Sunday, April 21, 2013

Okefenokee Swamp

Recently we went to the Okefenokee Swamp.  I have wanted to see alligators "in the wild" for a long time, so Robby finally indulged me.  In retrospect, these alligators are barely "in the wild."  They all have names and the guides know exactly where each of them like to hang out.  Maybe if we had taken one of the longer boat tours, such as the five day/night one, we would have seen more of them in their natural habitat.  But, that is not practical with a 5 & 7 year old in tow.

This gentleman was our boat guide.  I had previously doubted that reality shows like Hillbilly Hand Fishing, Swamp Whatever, etc. were accurate.  He gave some credence to those shows:
Catherine striking a pose on the dock:

This is the natural waterway which the boat took.  The girls really got a feel for being in a swamp:

 This is an inactive alligator nest:
 There were tons of lily pads all over the swamp:
Half way through the boat ride, we stopped to climb up a huge tower to see some aerial views.  Sabrina made it all the way to the top:
 I loved the Spanish moss - which the girls had never seen before:
We were very clear that they had to walk in the middle of the walkway!
 Finally, we saw a few alligators swimming in the wild!

These lily pads were in bloom:
We also took a train ride through the swamp.  We saw a mama alligator with some babies.  This is not the best picture, but we actually got to see some baby alligators "in the wild."
After the train ride, we saw an alligator sunning herself on the grass.  I love this picture!

 Catherine asked Robby to take this picture of her in the rocking chair:
 During the reptile show, Sabrina was asked to hold the turtle "like a sandwich:"
 Catherine did not know what "like a sandwich" meant, since she has never eaten one. 
 It took some effort, but both girls agreed to let the two year old alligator sit on their heads:
 Sabrina loved it and asked to do it again!  I tried and the alligator's little claws were kind of ticklish.

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