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”

Okefenokee’s Prophecy of Preservation

Thankfully, Hamp Mizell’s words in this passage from the 1926 book, History of the Okefenokee Swamp, were prophetic when he wrote of the restoration of the Okefenokee. The entire swamp was stripped of the timber in the early 1900’s but in 1937 President Franklin Delano Roosevelt established the Okefenokee as “a refuge and breeding groundContinue reading “Okefenokee’s Prophecy of Preservation”

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”

Alligator Right-of-Way

Excerpt from my March 12, 2015 Okefenokee nature journal. As one leaves the more open waters of Billy’s or Minnie’s Lakes in the Okefenokee and enters the cypress forests and hammocks, the channels become considerably narrower. While there aren’t as many alligators in these tighter areas, occasionally a large specimen might be patrolling the water.Continue reading “Alligator Right-of-Way”

Okefenokee Tiger Moth Caterpillar

The Okefenokee blackwater is decorated in the spring with the golden fingers and bright green plumes of the Golden Club plant (Orontium aquaticum). The waxy leaves are shed water droplets and always seem dry, hence the name “Neverwet.” ​ As I had my canoe anchored on a bed of bonnet lilies to photograph some GoldenContinue reading “Okefenokee Tiger Moth Caterpillar”

Bugaboo Island Deer

Excerpt from the 1926 book History of the Okefenokee, by Hamp Mizell and AS McQueen: “When Bugaboo Island was first discovered it was then traversed by various trails and paths made by the numerous wild animals on this particular island. There were quite a lot of deer on this island, and it is said by theContinue reading “Bugaboo Island Deer”

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”

The Long Moss

An excerpt from William Bartram’s Travels, Part II, Chapter III: “The long moss, so called, is a singular and surprising vegetable production: it grows from the limbs and twigs of all trees in these southern regions, from N. lat. 35 down as far as 28, and I believe every where within the tropics. Wherever it fixes itself,Continue reading “The Long Moss”

Okefenokee Alligator Trails

Excerpt from the 1926 History of the Okefenokee Swamp by AS McQueen and Hamp Mizell: “It was in the early winter of 1874 that my father found Chase Prairie. On this trip, and on all others thereafter he always carried a small pole about 8 feet long with an old bayonet on the end which was usedContinue reading “Okefenokee Alligator Trails”

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”