Sophie’s Yawn

An Okefenokee evening entry from my March 5, 2017 journal: Sunday, 6:14 PM – Nine hours on the canoe trails of the Okefenokee Swamp! Nine continuous hours in the canoe without a break to stretch our legs or use the bathroom. Nine hours of pulling on the paddles in the mid-day sun. Tiring, but IContinue reading “Sophie’s Yawn”

Stephen C Foster Canoe Rentals

Even if you don’t own a canoe or kayak, the Stephen C Foster State Park is worth a stay. The park has plenty of canoes lined up along the canal ready for rental. If your time is short, or your body doesn’t agree with paddling, there are motor boats too. The park ranger guided pontoonContinue reading “Stephen C Foster Canoe Rentals”

Alligator Appetite for Hound Dogs

​Excerpt from The Last Remaining Indian in the Okefenokee Swamp, by Tommy Hartley. “​They say the Lee’s never carry dogs in the swamp anymore without caring a long, keen, Cypress sapling with a knife blade fastened to one end. Mr. Lee says one stick with that knife and them gators lose their appetite for hound dogsContinue reading “Alligator Appetite for Hound Dogs”

Struggle through Mixon’s Hammock

A toil through Mixon’s Hammock from my March 5, 2017 Okefenokee journal: Sunday, 3:45 PM – The journey along the wide canal known as The Sill was quite easy, especially with an electric trolling motor aiding our progress.  But as we turned east back up the brown trail, our trouble began. That wonderful downstream currentContinue reading “Struggle through Mixon’s Hammock”

Lost in the Okefenokee

An excerpt from my Okefenokee nature journal, March 2017: As the afternoon wore on, we pressed north more quickly. After we passed the green trail junction that leads to Floyd’s Island, the run grew narrower, the fetterbush shrubs grew thicker, the floating beds of peat and spatterdock choked in closer. Did we get off theContinue reading “Lost in the Okefenokee”

William Bartram’s Snake Bird

A passage describing the Anhinga from the nature journals of William Bartram, published in 1791: “HERE is in this river and in the waters all over Florida, a very curious and handsome bird, the people call them Snake Birds. I think I have seen paintings of them on the Chinese screens and other India pictures:Continue reading “William Bartram’s Snake Bird”

The Monsters of The Sill

A travel journal from our canoeing up The Sill Recreation Area in the Okefenokee Swamp on March 5, 2017: Sunday, 12:45 PM – ​Compared to the challenging navigation through The Narrows (brown trail), the paddling through Mixon’s Hammock became much easier. The strong current caused by the low water levels carried us quickly into theContinue reading “The Monsters of The Sill”

Bradford Torrey’s “Water Turkey Contortionist”

An excerpt from naturalist Bradford Torrey’s 1895 book, A Florida Sketch-Book: “At another time, on the same stake, sat some dark, strange-looking object. The opera-glass showed it at once to be a large bird sitting with its back toward me, and holding its wings uplifted in the familiar heraldic, e-pluribus-unum attitude of our American spread-eagle; but evenContinue reading “Bradford Torrey’s “Water Turkey Contortionist””

Okefenokee Squirrels and Hawks

A passage from my March 5, 2017 Okefenokee journal: Sunday, 9:04 AM – ​Another bright, blue calm morning on Billy’s Lake as we slowly paddle westward for a day up the brown trail to The Sill. Passing on close to the edge of the lake, a funny acting Eastern Gray Squirrel has himself pressed tightly flatContinue reading “Okefenokee Squirrels and Hawks”

The Narrows

Between the open skies of Billy’s Lake and the prairie landscape of Mixon’s Hammock lies a twisting, constricted canoe trail called “The Narrows”. The sky overhead is darkened by Black Gum, Cypress, Bay, Red Maple and Dahoon Holly. The eye-level view left and right is overcrowded by Titi, Hurrah Bush and other shrubs. Unless theContinue reading “The Narrows”