Okefenokee Swamp I

4.6.12 ~ Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, Georgia
4.6.12 ~ Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, Georgia

If there were Druids whose temples were the oak groves, my temple is the swamp.
~ Henry David Thoreau
(Journal)

4.6.12 ~ Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, Georgia
4.6.12 ~ Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, Georgia

On the night of a full moon, April 6, we took an enchanting sunset cruise on a small skiff into the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge. There had been a natural fire, started by lightning, about a year ago.

4.6.12 ~ Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, Georgia
4.6.12 ~ Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, Georgia

In southern Georgia and northern Florida there is a very special place, one of the oldest and best preserved freshwater systems in America. Native Americans called it Okefenoka, meaning “Land of the Trembling Earth.” Now this place, where earth, air, fire and water continuously reform the landscape, is preserved within the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, created in 1937 to protect wildlife and for you to explore.
~ Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge

4.6.12 ~ Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, Georgia
4.6.12 ~ Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, Georgia

Can you spot the alligator eyeing us in the next picture?

4.6.12 ~ Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, Georgia
4.6.12 ~ Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, Georgia
4.6.12 ~ Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, Georgia
4.6.12 ~ Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, Georgia
4.6.12 ~ Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, Georgia
4.6.12 ~ Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, Georgia
4.6.12 ~ Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, Georgia
4.6.12 ~ Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, Georgia
4.6.12 ~ Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, Georgia
4.6.12 ~ Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, Georgia

photos by Tim Rodgers

18 thoughts on “Okefenokee Swamp I”

    1. Brace yourself, Laurie, we got much closer to other alligators farther along on the way! Actually, I found the spider spinning a web on our skiff much more of a concern, even though our guide said it was harmless. 🙂

  1. I love looking at swamps. And the quote by Thoreau. Would love to get an alligator or crocodile picture up close–but not TOO close. Lovely post, Barbara.

    1. Thank you, Kathy. Swamps are so fascinating, full of mysterious wonders… Maybe you can make a side trip to this one on your next visit to your in-laws and have fun photographing the alligators.

  2. Hi,
    Great photos. Swamps are amazing places, so many different animals that live in these places it really is natures heaven I think.

    1. Thanks, Mags. I agree, swamps are amazing places, teeming with life maintaining an awesome balance. Yes, I agree, nature’s heaven…

    1. Happy you enjoyed the photos, Sheryl! Sometimes I felt like I must have been on another planet…

  3. Hi. The ‘land of the trembling earth’ is captured in all the photos, but especially in the one with the shimmering water. Wetlands are our most precious ecosystem. Jane

    1. Native Americans thought of very descriptive names for places, names that revealed their respect for the natural world… I’m grateful for the forethought of the ones who, in 1937, decided to preserve this ecosystem…

  4. What a wonderful thing to do on the night of a full moon! I read the second post first so I didn’t realize these photos were taken at night! My congratulations on the great photos.

    I’ve been on boat trips in the Florida swamps but it was too many years ago. I can see it’s time to go again.

    1. Thanks, Rosie, I will let Tim know you appreciated his photos! I’m glad he had the presence of mind to take so many of them – I was too awe-struck by my surroundings to have managed any picture-taking. Even though it was very cloudy and we never saw the moon we could still feel its pull.

      Was the Everglades one of the swamps you visited in Florida? My parents took us there when we were children and I was enchanted back then, too… I’d love to take Tim there some day.

  5. What a wonderful experience! There is so much more to Florida than beaches and sunbathing. This is the part I would love to see and experience..so thanks for allowing me to, virtually, for now!

    1. You’re welcome, Diane! Because I’ve already had some skin cancer removed from my forehead (we used to vacation in Florida when I was a child) I avoid sunbathing, except to get enough Vitamin D – a few minutes on my balcony in the morning. So it was great to find something to do away from the sun’s blazing rays…

  6. I’d be a tad bothered by sharing the water with an alligator, Barbara, even if there was a skiff between us! We hear way too many crocodile stories, with unfortunate endings, which can tend to leave a person just a touch paranoid! 🙂

    1. For some reason I felt perfectly safe there, Joanne. Perhaps if the alligators had been moving around and snapping at things I might have been more nervous. But I think the natural world seemed to be at peace and in a state of balance while we were there – I imagine things get livelier after dark when the nocturnal alligators begin hunting. It was thrilling seeing the alligators in their natural home, perhaps the same feeling I imagine getting if I ever got to see one of the big cats in its natural environment, which I doubt will happen in this lifetime! 🙂

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