Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Here Gator Gator . . .

It's perfect spring weather in South Georgia and we are on Spring Break.  So off on a trip to the Okefenokee Swamp in Folkston, GA. 
When we arrived the forestry staff was out doing a controlled burn.  After the devastating wildfires a few years back, it was amazing to watch the fire burning in a controlled way.  We could have stayed and watched but for some reason they hurried us along--something about our safety. LOL!
The first thing we did was to stop at the Chesser Island Homestead.  The girls were amazed by the white sand in the yard and the lack of modern conveniences.  They assured me that they never had to take a bath in the hand-pumped, no hot water, bathtub.  They also thought the house was too small for 9 people.
On the way back to the van we encountered our first snake of the day.  We think it was either a kingsnake or a black racer.   I'm sure that it could have been many kinds of snakes actually, but I do know that it was black and quick.
Next, we had a picnic lunch and then we headed out to the hike to the tower.  We had our friend Violet with us and she got the luxury of being pushed in the stroller.
All in all we saw 7 snakes, 3 alligators, 3 turtles and 1 egret (I think).    We heard several alligators doing their calls to each other out on the boardwalk.  They sounded like they were really close and on both sides of the boardwalk.  This was by far our best adventure out into the swamp because the gators were so close, but we couldn't see them.
I missed a picture of the smallest baby snake--it was too quick.  It was about 6-7 inches long and curled up on top of the water.  When we stopped to look, it swam away fast.
We love that we can be out with nature, but far away for safe measures.  Check out some of my favorite pics of the day courtesy of the Okefenokee Swamp.

What a fun and educational day all in one!  We went to the Okefenokee Park in Folkston, GA.  It seems more natural to me and less commercialized than the park in Waycross.  It's a great day trip if you live in the area.