Sunny Day at Okefenokee

Sunny Sunday Morning Boat Ride

posted in: Nature, Travel | 5

After seeing the Okefenokee swamp on a dreary, rainy day, going back on Sunday in the bright sunshine was actually quite different. Oh there’s still the same wildlife, but everything just seems a little less foreboding, and having other folks out canoeing and enjoying the refuge area changes the atmosphere tremendously.

Sunning in the same place we saw him yesterday.

Heading down the Canal

We chose to take the 90 minute guided tour as opposed to rowing ourselves around, from Okefenokee Adventures. They have all kinds of ways for you to explore the swamp, from renting canoes or kayaks to multiple day tours on the swamp! Our guide’s family had lived in the area for 7 generations and he knew all about the wildlife and the plant life, which would take an entire lifetime to become aware of, honestly, there are so many different species of animal and plants in the swamp!

Naturally, we came across a few gators during the trip.

Sunning

What I love about that photo is that you can see just how black the water is. Look at the gators body, at the point where it goes from being out of the water, to under the water. You can’t see a thing! This is why they say for every gator or snake you see, there are 10 you don’t. You cannot see anything that is under the water here.

Of course, the hawks are really just as impressive when you get to really watch them do their thing out here too.

Flying Over the Canoes

Red Sholdered Hawk aGainst the Bright Sky

All in all, the tour was fun, educational and a great way to wrap up our time in Okefenokee before heading home!

Swamp Trees in early Spring

Going Down the Suawnee Canal

Laura Walker State Park Gazebo

Laura Walker State Park Georgia

posted in: Nature, Travel | 0

Aside from a run-in with a snake, this state park, which is located very close to Waycross, GA, and basically across the street from the northern entrance to the Okefenokee Swamp (which is NOT the wildlife refuge, but the commercial part of the park, which has it’s own attractions, albeit of a different nature), was a lovely way to wrap up our Saturday.

After a rainy morning and some train watching, the sun actually came out as we headed back to Waycross, so we decided to make one more stop and a short hike in Laura Walker State Park.

First we hit the nature trail, which started out in among the long pines.

Long Pine Trees

It then continued along some swampy areas, and Mirror Pond.

Nature Trail

Mirror Pond

I’m guessing you can tell where the name Mirror Pond came from, no? ๐Ÿ˜‰

After that hike, and the long day we had already had, not to mention the bug bites, (Oh good lord the bug bites! Even with bug repellant on I got chewed up pretty good in the swamp.), it was nice to just stop and watch the late afternoon sun over the lake.

Late Afternoon Sun on the Lake

The sunny late afternoon was a nice change from the rain earlier in the day and a precursor to what we were going to get on our return to Okefenokee for our boat ride. More on that in a future post!

ProCam for iPhone Free For a Limited Time

posted in: Smartphone | 0

The Procam app is currently available for free from the App Store. With the release of ProCam2, they are running the original version for free, and the new version at half-price for a limited time.

I downloaded the free version over the weekend and it seems like a handy tool that adds some much needed functionality to the standard camera software on the iPhone 5s.

Let’s face it. A free app that makes the camera on your iPhone more flexible is always a good thing.

Train Watching in Folkston Georgia

posted in: Fun Times, Travel | 1

Tracks

After slogging through the rain all morning at Okefenokee, we were ready for lunch. Angela had read about a nearby town, Folkston, that had been on CBS This Morning and other programs because of it’s fame among rail fans around the country. Seems that all of the rail traffic going into and out of Florida has to go around all that swamp land, and it does so by being funneled through Folkston. Up to 75 trains a day pass through this little town, which must make it a noisy place, but they have embraced this reality and turned it into a community gathering place, complete with a watching platform, ceiling fans, wifi, picnic tables and a speaker that picks up the rail radio signals.

Train Watching Platform

It was a little chilly by the time we finished our lunch, but we hung around for the next train to come through. With all it’s noise and clamor, the train gets everyone’s attention, but then again, that’s why you’re at the Folkston Funnel to begin with.

Engine

Going to Canada, eh?

It was the kind of gathering place where I could see spending time in my retirement years. Going down to the platform, maybe with my radio to listen to a ball game, and watching trains go by.