November in Okefenokee

November 21, 2013 at 4:47 am (Autumn, fine art photography, Georgia, National Wildlife Refuges (US Fish & Wildlife), Nature, Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, Photography) (, , , , , )

Dewdrops decorate spider web made in a clump of tickseed sunflowers

Dewdrops decorate spider web made in a clump of tickseed sunflowers

November might herald snow and frostbitten landscapes in northern climes, but it is the last hurrah of fall color in the Okefenokee Swamp.  While the diversity of flowers peaked in September and October, the abundance of flowers definitely define November.  Gone are the white water lily blooms.  Gone are the lavender blazing stars.  Gone are the swamp sunflowers and coreopsis and goldenrod.  Now the wetlands are dominated by the “tickseed sunflower” – (Bidens spp.)

Mizell Prairie

Mizell Prairie

They decorate the banks of the Suwannee Canal, but to see a knock-me-over profusion, paddle into Mizell Prairie on the Cedar Hammock trail.

Tickseed sunflower and rusty cypress

Tickseed sunflower and rusty cypress

The cypress are exchanging their green needles for rust; soon they will lose them completely – a conifer that actually stands naked in winter.  However, the old flower racemes, which covered the swamp with yellow pollen two months ago, will decorate the branches until Spring.

November cypress, Suwannee Canal

November cypress, Suwannee Canal

A foggy morning is a superb time to paddle the swamp.  It adds that mystery and eeriness that many associate with swamps, and defines the thousands of orb spider webs by outlining them with dewdrops.

Orb spiderweb decorated with dewdrops

Orb spiderweb decorated with dewdrops

IMG_3571-copy

The spiders must know they won’t be catching prey when their webs are disabled like this, so you generally don’t see them holding court in the center of their webs.

Tickseed sunflower backdropped by spider webs

Tickseed sunflower backdropped by spider webs

IMG_3768-copy-2

Mizell Prairie

Mizell Prairie

Even in the cool dampness you may find a mosquito or three looking for a blood meal, but the yellow flies and hordes of biting bugs are gone now.  And gone with them are the legions of dragonflies.  Matter of fact, it’s so darned quiet in the swamp now without the unceasing banter of cricket and pig frogs.

Paddling the Suwannee Canal in fog

Paddling the Suwannee Canal in fog

Suwannee Canal

Suwannee Canal

Fall and winter is a superb time to spend the night in the swamp, so if you want to plan an overnight trip or something more extensive, contact the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge’s Canoe Hotline for permits – 1-912-496-3331 between 7 a.m. and 10 a.m. Monday through Friday (except federal holidays).

Dahoun holly berries

Dahoun holly berries

Reds also catch your attention in dahoun holly berries, titi bushes, and loblolly bay leaves.

IMG_3545-copy

IMG_3338-copy

Hurry and see this, before it’s gone.

Photography and text copyrighted by Cindy McIntyre

Feel free to reblog

CindyMcIntyre.com

Gallery Page

Advertisements

2 Comments

  1. DesertAbba said,

    Cindy, There is no end to your creativity as photographer; great pics!

  2. dinajohnston said,

    Beautiful colors! The spider webs are really cool.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: