The area of Georgia where I am staying in the entrance to the fabled Okefenokee swamp, home to – among other denizens – “Pogo.”
Otherwise, The Okefenokee Swamp covers 438,000 acres and is one of the five largest swamps in the world. The source of Florida’s famed
Suwannee River, it is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Georgia.
Legend holds that the name Okefenokee is an old Creek Indian word meaning “Land of the Trembling Earth.” The story makes sense
as the bottom of the swamp is formed by a thick layer of accumulated peat. Trees can be made to shake by jumping up and down.
A chief of the Lower Creek village of Chehaw told U.S. Indian Agent Benjamin Hawkins in 1796 that the swamp was a terrible place.
Even the bravest of warriors, he said, feared going too deep into the swamp. It was filled with snakes, alligators and “tygers” or
panthers. It would later become a refuge for them.
During the Creek War of 1836 and Second Seminole War (1835-1842), Seminole and Creek warriors fled into the Okefenokee with their families to escape forced removal from their homelands on the Trail of Tears. Army and militia troops built forts around the perimeter of the swamp and occasionally skirmished with bands of warriors.
The pressure eventually forced most of the Native Americans to flee south into Florida, although some local families found in the area today report they descended from these bands. [See more: http://www.exploresouthernhistory.com/okefenokee.html]
We are enjoying a stretch of beautiful weather (temp today 73F) which is supposed to carry on until Sunday (Thanksgiving). Then it drops into the 60s and even 50s the following week.
The nighttime temps are in the 40s even now, so there’s about a thirty-degree spread.
More next time.