Thursday, November 24, 2011

Some Okefenokee scenics

Before long, I want to share some up close and personal accounts of some of the interesting critters and plants that I encountered on my recent foray into the Okefenokee Swamp. But whether one knows the names of any of this vast wetland's flora and fauna, they'd certainly be impressed by the scenic grandeur of the place. Following are a few photos of the Okefenokee's picturesque beauty. As always, clicking on a photo will enlarge it.

An Okefenokee skiff. Boats with shallow drafts are essential for navigating the marshes and waterways. A big thanks to guide Jennifer Iona Hogan with Okefenokee Adventures for showing me some off-the-beaten-path places. Look her up and take a tour if you make it to the Okefenokee.

Stately cypress trees draped with Spanish moss create lush walls of vegetation along blackwater canals.

Cypress trees are deciduous conifers, and most have dropped their needles by now. However, in places the trees were still burnt-orange with old needles.

Big skies over wet prairies. Such places abound in life, both plant and animal.

Okefenokee "prairies" are really vast sedge meadows. An indescribable bounty of wetland animals call these marshes home, at least seasonally. I saw everything from tiny citrine forktail dragonflies to massive Sandhill Cranes.

An abundance of pine flatwoods surround and intersperse the wetlands. Spiny-stemmed saw palmetto underlays the pines. This habitat supports a different cast of characters, including the federally endangered Red-cockaded Woodpecker.

Partridge Pea and its magical extrafloral nectaries

A showy snarl of partridge pea, Chamaecrista fasciculata , lines the sidewalk to my front door. This native member of the pea family (Fabace...