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”

Outside the Okefenokee: Jorō Spider Invasion

Today’s post takes us outside the Okefenokee. But who knows if this foreign invader will eventually spread through Georgia and into the swamp??? Although it didn’t cause national hysteria like the beetle invasion of 1964 (or was it Beatles in the British Invasion???), I did happen to hear about the Jorō Spider invasion of 2014.Continue reading “Outside the Okefenokee: Jorō Spider Invasion”

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”

World Record Alligators

The largest alligators are said to have been from 15 to 19 feet long. I don’t think any of those 19-footers were scientifically verified, but an internet search shows Mandy Stokes’ 15’9” alligator holds the current world record. The largest Georgia alligator was killed in 2019 and measured 14’1”. ​ I haven’t climbed out of my canoe withContinue reading “World Record Alligators”

Okefenokee Bonnet Lakes

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 “Okefenokee Bonnet Lakes”

Okefenokee Florida Red-bellied Cooter Turtle

The Florida Redbelly Turtle is another common aquatic turtle I’ve spotted on my canoe adventures throughout the Okefenokee Swamp. A close look at Pseudemys nelsoni reveals two cusps on its upper beak which differentiates it from the other turtles in the refuge. The Suwannee River, which runs through the Okefenokee, is the northern border ofContinue reading “Okefenokee Florida Red-bellied Cooter Turtle”

Obliging Alligators

An excerpt from naturalist Bradford Torrey’s 1894 book, A Florida Sketch-Book: “​The river in that part of its course is comfortably narrow,—a great advantage,—winding through cypress swamps, hammock woods, stretches of prairie, and in one place a pine barren; an interesting and in many ways beautiful country, but so unwholesome looking as to lose much ofContinue reading “Obliging Alligators”

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”

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”

Okefenokee Alligators: No Laughing Matter

An excerpt from the 1926 book History of the Okefenokee, By Hamp Mizell and AS McQueen: “Alligator hunting affords excellent sport, and requires considerable courage, for it is no laughing matter to haul a wounded alligator into a boat on a dark night. They can – and do – become nasty customers at times andContinue reading “Okefenokee Alligators: No Laughing Matter”