Prairies, Lakes, Islands and Hammocks

Within the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, there are several habitats contained within one “swamp” ecosystem: lakes, prairies, hammocks and island forests. With such a variety, all day paddling does not become monotonous or boring. ​The open lakes leave one out in full sun with expansive views all around; then the lakes collapse into narrow channelsContinue reading “Prairies, Lakes, Islands and Hammocks”

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”

Up the Suwannee Middle Fork

An excerpt from my March 2015 Okefenokee nature journal: Thursday, 9:12 AM – The number of large basking gators quickly dwindled as we paddled up the narrower channel toward Minnie’s lake. Large lily pads crowded in toward the canoe on either side; Spanish moss hung overhead. After about a mile we came to the coveContinue reading “Up the Suwannee Middle Fork”

Some Sovereign Alligator – William Bartram

An excerpt from William Bartram’s ​Travels Through North and South Carolina, Georgia, East and West Florida. “​I HAD now swamps and marshes on both sides of me, and evening coming on apace, I began to look out for high land to encamp on, but the extensive marshes seemed to have no bounds; and it was almost darkContinue reading “Some Sovereign Alligator – William Bartram”

How to Pee in the Okefenokee!

After a few hours of paddling, the thought usually comes to mind, “What about using the bathroom.” If you’re not prepared, this can be a leg-crossing conundrum! Thankfully, along some of the canoe trails, distinct, man-made features oddly stand out amongst the swamp scenery: large wooden platforms topped with a roof, picnic table and outhouse!Continue reading “How to Pee in the Okefenokee!”

Juvenile Alligator Pod on Okefenokee Minnie’s Lake

At the north end of Minnie’s Lake on the Middle Fork of the Suwanee River in the Okefenokee, we paddled into a cove of Spatterdock and downed cypress that held an inspiring spectacle: no less than six or seven young alligators congregated in a small area. The center of attention were three that were perfectlyContinue reading “Juvenile Alligator Pod on Okefenokee Minnie’s Lake”

An Old Friend Okefenokee Alligator

Unless they are tagged or have some unique scars, American Alligators are quite hard to tell apart. I’m sure there are subtle differences in size and features that could be identified if one spent some time comparing photographs. But for the most part, I can only suspect some of the alligators I’ve encountered multiple OkefenokeeContinue reading “An Old Friend Okefenokee Alligator”

Focus Stacking an Okefenokee Gator Stack

While paddling through the Okefenokee Swamp in Georgia, I came upon an awesome scene. Multiple juvenile alligators were stacked upon logs and lily pads in a small cove on Minnie’s Lake. My eyes took in the whole scene and I was overwhelmed with delight and wonder. But my joy was replaced with a bit ofContinue reading “Focus Stacking an Okefenokee Gator Stack”

Okefenokee: Nature Lover’s Paradise

“This magnificent Swamp, one of the very largest, if not the largest, in the entire United States, is truly a nature lovers paradise. The scenic beauty and grandeur, with its changing vistas of island, dense bays overgrown with moss covered trees, open prairies covered with lily pads of incomparable beauty, lakes – from the miniatureContinue reading “Okefenokee: Nature Lover’s Paradise”