About the Okefenokee:
The Okefenokee is a magical place full of mystery and intrigue everywhere you look. It is one of my absolute all-time favorite places to photograph or be for that matter.
Located in the Southeastern corner of the State of Georgia, this 438,000-acre (approximately 700 square miles) wetland is the largest black water swamp in North America.
When I first mention how much I love the swamp to most people, they look at me like I am crazy. I am sure they are thinking of nothing more than muddy water, Cyprus trees and Spanish moss, all being overtaken by mosquitoes or worse. The truth of the matter is though, that while you do have all of those things, it so much more as well, and the mosquitoes are not as bad as everyone imagines them to be!
The Okefenokee Swamp is made up of quite a diversity of environments and habitats actually. It does have the swamp areas with the Cyprus trees and Spanish moss hanging down from them along the beautiful boardwalks and waterways. And of course who can take their eyes off a beautiful lake filled with beautiful water lilies. However, it also has everything from dry prairie areas to dark forests that will make you feel as if you are no where near a swamp. The eastern edge of the swamp is even made up of a high ridge of sand, known as Trail Ridge.
This diversity in habitat also makes it a perfect home for a huge variety of wildlife including an assortment of mammals, reptiles and birds. On any given trip into the Okefenokee Swamp you might see any of the approximate 30 different species of native mammals that make this their home including Black Bear, Deer, Foxes, Raccoons, Opossums, Bobcats, Coyotes, Wild Hogs and many others. Pretty much all species of wading birds and waterfowl can be found here, depending on the time of year. White Ibises, Egrets, Herons, Wood Storks and Owls are all very common. Wood ducks and sand hill cranes can also be found here year round. In the Spring and fall, you can also expect to see a variety of migratory birds.
And of course, it wouldn't be a swamp worth exploring if it didn't have alligators! These are the one of the things that you can expect to see on any trip into Okefenokee, again sometimes more than others.
There is nothing like floating along one of the canals and slowing going past a majestic huge alligator sunning itself on the bank or on an old fallen tree. You will feel as though you have stepped back in time as the only sounds you will hear are the guttural calls of the adult alligators accompanied by the clicks of the babies nearby. For a background chorus, day or night you can hear a symphony of birds or frogs signing as if they are alone in the world. It truly is like taking a journey through a work of living art.