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…”

Okefenokee Dragonflies – Insectivorous, Cannibalistic Carnivores!

​Despite their innocent looks, and harmless alighting upon an extended finger, dragonflies are voracious carnivores! In fact, their insectivorous habits gave them the name odonata, which is Greek for “toothed”.  Strange Lives of Familiar Insects claims a dragonfly can ingest their own body weight in 30 minutes. And I suppose cannibalism isn’t out of the question, asContinue reading “Okefenokee Dragonflies – Insectivorous, Cannibalistic Carnivores!”

Gator! Danger Here!

​In 1875, The Atlanta Constitution published the dramatic headline: “We now announce to our readers, and the people of Georgia, that we are fitting up an expedition for a complete and thorough exploration of Okefinokee. The full details of the plan and expedition will be published soon – if they come out alive.” Over the next months,Continue reading “Gator! Danger Here!”

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”

Okefenokee – Ornithologist’s Delight

“The ornithologist is thrown into an ecstasy of delight, for birds ranging from the majestic whooping crane to the lowly wren, inhabit this swamp, and too, there are many rare species almost extinct in other sections of the country to be found here. And to those who like to observe and study the wild inContinue reading “Okefenokee – Ornithologist’s Delight”

Alligators of the Okefenokee Video

While many of the alligators quietly slip into the water as you paddly by, some gators can put on quite a show that is full of splashing and drama. The video below is a compilation of photography and some gator splash videos from our March 2020 trek to the Okefenokee Swamp. iNaturalist observation: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/49132311

Like an Umbrella

– Excerpt from William Bartram’s Travels; Part II, Chapter III “From the buttress, the Cypress, as it were, takes another beginning, forming a grand strait column eighty or ninety feet high, when it divides every way around into an extensive flat horizontal top, like an umbrella, where eagles have their secure nests, and cranes and storksContinue reading “Like an Umbrella”

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”

Francis Harper’s Okefenokee Florida Barred Owl

In October 1913, Francis Harper explored the Okefenokee Swamp and published his journal in The Auk, the official publication of the American Ornithological Society. FLORIDA BARRED OWL; ‘ Deer Owl’; ‘Hoot Owl.’- Very common. Its deep, booming cry is sure to be heard at night, and is so characteristic of the Okefinokee that the natives use it as one ofContinue reading “Francis Harper’s Okefenokee Florida Barred Owl”

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”