Okefenokee Snake Hunting Competition

An excerpt from my Okefenokee Journal dated March 11, 2015: Wednesday, 11:50 AM Walking further down the swamp boardwalk, my eyes were constantly scanning left and right among the shallow waters and cypress knees. My daughter and I were constantly engaged in a silent competition to spot snakes. I don’t know how, but it seemsContinue reading “Okefenokee Snake Hunting Competition”

Meeting Sophie the Stephen C Foster Resident Alligator

“Sophie” is the resident alligator of Stephen C Foster State Park. She has been out there patrolling the waters on every one of our Okefenokee visits, and populates the boat launch with baby gators. My nature journal from March 10, 2015 describes our first meeting with Sophie: Tuesday, 6:29 PM – We failed to seeContinue reading “Meeting Sophie the Stephen C Foster Resident Alligator”

Long Leaf Pine “Bottle Brush”

Before the industrialist loggers of the early 20th century arrived, the Longleaf Pine dominated the upland areas surrounding the Okefenokee Swamp. Because of its ability to survive wildfires in its fire resistant “grass stage”, the Longleaf is well suited to the fire prone South Georgia landscape. The thick, grassy clump of needles protects the budContinue reading “Long Leaf Pine “Bottle Brush””

Alligator Fishing Tackle Injuries

For many years now, our first gesture upon arriving in the Okefenokee Swamp is to say ‘hello’ to “Sophie”, the resident alligator that inhabits the boat bay at the Stephen C Foster campground. But in 2021, our joy at seeing her quickly turned to sadness, and a bit of outrage. Sophie had suffered a horribleContinue reading “Alligator Fishing Tackle Injuries”

Okefenokee Odonata

Skimming all throughout the Okefenokee are the gorgeous Odonata. The dragonflies adorn the swamp with their vibrant greens and blues. In the heat of the day, when most of the birds hide and the alligators sink in the cooler waters, the dragonflies are constantly buzzing about. If your camera’s autofocus is worthy – and yourContinue reading “Okefenokee Odonata”

I Love You Too, Dad

Why is the Okefenokee so dear to me? Since my college days I loved the swamp, alligators, snakes, etc. But the Okefenokee has grown so fond in my heart because of the bonding moments I’ve shared with my daughter canoeing and camping there. Below is an excerpt from my March 2015 nature journal describing why IContinue reading “I Love You Too, Dad”

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 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”

Okefenokee Pileated Woodpecker Designs

“I feel like I’m beating my head against the wall.” Obviously, that’s an expression we use to describe a pointless pursuit that accomplishes nothing but pain. However, it is an action that a woodpecker does on purpose! I marveled as I watched a Pileated Woodpecker hammering away in the Okefenokee Swamp… chunks of bark andContinue reading “Okefenokee Pileated Woodpecker Designs”

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”