Not a Good Day for Gators

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 “Not a Good Day for Gators”

Clouds of Vapour from Their Nostrils

A favorite passage from William Bartram’s Travels,​ published in 1791. “I have seen an alligator take up out of the water several great fish at a time, and just squeeze them betwixt his jaws, while the tails of the great trout flapped about his eyes and lips, ere he had swallowed them. The horrid noise ofContinue reading “Clouds of Vapour from Their Nostrils”

Okefenokee – For the Birds!

When the Okefenokee’s time for preservation had finally come, varying governmental departments and environmental groups had diverse visions for the swamp’s future use. Some wanted a National Park, like Yellowstone or Yosemite, to “for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations.” Others wanted a National Wilderness Area where “human activities are restrictedContinue reading “Okefenokee – For the Birds!”

Until Next Time

An excerpt from my March 2015 Okefenokee Journal: Thursday, March 12, 2015 – As the afternoon wore on and the cypress shadows lengthened, I realized we couldn’t paddle the full ten miles to Big Water and make it back before sunset. We paused to relax in the peaceful sanctity of the swamp stillness before turningContinue reading “Until Next Time”

Time Moves Slowly

An excerpt from my March 2017 Okefenokee nature journal… Saturday, 8:41 PM – I’m sitting on a cot in our spacious tent. What a pleasant feeling after several hours out on the water of Billy’s Lake. Although just a half day, the first day was therapeutic. What a joy as I journaled the events ofContinue reading “Time Moves Slowly”

I long to see you…

“For I long to see you, …to the end ye may be established.” Romans 1:11 As I sit roadside peering into a batch of white-blazed Long-Leaf Pines, my eyes watering and blurring from over a half-hour of anticipatory scanning, I am amazed to think that at one time, millions of Red-cockaded Woodpeckers drummed across theContinue reading “I long to see you…”

By Assistance of the Red Bird

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 nextContinue reading “By Assistance of the Red Bird”

Okefenokee West Entry Road

No matter how many trips I make to the Okefenokee, my excitement always builds exponentially as I near the refuge border. It is a twenty mile drive from Fargo, Georgia on the western edge of the Okefenokee until you reach the dead-end within the Stephen C Foster State Park campground. This long stretch of HighwayContinue reading “Okefenokee West Entry Road”

Alligator Tail

An alligator is a whole lot of tail! Full of muscle and strength, the tail makes up half of an alligator’s total length and is designed for efficient swimming. The tail is laterally compressed (which means it is taller than it is wider) and is topped with tall crests of epidermal scales. This design meansContinue reading “Alligator Tail”

Prairies, Lakes, Islands and Hammocks

Within the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, there are several habitats contained within one “swamp” ecosystem: lakes, prairies, hammocks and island forests. With such a variety, all day paddling does not become monotonous or boring. ​The open lakes leave one out in full sun with expansive views all around; then the lakes collapse into narrow channelsContinue reading “Prairies, Lakes, Islands and Hammocks”