Wearin’ o’ the Green

March 17, 2014 at 5:51 am (fine art photography, National Wildlife Refuges (US Fish & Wildlife), Nature, Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, Photography) (, , )

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Green is the color of the day (sure and begorrah!) and here are some views of the new greenery coming up at Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge.  Featured:  Virginia chain fern and white water lily pad.  I think there was a leprechaun in the pitcher plants, too.

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Okefenokee Tapestry

March 13, 2014 at 5:49 pm (fine art photography, Georgia, National Wildlife Refuges (US Fish & Wildlife), Nature, Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, Photography) (, )

Sunset at the first shelter

Sunset at the first shelter

Even though I don’t work there anymore, I am able to stay after hours at Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge because of my friend Marilyn who volunteers there.  She loves recording nature’s beauty with a camera, too, and even if we don’t plan a trip on the boardwalk together at sunset, we sometimes encounter each other there.  Here she is with a Houston friend who went paddling with her this week.

Water reflections

Water reflections

Photography helps us focus attention on things often overlooked.  I, for one, dilly-dally, looking high and low for some interesting treasure.  Abstractions and semi-abstractions often catch my attention. Read the rest of this entry »

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Not-so-Mellow Yellow

March 12, 2014 at 7:18 pm (National Wildlife Refuges (US Fish & Wildlife), Nature, Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, Photography, Wildflowers) (, , , )

Yellow Butterwort

Yellow Butterwort

There are several yellow-flowered plants in and around the Okefenokee swamp that don’t quite act like you’d expect a plant to act.  The yellow butterwort, like its relatives the dwarf and purple butterwort, eats BUGS!

Yellow butterwort leaves

Yellow butterwort leaves

The flower itself is not the carnivorous part.  Instead it is the whorl of leaves at the base, often covered in dead pine needles or other vegetation.  If you look very closely, you will see little beads of sticky sap that both entice and snare ants and other small denizens of the ground.  The leaf’s enzymes will digest these little mites to extract minerals that are absent from the boggy soil. Read the rest of this entry »

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February’s End in the Okefenokee Swamp

March 1, 2014 at 9:08 am (Georgia, Great Florida Birding Trail, National Wildlife Refuges (US Fish & Wildlife), Nature, Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, Photography)

Red swamp maple Swamp Island Drive

Red swamp maple Swamp Island Drive

A gorgeous way to end the month of February in the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge.   The red maple’s winged seeds in spring are just as pretty as their leaves are in fall. Read the rest of this entry »

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A Warm February Evening at Okefenokee

February 5, 2014 at 3:27 pm (Birds - Georgia, Nature, Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, Photography) (, )

Backlit fern

Backlit fern

It was my first trip back to Okefenokee after my job ended.  I was to meet friend Marilyn, who volunteers there, to watch the sunset from the boardwalk and share dinner afterwards.  I also had to send my best Nikon for a sensor cleaning, and I was happy to know my big telephoto would work with my older Nikon D80.  Of course, that overall quality isn’t as good due to much lower resolution, but I was happy to give it a road test. Read the rest of this entry »

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Prescription for a Healthy Forest

December 3, 2013 at 9:19 am (Georgia, National Wildlife Refuges (US Fish & Wildlife), Nature, Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge) (, , , , , )

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I did this video for Okefenokee National WIldlife Refuge. A three-minute lesson in why we purposely set fire to a perfectly good forest!

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November Critters in the Okefenokee Swamp

November 22, 2013 at 5:38 am (Autumn, Birds - Georgia, Butterflies, Dragonflies and Bugs, fine art photography, Georgia, National Wildlife Refuges (US Fish & Wildlife), Nature, Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, Photography, Wildlife)

Male common yellowthroat and titi shrub along the Suwannee Canal

Male common yellowthroat and titi shrub along the Suwannee Canal

Fall in the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge means an influx of migratory birds from up north, as well as greater visibility for the resident avians.  The frogs are mostly gone (hibernating?) and visible insect life has dramatically decreased, but alligators will be more prominent since they stop feeding in cool weather and bask in the sun to stay warm.

Alligator lurking

Alligator lurking

Along the Suwannee Canal there were catbirds galore, generally in pairs, mewing their displeasure at the intrusion of two kayakers.  I had a pair that nested in my yard every summer when I lived in Maine.  They loved the grape jelly I set out for them in little bowls at the feeder. Read the rest of this entry »

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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. Read the rest of this entry »

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Sunset Moon – Nov. 16, 2013

November 18, 2013 at 3:30 am (Georgia, National Wildlife Refuges (US Fish & Wildlife), Nature, Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, Photography) (, , )

Sunset Moon - Nov. 16, 2013

This is what I call the Photographer’s Moon. It is the evening before the true full moon and rises just before sunset, so that it is positioned nicely when the eastern sky turns pink. There is often haze that obscures its rise, but if you’re in the right place at the right time, it will be positioned perfectly when the light is right.

Taken in Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, Folkston, GA

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No moon, but lovely evening on the boardwalk

October 19, 2013 at 5:35 am (Autumn, Dragonflies and Bugs, fine art photography, Georgia, National Wildlife Refuges (US Fish & Wildlife), Nature, Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, Photography) (, )

Dragonfly at sunset

Dragonfly at sunset

It was the night of the Photographer’s Moon (as I call it) – when the moon rises at sunset.  But there was a pile of clouds to the east, and I never saw it (or the partial eclipse).  But the Chesser Island Boardwalk at Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge had some lovely surprises on this late evening walk.

Coreopsis and burned cypress knees

Coreopsis and burned cypress knees

First of all, there is the riot of coreopsis (also known as tickseed sunflower) in the swamp right now.  After two weeks of Government Shutdown, the difference in scenery is amazing.  Truly autumn is a wonderful season for flowers here. Read the rest of this entry »

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