An Old Champion

An excerpt from William Bartram’s Travels, published in 1791: “AN old champion, who is perhaps absolute sovereign of a little lake or lagoon (when fifty less than himself are obliged to content themselves with swelling and roaring in little coves round about) darts forth from the reedy coverts all at once, on the surface of the waters,Continue reading “An Old Champion”

Floating Fields of Nymphea

“​WE approached the savanna at the South end, by a narrow isthmus of level ground, open to the light of day, and clear of trees or bushes, and not greatly elevated above the common level, having on our right a spacious meadow, embellished with a little lake, one verge of which was not very distantContinue reading “Floating Fields of Nymphea”

A Very Large and Terrible Creature

Excerpt from William Bartram’s Travels, Part II, Chapter V. ​”THE alligator when full grown is a very large and terrible creature, and of prodigous strength, activity and swiftness in the water. I have seen them twenty feet in length, and some are supposed to be twenty-two or twenty-three feet; their body is as large as that ofContinue reading “A Very Large and Terrible Creature”

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”

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”

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”

The Alligator Abounds…

The dreaded and formidable rattlesnake is yet too common, and a variety of other serpents abound, particularly that admirable creature, the glass-snake: I saw a very large and beautiful on, a little distance from our camp. The alligator, a species of crocodile, abounds in the rivers and swamps, near the sea coast… On the recollectionContinue reading “The Alligator Abounds…”