This Incredible Boldness – William Bartram

“I saw before me, through the clear water, the head and shoulders of a very large alligator, moving slowly towards me; I instantly stepped back, when, with a sweep of his tail, he brushed off several of my fish. It was certainly most providential that I looked up at that instant, as the monster wouldContinue reading “This Incredible Boldness – William Bartram”

Okefenokee Black Bear Tracks

Alligators aren’t the only megafauna of the great Okefenokee Swamp! I’ve made several excursions to the Okefenokee, but have never had the privilege of spotting a bear. I get a bit jealous as I see iNaturalist observations of Black Bears lumbering through the Stephen C Foster campground, or in other places throughout the swamp. ​Continue reading “Okefenokee Black Bear Tracks”

Okefenokee Green Heron

An excerpt from my March 10, 2015 Okefenokee Journal; my daughter’s first trip to the Okefenokee. Tuesday, 4:13 PM – After pitching camp in the Stephen C Foster State Park campground, the game with my daughter was to see who would spot our first alligator. So we headed down the Trembling Earth Nature Trail andContinue reading “Okefenokee Green Heron”

William Bartram’s Sarracenia

“Shall we analyze these beautiful plants, since they seem cheerfully to invite us? How greatly the flowers of the yellow Sarracenia represent a silken canopy, the yellow pendant petals are the curtains, and the hollow leaves are not unlike the cornucopia or Amaltheas horn, what a quantity of water a leaf is capable of containing, about aContinue reading “William Bartram’s Sarracenia”

Be Aware! Alligators Present

An excerpt from my March 10, 2015 Okefenokee Nature Journal: Tuesday, 6:35 PM – As the fading light of dusk was about to force us to our tent site, a couple walking up the road said, “There is a gator behind the boat barn. But be careful; he’s out of the water and he is biiiiigggg.”Continue reading “Be Aware! Alligators Present”

Graceful Genius

​An excerpt from A Florida Sketch-Book, by naturalist Bradford Torrey, written in 1895: “​I look up from my paper to see a turkey buzzard sailing majestically northward. I watch him till he fades in the distance. Not once does he flap his wings, but sails and sails, going with the wind, yet turning again and againContinue reading “Graceful Genius”

Sophie’s Suitor

Any visitor to the Stephen C Foster Georgia State Park campground in the heart of the Okefenokee Swamp has met “Sophie”. She is the resident gator that lives, patrols and fills the boat launch area with babies every year. Sophie can often be seen laying in the grass near the canoes, or occasionally up onContinue reading “Sophie’s Suitor”

Okefenokee Hooded Pitcher Plants

Multiple trips to the Okefenokee and I hadn’t seen a Pitcher Plant since 1997. So on this May 2020 trip I was going to find and photograph that signature swamp Sarracenia! From what I had read, some of the largest Hooded Pitchers – up to three or four feet – grow in the Okefenokee Swamp.Continue reading “Okefenokee Hooded Pitcher Plants”

Okefenokee Turtle Egg Predation

While an adult turtle’s shell is hard and seemingly impenetrable, an unborn turtle’s eggshell is nowhere near as tough. In fact, turtle eggs are a swamp delicacy! From the number of scavenged nests I found on my May 2020 Okefenokee paddling trip, it seems everything eats turtle eggs. Bears, raccoons, skunks, opossums, crows, bobcats andContinue reading “Okefenokee Turtle Egg Predation”

Okefenokee Fetterbush will make you stagger and shout!

In the spring the Okefenokee Swamp shrubbery is decorated with delicate rows of tiny pink and white bells. These small flowers are of the Lyonia bush. Although they look and smell like a sweet Valentine’s Day treat, they haven’t always been thought of so fondly, as revealed by a few of their common names: fetterbush,Continue reading “Okefenokee Fetterbush will make you stagger and shout!”