Monday, March 24, 2008

Easter tales and a romp through a swamp

Easter is usually a time when families get together over dinner or a meal and hang out. This Easter, being far away from home, I took advantage of the weekend to go "swampin" with some of my staff who were also spending this holiday sans family (though one had a few members with them... a very funny bunch, too, I might add).

Nine of us took off on Friday to start a trip that would take us to a dark and murky place - Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge in Georgia. We overnighted at Laura S. State Park just outside the swamp... and let me just say that the mosquitos were bad. We did make it through the night, despite some having eaten a rather unsavoury can of beans, and woke up bright and early to get our canoes in the waters at Okefenokee.

And paddle we did. You can see from the pictures just how amazing the swamp is. We did see a number of gators, though nowhere near as many as if we'd paddled further into the swamp. I'm alright with that. I got close enough to them to have had my fill. We even named one that made camp right beside our overnight platform. He will forever be one-eyed George to us. Though we did tease him a bit, we were reminded by a slow and toothy display that he was a threatening predator to be respected.

Ooo, check out this cottonmouth snake (venomous) that one of our campers almost stepped on. It gets its name from its pink (cotton-coloured) mouth that it displays to ward off enemies. Worked for me!

After a peat moss fight (one of the best mucky messes you can ever get yourself into), lots of paddling, water snakes and other wildlife sightings and joke battles overflowing, we all got back safe and sound. This swamp is totally worth visiting. Our only regret was not being able to spend more time there, to get deeper into its belly... er, not an alligators.

For more photos from this trip, you can visit my album on google's website:

Okefenokee Adventure

In other travels, I visited Alexiss in Ottawa last weekend. It was super nice, despite circumstances including poor Lexy falling down some stairs. We celebrated Easter over some gifts sent to us from Mom and Dad and made a video of a "chick vs. bunny" race:

The weather made sure not to disappoint and snowed steadily while I was there. I took pictures of the paths that had to be carved out of the stuff to show my southern counterparts that, yes, we Canadians do endure a blustery winter. It's a bit embarrassing to admit that I've never been to Ottawa before, but I liked what I saw and met with some very exciting organizations/companies while I was there (so keeping my fingers crossed that something will come through from this visit). Seeing our parliment buildings was also kind of uplifting and made me feel proud to know my sister was starting her career with them. That's all for now folks. Remember to drop me an email to let me know how you're doing.

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