We entered the National Wildlife Refuge from one of 3 entrances - the West…leading to Stephen Foster Park…Did you know that the Suwanee River (that Foster wrote about) starts in the Okeefanokee swamp and then travels southwest through Florida? And did you know that Foster never actually SAW the Suwanee River? He just liked the name and wanted a river in the south!
Since it was mid-day when we got there and was about 96 degrees…we took just a short ½ mile walk on the boardwalk into the swamp…just long enough to a) get some pictures b) get really sweaty and c) get14 bug bites from some stupid little buzzy things that hopped on my bare legs (Okay…I know, just how dumb am I to walk through a swamp in mid-day without long pants and socks on!?!!! )
Despite the bugs, heat and sweat, it was really cool. The dragonflies (a myriad of different colors and sizes) and butterflies (also many different kinds) were flying around in great numbers…They were beautiful. The loblolly pines were in bloom (they have flowers that look just like small magnolias) and were dropping their pretty blossoms on the boardwalk. Didn’t see gators…but saw all the signs of what NOT to do (swim in the water, feed them, etc).
After grabbing a popsicle and hopping in the blessedly air conditioned car we were off for the last leg of the day…the drive to Jacksonville. Much of which was driven in a driving thunderstorm!!! Florida really knows how to do thunderstorms!!!!