Okefenokee Golden Club Fruit

On our May 2020 Okefenokee canoe trek, the Golden Clubs were no longer sporting many of those beautiful yellow and white spikes that were abundant in early spring. But upon paddling close to a plume of leaves, I saw something a bit different floating in the tannin waters… fruit! Either I had overlooked the fruitContinue reading “Okefenokee Golden Club Fruit”

Paddle to Billy’s Island

An excerpt from my Okefenokee Journal on March 11, 2015: Wednesday, 12:17 PM – Grabbing our life vests (but neglecting seat cushions, as we would later regret), we loaded our canoe and headed up the channel toward Billy’s Lake. As we floated by, a beautifully camouflaged American Bittern, Botaurus lentiginosus, popped his head up fromContinue reading “Paddle to Billy’s Island”

Okefenokee Oak Mistletoe

A large clump of thick green leaves sits high in otherwise bare tree. The thick glossy leaves growing are completely unlike the normal foliage furled out by that tree in the spring. This makes Mistletoe easy to spot, especially in the winter. Its parasitic nature – stealing water and nutrients from its host – isContinue reading “Okefenokee Oak Mistletoe”

Okefenokee Journal: Banded Watersnake

An excerpt from my March 10, 2015 Okefenokee Nature Journal: Tuesday, 4:16 PM – The most noticeable, or, I should say, most unavoidable sight on the Trembling Earth Nature Trail was the gnats — great clouds of gnats six feet in diameter, swarming at eye-level on the boardwalk. We pass through one cloud – swattingContinue reading “Okefenokee Journal: Banded Watersnake”

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”

Home Away From Home

In 1851, the American songwriter Stephen C. Foster sang of the Okefenokee’s Suwannee River as “home” in the song, Old Folks at Home. And over 150 years later, my daughter and I are calling the Stephen C. Foster State Park our home-away-from-home! After a full day in the hot sun, and after toiling across Billy’s LakeContinue reading “Home Away From Home”

Okefenokee Brown Water Snake

In the early 1990s, when I should have been sitting in my college classes, I was usually out in the rural areas and swamps of Georgia, Florida and the Carolinas flipping pieces of tin and digging through piles of debris hoping to find snakes. Reptiles became a lasting interest, and much of what drew meContinue reading “Okefenokee Brown Water Snake”

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”

Okefenokee Zale Moth Caterpillar

How cool. I had no idea that the Okefenokee had its own moth! And I wasn’t even on the lookout for this little critter when I found it. My daughter and I were paddling north up the Suwannee Middle Fork (red trail) from Billy’s Lake. The run is usually quite wide, but at some pointsContinue reading “Okefenokee Zale Moth Caterpillar”

Outside the Okefenokee: Jorō Spider Invasion

Today’s post takes us outside the Okefenokee. But who knows if this foreign invader will eventually spread through Georgia and into the swamp??? Although it didn’t cause national hysteria like the beetle invasion of 1964 (or was it Beatles in the British Invasion???), I did happen to hear about the Jorō Spider invasion of 2014.Continue reading “Outside the Okefenokee: Jorō Spider Invasion”