Okefenokee Woodpecker Excavations

The flooded prairies and hammocks of the Okefenokee Swamp hold acre after acre of standing, dead wood. An abundance of snags (dead trees) means abundant woodpeckers. There are eight species of woodpecker found in the Okefenokee, and one formerly occurring species – the Ivory Billed Woodpecker – that is now extinct. ​ The excavations ofContinue reading “Okefenokee Woodpecker Excavations”

One Live Alligator is Worth a Dozen Dead

An excerpt from naturalist Bradford Torrey’s 1894 book, A Florida Sketch-Book: “But as we were skirting along the shore I suddenly called ‘Hist! An alligator lay on the bank just before us. The boy turned his head, and instantly was all excitement. It was a big fellow, he said,—one of three big ones that inhabited theContinue reading “One Live Alligator is Worth a Dozen Dead”

Okefenokee Upland Pine Trail

By definition, a swamp doesn’t have much high ground not inundated with water. Therefore, there aren’t too many dry hiking trails in the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge. Canoeing and kayaking are the primary means of enjoying this wonderful habitat. There are a couple of islands – Floyds, Billy’s and a few others – where youContinue reading “Okefenokee Upland Pine Trail”

William Bartram’s “Little Green Chameleon”

– Excerpt from William Bartram’s Travels, Part II, Chapter X “THERE are several species of the lizard kind besides the alligator, which is by naturalist allowed to be a species of that genus. THE green lizard or little green chameleon is a pretty innocent creature; the largest I have seen were not more than seven inches inContinue reading “William Bartram’s “Little Green Chameleon””

Terrifying Screams of Owls in the Deep Swamp

“​The evening was however, extremely pleasant, a brisk cool breeze sprang up, and the skies were perfectly serene, the stars twinkling with uncommon briliancy. I stretched myself along before my fire; having the river, my little harbour and the stern of my vessel in view, and now through fatigue and weariness I fell asleep, butContinue reading “Terrifying Screams of Owls in the Deep Swamp”

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”