Saturday, October 31, 2020

Okefenokee Swamp, West Side

After a morning of cattle gazing, we headed east for the Okefenokee Swamp.
On the drive, J mentioned it looked like we were driving into a painting.  I snapped a picture and have to agree, but maybe more of a postcard instead of painting. 
Apparently, the west entrance is actually a State Park. 
Here is a description of the symbiosis between the State Park and National Wildlife Refuge.  
It was a small area, some camping spots, the little visitor center and a pond area for boats to dock.  You could rent a motor boat, canoe or kayak or take a guided boat tour. 
We decided to start off with a little hike and then see what we wanted to do next.  J was loving the flat ground, no rocks and easy walking. 
There was a beautiful 0.7 mile boardwalk out into the swamp. 

On the way back, we saw our first alligator.  He definitely had an eye issue going on. 
Then, decision made, we rented a tandem kayak for 4 hours for only $20.  The park ranger said, "pick up your seat cushion, life vest and paddle on your way out.  Your in kayak #9."  And out we went on our own.  
J didn't seem as happy being off dry land. 
But the scenery was gorgeous. 
And there was plenty of wildlife.  I'm going with Little Blue Heron for this one.  I'm sure E will correct me if I am wrong. 

We paddled to Billy's Island which is only accessible by boat.  Hebard Cypress Company had a lumber camp on the island in 1918 that supported up to 600 people.  We also saw a couple of deer on the island. 
Red Headed Woodpecker. (plenty of those here too)
I had a little visitor in my seat when we got back to the kayak. 
We found out on the way back, that what looked like still water actually had a current.  Paddling back was much easier that going out. 
Snowy Egret.
I highly recommend a trip here if you are in the area.  Definitely a good value, plenty to see, lots of wildlife and beautiful landscape.  
From here we headed to around the swamp to the east entrance, spending the night in Folkston, GA.  There, we were actually able to have a meal in a restaurant that still had an all you can eat buffet. Yum!

Next up, Okefenokee Swamp - Main entrance. 

Friday, October 30, 2020

We're Back

What a wonderful trip.  I can't thank L and T enough for farm sitting.  It really gave J some peace knowing everything was being taken care of so expertly.  It might take me awhile to get through the entire trip, looks like I took 750 photos.  It is very difficult to pare that all down, but I will try.
So, we left the beautiful mountains of southwest Virginia and drove 500 miles to Valdosta, GA.  Google maps took us right there.  J didn't think he could have used a regular map to create the route that we took.  Maybe he is starting to appreciate technology some now. 
The next morning we went to the Blackwater Cattle Company.  J had lined up a tour with the owner.  They are having a big bull sell (240 head) next month.  We have purchased some cattle from another breeder that got their stock from Blackwater, so J thought we might just go right to the source.  
There is no way for us to estimate acreage when everything is so flat and open but it looked pretty expansive.  The owner said he could sell for $10,000 an acre.
The bulls had already headed for the shade, but we drove through them on a little side by side.  
J had already studied the sale catalog some and had several that he wanted to see in person.  
We were there for about 2 hours but J said he could have spent all day there.  I'm sure the owner had better things to do but we appreciated how generous he was with his time.
I did have an interesting neighbor in the truck we drove around in.  
They had a very nice sale barn, pens and office area.  
There was also one field with an artificial shade area.  I'm not sure how many animals they run, but he said they feed 5000 rolls of hay along with carrot culls.  That was something I had never heard of.  He gets them free but there is more labor in feeding them.  Learn something new every day. 

J has two weeks now to study the catalog and online videos. 

Up next, Okefenokee Swamp...

Friday, October 23, 2020

Where In The World

 J has finally been able to leave the farm for a little trip.  Thank you L And T for farm sitting so we could go.

So, where are we?

We have driven past lots of cotton, peanuts and pecan trees.
And lots of Long leaf pine.   

Monday, October 19, 2020

Weekend Activties

We finally had a big frost.  There are still a few flowers, but everything in the garden including the zinnias, is gone.
So I have cleared off the garden and tilled up the weeds.  
M's family had a baby shower/cookout for M and V and I was invited too. 
It was a lovely afternoon and the food was great. 
And it was entertaining watching M with all the little girl things. 
Sunday we looked at another farm with M and V.  This one is closer to us.  V made the comment that our house would be on her was to work.  I could take that comment however I wished. 
Then there was another potluck after church plus a softball game.  V didn't want to play for some reason.  
But J did, 
and M, 
he played first base while I was in right field. 
I got a few good base hits in too.  Lots of fun plus, no one got hurt. 

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Guest Photographer

 E sends me these great pictures but never any commentary.  So, just scroll and enjoy.

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