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”

Here Lived and Loved Another Race of Beings

In an 1825 oration, early American poet ​Charles Sprague beautifully laments the  extirpation of the American Indian that once roamed the lands like the Okefenokee: “Not many generations ago, the rank thistle nodded in the wind, and the wild fox dug his hole unscared. Here lived and loved another race of beings. Beneath the sameContinue reading “Here Lived and Loved Another Race of Beings”

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”

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”

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”

Outside the Okefenokee: Timber Rattler

The Timber Rattlesnake’s range extends from New York and down south into the northern part of Florida, including the Okefenokee Swamp. Today’s post features a find outside the Okefenokee from up in Walton County, Georgia between Atlanta and Augusta. An animal control co-worker texted me after-hours and said, “I’ve got one for you!” Along withContinue reading “Outside the Okefenokee: Timber Rattler”

Six Foot Ratsnake

Although ratsnakes (Pantherophis sp.) can be found in the Okefenokee, this is a bonus post of a snake I recently wrangled further north in the Georgia Piedmont area of Oglethorpe County: A frantic friend called me with a “giant rattlesnake” in his yard. Knowing it probably wasn’t a rattlesnake, I kept making excuses to avoidContinue reading “Six Foot Ratsnake”

The Chance of Meeting an Alligator

Excerpt from the 1912 Okefenokee journal of Dr. W.D. Funkhouser: “We five started in alone, carrying 50 pound packs, with a compass as our guide. The water was from waist to shoulder deep, full of giant cypress trees, and so closely overgrown with underbrush and entangling vines that we literally had to cut our wayContinue reading “The Chance of Meeting an Alligator”

Okefenokee Turtle Egg Predation

While an adult turtle’s shell is hard and seemingly impenetrable, an unborn turtle’s eggshell is nowhere near as tough. In fact, turtle eggs are a swamp delicacy! From the number of scavenged nests I found on my May 2020 Okefenokee paddling trip, it seems everything eats turtle eggs. Bears, raccoons, skunks, opossums, crows, bobcats andContinue reading “Okefenokee Turtle Egg Predation”