Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Okefenokee Swamp critters

Have any of you looked at a map of Florida lately?  It's long.  And the Everglades are at the very tip of it.  We've learned that when you drive really far to somewhere, you then have to turn around and drive all the way back.  So, we're happy to report there are plenty of gators to view at the Okefenokee Swamp, and that's up in Georgia, folks (barely).  

 As we do whenever possible, we started our next adventure at Trader Joes.  With the new opening in Tampa, we had to decide: Tampa or Gainsville?  We're glad we took the latter, as there were these sweet topiary monkeys hanging from the tree out front.
stop at a gas station before you see this sign; it's 20 miles to the campground!

As you can see, it was absolutely beautiful.  The birds were all singing, and the swamp attracts a pretty diverse bird crowd. It also attracts lots of skeeters, which is why Gary is reading so far away from the tent, in the sun, fully covered.

yep, he's real

We took a guided boat tour with a real swampee (that's what I've decided to call the locals).  While I'm blanking on his name, his dad had been a ranger in the park as well.  He knew a thing or two about the swamp...

why is the water tea colored?

can you spot the gators? 

that thar cypress tree is 900 yrs old 

Des got to pull out the bladderwort plant and see the insects inside!

luckily, alligators are quite lazy

We ended our camping trip like we usually do, and found the smoke to be especially helpful with the skeeters.  Piling into the tent smelling like campfire smoke is one of those smells that takes you back and envelops you in happy memories.  I'm so very grateful to have them.