Birthplace of the Suwannee

AN EXCERPT FROM SUWANNEE RIVER, STRANGE GREEN LAND BY CECILE HULSE MATSCHAT, 1938. ​“The birthplace of the Suwannee is in Georgia, deep in the somber heart of the Okefenokee Swamp. Grotesque, bottle-shaped cypress trees, sixty to ninety feet in height, with wide-spreading tops, reach upward from the wine-colored water and form a canopy so dense that onlyContinue reading “Birthplace of the Suwannee”

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”

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”

Trees So Lofty

Excerpt from William Bartram’s Travels, published in 1791: “On the West side it was bordered round with low marshes, and invested with a swamp of Cypress, the trees so lofty, as to preclude the sight of the high-land forests, beyond them; and these trees, having flat tops, and all of equal height, seemed to be aContinue reading “Trees So Lofty”

Okefenokee Wood Duck Pursuit

By day three of our 2017 trip, several of the birds I had hoped to see were checked off the list… except the Wood Duck. The Wood Ducks eluded my camera in 2015, but I would get one this time! …or would I? Monday, March 6, 2017. 10:33 AM. – Far in the distance IContinue reading “Okefenokee Wood Duck Pursuit”

The Long Moss

An excerpt from William Bartram’s Travels, Part II, Chapter III: “The long moss, so called, is a singular and surprising vegetable production: it grows from the limbs and twigs of all trees in these southern regions, from N. lat. 35 down as far as 28, and I believe every where within the tropics. Wherever it fixes itself,Continue reading “The Long Moss”

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”

Okefenokee Blackwater River

The Suwannee; a mysterious blackwater river. Textured cypress tower high above, doubled in their height by their reflection in the obsidian-glass water. Their knees bumping and hindering the passage of the canoe. Pale green lichens and mosses creep out of the waters, ascending the base of every tree. Like swaying specters, the Spanish moss hauntsContinue reading “Okefenokee Blackwater River”

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”

The Okefenokee Swamp – Morning on Billy’s Lake

Thursday, March 12, 2015 – After a breakfast of freeze-dried biscuits and gravy, we loaded the cooler and our packs for a full day of paddling. We were going to press further up the Suwanee River than on our guided tour, perhaps 10 miles up closer to the heart of the swamp. Coming upon Billy’sContinue reading “The Okefenokee Swamp – Morning on Billy’s Lake”