Once again we were off for a road trip of sorts.Fargo Georgia to the Okefinokee Swamp and then on to Cumberland Island. This is my fourth trip to the swamp and I just have to say I am in love. One day maybe I will move as close to it as I can.
First Day we set up camp the weather is perfect and we go for a walk on one of the trails. Unfortunately the sill area is closed for a boat ramp construction project. The sill area is beautiful because it is an area where a lot of the water fowl roost and the wildlife come out to feed in the evening. But on our walk just past the welcome center in the water is a small baby alligator amongst the lily pads. Also a small frog is on the edge of the water no bigger than a nickel. A child's smile spreads across my face and I feel as if I am the luckiest girl on earth.
The next day we wake up early....coffee in hand, camera bags and snacks to hit the water by 730 am. At the welcome center we rent the small motor boat for a small fee and load are little gear. Tom navigates us through the small canal like entrance into the bigger water. We can see a mist ahead on the water and when we hit the big water to the left a mist rises from the swamp. The alligators are out in abundance we can see them swimming in the mist looking for the morning meal. Occasionally they will bellow out which sounds sometimes like a large bull frog and sometimes like a lion in the woods. Cypress trees, tall pines and a variety of other trees covered with Spanish moss loom on either side of the water, thousands of lily pads with blooms just about to open lay beneath them.
As the sun begins to burn off the mist up ahead in a couple of tall trees the buzzards are roosting. Waking up from their sleep they are sunning themselves. Around twenty-five birds are in the trees some with wings spread catching the morning sun. As we navigate through the waters of the Okefenokee many other water trails exist but clogged with lily pads and cypress trees motor boats are not allowed. I looked longingly wanting to explore these places that seem untouched by man. Water fowl swoop from the trees ahead of us, herons, ducks, egrets and the always present alligator close at hand.
The first time I saw the swamp I was in awe of it's beauty and wildness. On this trip the beauty brought tears to my eyes. The history of the swamp and it's people is an interesting one. For anyone interested I would recommend, "Okefinokee Album" by Delma Presley and Frances Harper.
Photographs can't show the beauty of the swamp nor the way it makes me feel. I have posted a few of my favorites from the hundreds I have taken to try to keep with me the feeling of the swamp.
Friday, February 5, 2010
The Okefinokee Swamp
Just a few immediate thoughts of a beautiful place.
Into the land of the gators, reflections of life in the past, a look into another world of fairy flies & mirror images where one's imagination can easily deceive. I looked into the reflections and in them saw a world like no other but how can that be? The reflections were of this world, but I could not look at this one while navigating the winding water ways I was drawn only to the reflections. I pondered on what lie beneath the surface of all that beauty. I know there is a dark place under there where alligators lurk waiting for the likes of me to become lost in the magic of the swamp. But somehow I felt within the depths of the water there lay a world of fairy lights and fairy flies that danced in the evening sun. There is a beauty within the swamp the reflections make it seem as if there is no where else to go as if the trail has ended. Then and only then do the eyes look up into this world to find the path which one must take to take the next step of the journey.