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Borrego Springs, CA

Sunday, November 11, 2012

West versus East

There are over 400,000 acres included in the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge.  I am parked at a site on the east entrance to the refuge.  Today, my roving assignment took me and another new volunteer couple to the west entrance to the refuge.  It’s not easy to get to the west entrance from here and took us about 90 minutes of travel through Georgia and a part of Florida to get there.  The west entrance is through the Stephan C. Foster State Park.  The state park is considered a concessionaire to this entrance to the refuge.

_MG_1183As a part of our orientation activities, we would participate in a boat tour of this part of the refuge provided by Georgia State Park staff.  The western part of the refuge is a lot different from the eastern part. 

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The east side has lots of open wet prairies, but the west side has the cypress areas that are more familiar to my thinking's of a swamp.  Logging companies took out most of the old growth cypress trees in the area during the 1930’s but the cypress  swamp has returned after they left.

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We had perfect weather for a boat tour of the swamp, and encountered many birds along out tour.  There are many more trees draped with Spanish moss on this side of the swamp that provide perching spots for a multitude of juvenile little blue herons.

IMG_0837These young birds seemed to appear around every bend.  It must have been a great nesting year for these herons.  About three quarters of the refuge was effected by the fires in 2011,but things have really bounced back from then.

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We were even lucky enough to get a sighting of the endangered wood stork on our journey into the swamp.

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We saw tons of juvenile little blue herons, but only one adult bird today.  Most of my time on the tour was taken up with snapping pictures along the way.  What an enchanting place this Okefenokee swamp is!

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We saw several white ibis as we made our way.  As volunteers, we didn’t have to pay for this tour, but the charge for this 90 minute float through the swamp only costs $15 should you visit here.  I think it is well worth the cost if you find yourself near Fargo, GA.

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Just imagine yourself floating through this primordial cypress swamp.  What a great way to spend a Sunday morning!  I was happy to see many folks taking advantage of this interesting area in canoes and kayaks.   There’s a great picnic area where we had lunch, and camping for tenters and RVs as well within walking distance of the paddling trails.  On the way back home, we even had a great view of a barred owl flying across the road to the woods.  It was a very enjoyable day for me learning more about this area of Georgia.

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy

26 comments:

  1. That second picture with the trees reflected in the water is just gorgeous. That would be a wonderful tour to take.

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  2. You snapped some good bird pics today, looks like a good place for a boat ride. I've been reading all of the bird books here while working at the visitors center, trying to learn what everything is.

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  3. We did a great swamp tour out of Jefferson TX, almost Louisiana..loved it..That Wood Stork was amazing..and I do soooo love the Blue Herons!!What a neat place to stay...

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  4. Oh these pictures are great. This is the section of the swamp we've always gone to so we could camp or kayak. It's wonderful to see these. I guess I'm going to have to check out the eastern section.

    Last year, we were in Myakka River State Park in Florida and there were a lot of wood storks. It was quite a surprise.

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  5. Great pictures of the herons! This looks like a great location for you.

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  6. you captured some great photos of the Herons! The tour sounds like it would be a
    great deal at $15!

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  7. The Wood Stork is quite an impressive looking bird. We are buried in snow here so my bird activity has been minimal :(

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  8. We went on the boat ride many years ago. We had a very good guide and learned a lot. What fascinated me was how black the water is. I've always wanted to go back in the winter. Have a great time doing your thing...there are some visitors who have no idea, yet, how lucky they are to have someone who is so enthusiastic about everything. As always, your pictures are great.

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  9. What a great tour. . .looks like you are going to have an interesting season!

    Janice
    ReadyToGoFullTimeRVing Blog
    FaceBook.com/ReadyToGoFullTimeRVing

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  10. Thanks for a great tour, Judy. Your photos are amazing!

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  11. Wonderful tour. Love the photos. What a lovely assignment you have.

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  12. I have paddled this swamp many, many times. It is one of my favorite places. I am glad you are finding the magic that is there.

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  13. Judy - that sounds like a wonderful destination. As always, thanks for the photos - I learn a lot by reading your blog.

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  14. Especially like the last photo.... you sure captured the feeling of the swamp. Thanks for a great tour.

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  15. Looks like a place we would love.

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  16. Nice pictures, I have given up canoeing in areas where poisonous snakes are likely to drop out of tress:)

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  17. Saw a lot of wood storks near the Everglades...glad to see the, knowing that they are endangered. A tour like that sounds wonderful, thanks for taking us on one today.

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  18. We have passed there many times and never stopped. We will not make that mistake again.
    Thanks for the tour.

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  19. What a great area. I love the Wood Stork images!

    Mark

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  20. I love the birds. What beautiful pictures and I love the way you caught the turtle along with the bird.

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  21. Gorgeous area! You get so many great bird shots - I'd be in heaven to get some of those. Those long legged water birds just always look perfectly posed - just beautiful. :)

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  22. It sure is amazing how Mother Nature can recover from man's stupidity, logging all the cedars out.

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  23. Great tour! We'll have to add this to our list.

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  24. I agree, what a fabulous tour! Your posts are always so interesting. I LOVED the photo of the cypress swamp!! BTW, how do you manage to always be able to have internet access? What do you use? (Company? wi-fi system?) Thanks!

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  25. Hi i love to visit this kind of place and those pictures are really good can any one guide me how i can visit this place in easy way (Thanks)

    http://www.timestravel.com

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