Heads

A favorite passage from William Bartram’s Travels,​ published in 1791: “IT was by this time dusk; and the alligators had nearly ceased their roar, when I was again alarmed by a tumultuous noise that seemed to be in my harbour, and therefore engaged my immediate attention. Returning to my camp I found it undisturbed, and thenContinue reading “Walk Across on Their Heads”

Little Houses on the Prairies

AN EXCERPT FROM SUWANNEE RIVER, STRANGE GREEN LAND BY CECILE HULSE MATSCHAT, 1938. “​The prairies – the swamp folk’s name for the open flooded marshes – are filled with a tropical luxuriance of water plants and resemble wide grassy meadows. They are dotted with wooded islets, commonly called ‘houses’ because they have enough dry land to furnishContinue reading “Little Houses on the Prairies”

Where the Wandering Seminole Lives

Excerpt from Travels by William Bartram, published in 1791: “HOW happily situated is this retired spot of earth! What an elisium it is! where the wandering Siminole, the naked red warrior, roams at large, and after the vigorous chase retires from the scorching heat of the meridian sun. Here he reclines, and reposes under the odoriferous shadesContinue reading “Where the Wandering Seminole Lives”

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”

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”

Stephen C Foster Canoe Rentals

Even if you don’t own a canoe or kayak, the Stephen C Foster State Park is worth a stay. The park has plenty of canoes lined up along the canal ready for rental. If your time is short, or your body doesn’t agree with paddling, there are motor boats too. The park ranger guided pontoonContinue reading “Stephen C Foster Canoe Rentals”

Lost in the Okefenokee

An excerpt from my Okefenokee nature journal, March 2017: As the afternoon wore on, we pressed north more quickly. After we passed the green trail junction that leads to Floyd’s Island, the run grew narrower, the fetterbush shrubs grew thicker, the floating beds of peat and spatterdock choked in closer. Did we get off theContinue reading “Lost in the Okefenokee”

The Narrows

Between the open skies of Billy’s Lake and the prairie landscape of Mixon’s Hammock lies a twisting, constricted canoe trail called “The Narrows”. The sky overhead is darkened by Black Gum, Cypress, Bay, Red Maple and Dahoon Holly. The eye-level view left and right is overcrowded by Titi, Hurrah Bush and other shrubs. Unless theContinue reading “The Narrows”

Alligator Right-of-Way

Excerpt from my March 12, 2015 Okefenokee nature journal. As one leaves the more open waters of Billy’s or Minnie’s Lakes in the Okefenokee and enters the cypress forests and hammocks, the channels become considerably narrower. While there aren’t as many alligators in these tighter areas, occasionally a large specimen might be patrolling the water.Continue reading “Alligator Right-of-Way”