DO NOT FEED THE ALLIGATORS!!!

Throughout the Stephen C Foster campground in the Okefenokee Swamp, there are signs warning against the feeding of wildlife. These warnings are no joke. It is now commonly known (hopefully) the dangers of pitching handouts to wildlife. Feeding of bears and alligators causes them to associate humans with food, and that can lead to futureContinue reading “DO NOT FEED THE ALLIGATORS!!!”

Okefenokee Stephen C Foster Georgia State Park

The Stephen C. Foster State Park on Jones Island comprises a very small portion within the entire National Wildlife Refuge. The park was named after Stephen Collins Foster (July 4, 1826 – January 13, 1864), known as “the father of American music.” He was an American songwriter primarily known for his parlor and minstrel music;Continue reading “Okefenokee Stephen C Foster Georgia State Park”

Distant Heavy Thunder

An excerpt from William Bartram’s Travels​ published in 1791. “BUT what is yet more surprising to a stranger, is the incredible loud and terrifying roar, which they are capable of making, especially in the spring season, their breeding time; it most resembles very heavy distant thunder, not only shaking the air and waters, but causing theContinue reading “Distant Heavy Thunder”

Okefenokee Alligator Farm?

Before becoming protected in the 1960’s, alligators were hunted to near extinction for their skins. The following is a headline from an 1875 newspaper. Thankfully the “Okefenokee Alligator Farm” vision never became a reality, for there probably would have been only a lot of “harvesting” and very little management. The Galveston News thinks alligator skinsContinue reading “Okefenokee Alligator Farm?”

Where are the Birds?

An excerpt from my March 11, 2015 Okefenokee nature journal: Wednesday, 9:20 AM – At the onset of the pontoon boat tour, our guide had asked us if there was anything in particular we wished to see. Of course, one lady ejected, “A BIG GATOR!” I more quietly let it be known that we wantedContinue reading “Where are the Birds?”

His Rival Champion

A passage from William Bartram’s Travels, published in 1791. “​THE verges and islets of the lagoon were elegantly embellished with flowering plants and shrubs; the laughing coots with wings half spread were tripping over the little coves and hiding themselves in the tufts of grass; young broods of the painted summer teal, skimming the still surfaceContinue reading “His Rival Champion”

Okefenokee Farewell

Today my daughter Amanda turns eighteen. Each trip with her to the Okefenokee has been a special time that I will always cherish. The following is an excerpt from my journal on the last day of our 2017 excursion… As if signaling our departure from the swamp, a group of Ibises flew overhead, heading offContinue reading “Okefenokee Farewell”

Hot Okefenokee Afternoon Sun

An excerpt from my Okefenokee Journal from March, 2015: Wednesday, 3:30 PM – After our hike on Billy’s Island, we rowed back toward the Stephen C Foster State Park campground. Even though it was early spring, the sun was still high and bright. It became quite hot sitting in the open sun of the canoe.Continue reading “Hot Okefenokee Afternoon Sun”

Beautiful Leaf-Green Lizard

An excerpt from A Florida Sketch-Book, by naturalist Bradford Torrey, written in 1895: “The morning is cloudless and warm, till suddenly, as if a door had been opened eastward, the sea breeze strikes me. Henceforth the temperature is perfect as I sit in the shadow. I think neither of heat nor of cold. I catch aContinue reading “Beautiful Leaf-Green Lizard”

Little Blue Heron Leap Frog

An Okefenokee photography journal entry from March 6, 2017: Monday, 9:25 AM – ​Frustrated by my pursuit of a quality Wood Duck photograph, we continued our travel along the edges of Billy’s Lake. We began a “leap frog” chase of a pretty Little Blue Heron. It was bold, but cautious. Standing on the Spatterdock, we’dContinue reading “Little Blue Heron Leap Frog”