Saturday, November 11, 2017

Jacksonville,FL, Okefenokee Swamp

Right outside Jacksonville we visited Fort Caroline National Memorial.  A recreation of the original fort, it was built in 1564 by the French to protect the French settlement from the Spanish who already had a nice foothold in the new land and the French wanted some of it;)  The fort is part of the Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve.  In addition to visiting the fort we enjoyed a nice hike out on the preserve.

While on the preserve, we watched an osprey land and devour a fresh catch!

We also saw the largest diamond back rattlesnake I have ever seen!  He was just a few feet from us on the trail under a palmetto and he was very unhappy with our approach!
diamond back rattlesnake 

After the preserve, we took a
ferry across the St Johns River

always fun, we saw dolphins as well!
 Then we drove to the Kingsley Plantation, all still part of the Timucuan Preserve, to visit the oldest  plantation in Florida.  You can step into a couple of  rooms for a look back in history and walk the grounds to visit the remains of the slave quarters.  It was a cotton plantation.

Kingsley Plantation

The slave quarters were the homes for
60-80 enslaved men, women and

The homes were built with a material
called "tabby", sand mixed with
shells to make cement.
remains of the slave quarters circle half the plantation

 From our campground just outside of Jacksonville, we were actually closer to the Okefenokee Swamp than we had been this time last year when in GA.  So we had to go back of course!  This time, instead of taking a tour, we rented a canoe for the day and explored on our own.  What a great day!

This banded water snake
was trying to warm up
right next to our canoe

I have never seen so many
green herons in one
area and probably
will not again!

yep, a little fall color!

the green heron has a longer neck than you would think!!

after the canoe outing I had to tackle this gator who tried to go after Mike;)

just a baby! about 15 inches


  1. Wow, lots of terrific wildlife sightings! I bet that rattler had your hearts thumping!

    1. We were def being cautious Lisa! But you know I had to take some pics;)


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