Saturday, January 23, 2010

Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge (Swamp)

Yesterday four of us ladies went to the Swamp yesterday. We arrived to find that there was a parking fee. Once we followed the signs to where to pay, Mary Lou pulls out her Golden Passport to get into National Parks, so we didn't have to pay to park. You have to be a certain age (I think 62) in order to get this passport and you can bet that when I reach that age, I'll be getting me one.

We decided to take a boat tour through the swamp and it seems that we were the only ones for that time slot. Gee a private tour. While we were waiting for our time we went to the educational center to watch a film and learn a little more of the Okefenokee. While there, one of the exhibits is of an Animatronic figure sitting on a makeshift porch telling stories of the area. He was very real looking/acting and he certainly held the attention of the audience.
You can tell how intently Carol and Mary Lou are on listening and how Tina has found something funny in what is being said.

So after the movie and listening to the storyteller it was on to catch our boat. Ron was our captain and interpreter. He has been on the Okefenokee for two years and had certainly gleaned quite a bit of knowledge to share with us.

Oh I forgot to tell you that Buffett went along on the Swamp trip and he was the original one to write this blog but he didn't get to experience things like he usually does so I only captured a few shots of Buffett at the Swamp. One is the ride to the Okefenokee in the back of Grey Goose. With four of us traveling there wasn't much room up front. The others are in the boat ride, as you can see he starts out eager to watch for flying things and alligators but a little while later you can see he was bored and just wanted to slump down into the boat seat.

We could not have picked a better day to go on our outing. The lighting was perfect as we took the man-made canal out to the prairie area, no it's not the same as Little House on the Prairie. Just take a look at how beautiful this area is.

Of course here I am showing the way much like I'm showing you with the following slide show. I had taken so many photos that I found it difficult to cull, hence the slide show. Enjoy.

We were lucky in that the alligators were out sunning along the banks and the roadways. There were a couple of kayakers out, one (the yellow) had just left the dock and was on his way to kayak the entire Suwanee River which should take him about 2 weeks. Also along the way were the sign colored to mark the canals (trails) so folks wouldn't get lost. Rod said that the alligators, if left along and not provoked, will leave kayakers alone, especially during this time of the year. They do most of their hunting at night. There are many species of turtles which came out to sun. Also, in the Prairie there was a Great White Egret and alligator side by side.

The Okefenokee was named by the Seminole Indians as the Land of the Trembling Earth. Here's the explanation...

Here is Carol from Washington State handling some of the fresh peat moss that Rod gave us to inspect.

Tina is listening intently to the explanation Rod is providing on the cypress trees of the area, while Mary Lou and Carol are seeking answers to their questions.

Here we are, minus Carol, as we are finished w/our boat ride. Carol and Mary Lou are my neighbors in my RV park in SE Ga and Tina is a fellow forum member whom I have met at a couple of different get togethers. She was in the area and dropped by.

As we were getting ready to drive around the Swamp Island Drive tour we saw this pitiful abandonded chihuahua at the visitor's center. Mary Lou was able to get him to come to her and see held on to him while one of the workers contacted centers to help him.

As it turned out the Camden County humane shelter would not take an "out of county" dog w/out a $60 fee. There were enough people around that gave the money for the worker to take him to the shelter. There were many people who wanted him but wouldn't take him. I knew that Sedona would NOT tolerate having another dog w/her. She, after all, is an Only dog. At least we knew he was going to be in good hands.

Our trip to the Swamp was excellent. I would recommend going there especially this time of year. I wouldn't even want to think about it when the bugs come to life.


Margie and Roger said...

I enjoyed going on this trip with you via your post. Looks like it was a nice day. Hope the day was good for you.

That poor little Chihuahua. Horribly malnourished, but otherwise looked in fairly good shape considering what it must have gone through. Hope it finds a good home. If I had been along on that trip, I know I would have brought him home with me...and I sure don't need 3 dogs.

Beckles said...

Enjoyed the trip and pix. It's obvious that "life is good"!! I see that you continue to promote Tennessee State Parks (tee shirt and bag!!).