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”

Okefenokee Magnificent White Bonnet Lily Blooms

“A man who has spent his entire life in and near the Swamp describes the setting of Gannet Lake as follows: From this lake one can look across a five-mile stretch of prairie and see the large green lily leaves floating around and the magnificent white bonnet lily blooms, which look as white as snow,Continue reading “Okefenokee Magnificent White Bonnet Lily Blooms”

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”

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”

Virtual Okefenokee Exploration through iNaturalist

The Okefenokee has grown into an obsession! Even though I have opportunity for only a few “boots-on-the-ground” days in the Swamp each year, I love exploring it year-round through online and print publications. I just can’t get enough! My favorite way to get into the swamp (virtually) is through iNaturalist. Just like paddling down an OkefenokeeContinue reading “Virtual Okefenokee Exploration through iNaturalist”

Young’un Screaming Bloody Mercy

Excerpt from The Last Remaining Indian in the Okefenokee Swamp, by Tommy Hartley: “Old man Lee was laying on the end of the porch sunning, same as the gator. He heard the young’un screaming bloody mercy as the gator was get’en her and draggin’ her to where he could get into the water with ‘er. TheContinue reading “Young’un Screaming Bloody Mercy”

Okefenokee Anticipation

Whenever an Okefenokee excursion comes to an end, I am immediately antsy about another trip. Typically I have to wait another year, but sometimes two! During the wait, the anticipation builds. I frequently gaze at the large fold-out National Geographic topographic map I purchased at the Stephen C Foster State Park trading post in 2015Continue reading “Okefenokee Anticipation”

Great Egret, The Handsomest Heron

​In 1894, naturalist and ornithologist Bradford Torrey wrote of the Great Egret in his book, A Florida Sketch-Book. “Incomparably the handsomest member of the heron family (I speak of such as I saw) was the great white egret. In truth, the epithet ‘handsome’ seems almost a vulgarism as applied to a creature so superb, so utterlyContinue reading “Great Egret, The Handsomest Heron”

Graceful Genius

​An excerpt from A Florida Sketch-Book, by naturalist Bradford Torrey, written in 1895: “​I look up from my paper to see a turkey buzzard sailing majestically northward. I watch him till he fades in the distance. Not once does he flap his wings, but sails and sails, going with the wind, yet turning again and againContinue reading “Graceful Genius”