The Okefenokee Swamp – Morning on Billy’s Lake

Okefenokee Photography by William Wise

Okefenokee Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, Georgia
Okefenokee Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, Georgia. Morning on Billy’s Lake. © Use this photo legally by downloading at

Thursday, March 12, 2015 – After a breakfast of freeze-dried biscuits and gravy, we loaded the cooler and our packs for a full day of paddling. We were going to press further up the Suwanee River than on our guided tour, perhaps 10 miles up closer to the heart of the swamp. Coming upon Billy’s Lake at the outset of the journey was a serene, moving experience. A hush fell over my daughter and me and we dared only to whisper rather than break the crystalline stillness. The water is a pane of glass, reflecting the tall cypress and gently swaying Spanish Moss; the light breeze, the buoyant lily pads, the echo of swishing oars…  we see no other paddlers, hear no motors… we sit and the drift…

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Osprey Hanging Out To Dry

Photos by Donna

There are several established Osprey nests in Everglades City.  Incubating is in full swing at each of them.

Near one of the nests, I found the incubating Osprey’s mate perched nearby on guard duty and air-drying.

Someone got a bath or hopefully had just caught and delivered a fish to it’s mate in the nest!

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Osprey Drying

A little flapping to help speed up the drying….

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Osprey Flapping Wings to Dry

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Osprey Flapping Wings to Dry

After all the flapping, it was back to guard duty and sunning.

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Beautiful & Refreshed
(Osprey looking over to its mate and nest)

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Great Egret Stalks A Lizard

Photos by Donna

A stalking Great Egret was quicker than I.  I saw it focused, but the egret was looking straight ahead and not down at the water’s edge.

What was he focused on?

A couple more steps, and the Great Egret reached out with that long neck and grabbed a lizard off a palm tree trunk.

The Great Egret had the lizard before I got my first shot.

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Great Egret with a lizard for a meal

I took over 30 photos and selected six more from them to show how the egret handled his meal, holding it tight and then shifting it.

Great Egret eating a lizard

And down the hatch the poor little lizard went….

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Understated beauty

Tracy Abell

Mourning Dove. February 14, 2020

A mourning dove’s beauty is an understated one: the colors of its feathers ranging through various shades of gray and drab violet, often with a striking splash of turquoise around the eyes.                                ~ Jonathan Miles

HA! As I looked through my photos and came upon this dove, I thought the same thing. Apparently, this Jonathan fellow and I think alike.

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