St. Marys Interlude: The Okefenokee

Ever wondered what one of America's most famous swamps looks like? Wonder no more.

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When we have told people who are not from Georgia that St. Marys, where we spent time last month, adjoins the Okefenokee Swamp, the most typical reaction has been: I've always wanted to see the Okefenokee!

Same on our side. We missed it during our visits to this region during the 1970s. Last month, with prominent local citizen Wyman Westberry, we spent a day at the Okefenokee, whose Waycross entrance is not far east of St. Marys. This is how it looks.

The "blackwater" of the swamp, due to tannins leaching from the vegetation:

Although black, the water is clear and clean, and reflective, and hosts wildlife. Including this baby.

Another illustration of the reflectivity, and the general effect:

And a reflectivity gimmick:

At tree level, an infinity of Spanish moss:

From above-treetop-level, the effects of many dry years (although many of the leafless trees in the foreground are deciduous trees that had not yet leafed out):

Plus animals fictional:

And real. These were not babies. The smallest was about the same size as me.

Meanwhile, today on our partner Marketplace's broadcast, Kai Ryssdal had a very nice interview with Deb Fallows, shown here in the Okefenokee, about the subject of one of her previous posts: the complex embedded meanings of the questions you ask strangers on first being introduced. It was also the subject of a nice presentation by the Atlantic's video team, here.

So if you are wondering what the Okefenokee looks like, this gives you a start. Tomorrow, more on the complex economic ambitions of the small neighboring town of St. Marys, and how they can match the  accomplishments of its impressive county-wide high school.

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