Monday, May 18, 2015

Swamp Thing, Part 1

So, I spent the weekend in a swamp.  I'm not lying.  My friend Audra invited me to go to a photography workshop at Okefenokee Swamp in Georgia.  Clearly I didn't consider the insectile ramifications of such an undertaking before I said yes.  And now I have at least 40 mosquito bites, and somehow most of them are on my rear end.  How does that even happen?

Anyway, the workshop was to learn how to photograph the night sky, for which you need a place well away from all the city lights (which is called light pollution), hence the swamp.  The other bit was to take pictures of the swamp itself.  We got there a little after sunset on Friday night, and shortly thereafter traipsed outside with cameras and tripods to try to take some sky shots.

One of my attempts:  it's crap, but you kinda get the idea.  I didn't get any super stellar shots of the night sky (punny, haha) but I did get one or two the next evening just as it was getting dark that I liked.  Anyway, the smudgy light brown bit is the Milky Way, which you can't see anymore a lot of places because of light pollution.  You can just barely see a smudge even in the swamp, but if you set up your camera to take a 20- or 30-second exposure, you get something like this.

The next morning, we got up ridiculously early and hit the swamp around 6 a.m.

Sunrise on the swamp.  The lady running the workshop (Rena) got us a boat from the state park, so we went out on that.  Didn't get very far before the motor cut out and we had to paddle our way back in (lucky for us, we had brought paddles).

I like this one with the moss on the trees and even the contrails in the sky.

And another one, with some water reflection.  You couldn't see into the water at all, it perfectly reflected whatever was above it.   Rena got a picture earlier in the day Friday of I think a snake that was lifting its head out of the water, and the way she got it with the reflection it looks like a two-headed snake.  (Yeah, that won't cause me nightmares.)

And there's an alligator for you.  Mom, relax:  you know I'm safe, and I promise we never ever ever got within ten feet of an alligator.  Mostly because I had a paddle and actively paddled farther away from them no matter what Audra said : p  I'm all for getting good pictures, but I much prefer all of my extremities fully attached and sans tooth marks.

I like this one with the colors on the trees.  I was facing west-ish when I took this.

And if you look toward the sunrise, you see this.

More kinda cool colors on the trees.  After this was when our motor quit running and we paddled back in and then commandeered a couple of canoes.

Do not feed the Christy.

And don't feed this guy, either.  All morning we could hear the alligators making noise (though we never saw one open its mouth) and it sounds kinda like a dog growling but deeper and more guttural.  We saw one baby alligator and they make this really cute noise (but I'm sorry, even baby alligators aren't exactly what I'd call cute).

The wonders of a zoom lens.  I think we were at least 15 feet away from this dude.

He's watchin' you.

I really liked that one tall tree that leans to the right, this is just one of at least a dozen pictures I took of it.

And I really liked this stump too.

Mostly if you tried to get close to an alligator, he'd just submerge so you couldn't see him.  Not that I wanted to get super close.  I'm a chicken, I'll own that.

We saw lots of alligators from further away, and it pretty much looked like that.

There's another stump I liked...

And once more from the other side.

Do you see the gator?  He's pretty well centered on the frame.

See you later, alligator.  (I totally said that on the day.  I thought it was funny and totally apropos.)

More trees and reflection in the swamp.

And there's Frank and Audra pulling in our canoe at the end of our tour of the swamp.  The other three ladies stayed out longer, but we were hungry for breakfast.

Pretty sure this sign should say "Per Georgia statute" and not "statue", but what can ya do.

And there's my friends Audra and Frank, who talked me into being a walking mosquito smorgasbord.  More swamp coming up soon.

1 comment:

CCsMom said...

Wildlife feeding strictly prohibited? Well, you were wearing your Baylor Bears hoodie after all. Ha!

Nice photos, but yeah, I don't think that's for me. I'm glad none of the snakes nor the aligators decided to try to come into your boat. SCARY!

Glad you had a good time, though. And you did get some nice photos.