About the Author

William Wise

Hi, I’m nature writer and conservation photographer William Wise. I have a deep love of the Okefenokee Swamp in Georgia. I am not an Okefenokee expert, but I am certainly an Okefenokee enthusiast! I try to visit the swamp at least once per year. I love to bring my daughter, her friends, or to share the experience with other naturalists and photographers.


O LORD, with my whole heart; I will shew forth all thy marvellous works. Psalms 9:1

My story

I graduated from University of Georgia’s Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources wildlife management program in 1996. I’m currently an animal shelter manager and reside in Athens, Georgia, USA with my wife and two teenage daughters.

My first love was reptiles. In the 1990s when I should have been studying, I was taking trips to southeastern swamps to snake hunt. Then, in the spring of 1996, I participated in an alligator capture-tag-release program on Bear Island WMA, SC. After holding my first juvenile gator and restraining a growling adult underneath me, I was hooked on gators!

Upon discovering eBird, birding also became an obsession. Prior to that, my interest was limited to “hawks and herons”. Now I delight in photographing and listing as many as I can in my regular birding patches in Clarke and Walton Counties, Georgia.

I became a devoted Christian in 1993 under a campus ministry while studying wildlife biology at the University of Georgia. My love of the outdoors quickly turned into a love for the Creator and His works. The theme of my blogging comes from The Message version of Psalms 104 — “What a wildly wonderful world, God! You made it all, with Wisdom at Your side, You made earth overflow with your wonderful creations.”

I shot with Minolta in the film days. Since going digital I used Nikon cameras (D80, D7000) and now primarily use the Nikon D500 with a Sigma 150-600mm lens for most of my wildlife photography. The pet portraits are shot with a Nikkor 70-200mm lens.

“My life would never again be the same. Indeed whoever has beheld the manifold charms of this paradise of woods and waters, must come away fascinated and spellbound.” 

– From naturalist Francis Harper’s journal during his first visit to the Okefenokee Swamp in May 1912
William Wise attempting to connect with the Okefenokee Swampers of the past by visiting the Chesser Family Homestead. March 6, 2021.