My Montana

My Montana
My Montana

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Back on the Boardwalk

Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge lost its boardwalk, which gives visitors the quickest, easiest access to the swamp, two years ago in a massive wildfire. This is the most visited part of the refuge and has been sadly missed.

But, just before I arrived, the new boardwalk was finished.  Locals are still sad because most of the pond cypress around the boardwalk were burned and the feeling of walking in a winding tunnel of trees has been replaced by a straighter walk though  falling-down, dead trees and more marsh plants.  But many trees are regrowing from their stumps, in a decade or so, there will be another feel to this place.

Meanwhile there is something different to hear or see on each trip down the boardwalk.

Confused lizard tail  (Saururus Cernuus)

Two years after the wildfire

This first shelter was built over an alligator hole - usually easy to find the gator. 

Georgia bullrush ( Scripus georgianus) ?

I love nature's compositions best of all

Blaspheme vine (Smilax laurifolia) growing widely in hunt for a tree to climb

Dahoon holly (Ilex cassine)

The new boardwalk couldn't follow the curve of the old because of the cost

Sandhill cranes are almost always audible but give mostly rare, distant views. 

Another nature's paintings - this by ferns still to get ID

Phoebes are usually heard and sometimes seen 

New mushrooms are appearing almost every day

Another old curve - and do you see the tower?

The destination

One of views from the three-story tower

Pie-billed grebe family seen from the tower