Archivos de diario de julio 2020

05 de julio de 2020

Certified Dark Sky Park

Dark Sky Over Stephen C. Foster
Stephen C. Foster State Park is a certified dark sky park by the International Dark Sky Association. Located in the middle of the Okefenokee Swamp, with minimal light pollution, guests can experience some of the darkest skies in the southeast. Stand beneath a sky full of stars and see the Milky Way stretched out above you while watching for the occasional meteor streaking across the night sky.
Waxing Crescent Moon Phase
© Photographer: William Wise | Agency:
It is worth considering a few things while planning your trip if your goal is to see a dark night sky. Environmental factors and seasons can affect what you see and how well you see. Ensure when you are planning your trip that you consider them.

One of the most important factors to consider is the position and phase of the moon. If the moon is up and the phase is anything greater than a thin crescent, the moonlight will drown out many of the dimmer objects in our night sky. If a full moon has risen, you will not see anything but the brightest stars and planets. Try to plan your trip around a new moon or when the moon will not rise overnight for the best night sky viewing. Clouds will also degrade your viewing experience so consider weather conditions as well.

Seasons will determine what objects will be visible. The summer night sky and winter night sky appear quite different so make sure if you want to see a specific object that it will be up when you plan to observe. One of the most popular night sky objects people come to see is the Milky Way. The Milky Way in the Northern Hemisphere is best observed in the summer months. This is when our view of the densest, brightest portion of the Milky Way galaxy, our home galaxy, is at its best. Best viewing times vary throughout the season.

Dress appropriately for the weather conditions during your planned observation time and be respectful of those around you who may also be trying to observe. Ensure all white lights are turned off. This will help your eyes, and those of your fellow observers, adjust to the darkness. Any interruption of white light causes this process to start over. Full adjustment can take as much as 40 minutes.

Enjoy viewing one of the darkest skies in the southeast. The Okefenokee’s isolation gives you a great opportunity to see a truly dark night sky, something that has become increasingly hard to find. Come prepared, respect those around you and don’t be afraid to ask questions. The park offers night programs throughout the year. Check the online schedule to view upcoming programs.

Publicado el julio 5, 2020 11:08 MAÑANA por williamwisephoto williamwisephoto | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

15 de julio de 2020


Throughout the Stephen C Foster campground in the Okefenokee Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, there are signs warning against the feeding of wildlife. These warnings are no joke. The dangers of tossing food to wildlife should now be common sense (hopefully). Feeding of wildlife such as bears and alligators causes them to associate humans with food, and that can lead to future adversarial contacts. Typically, it is the animal that eventually loses out. They have to be drugged and relocated, or even killed.
Wildlife Feeding Strictly Prohibited sign
© Photographer: William Wise | Agency:
The Savannah River Ecology Lab writes, “Don't feed alligators. This is a most important rule as feeding alligators threatens the safety of both people and animals. Providing food for these wild animals (that are naturally afraid of humans) not only makes them bolder and encourages them to seek out people, it also alters their natural diet in an unhealthy way. Feeding alligators trains them to associate humans with foods. Feeding alligators is punishable by law with fines jail time.”

For all of those reasons, I take seriously the admonition to not feed the Okefenokee wildlife… except for a couple of species. No matter how hard I try, I just can’t seem to not feed the mosquitoes and flies! No amount of repellent seems to keep these little bloodsucking critters from feeding on your flesh if you visit the Okefenokee in late spring and summer.

Do you love the Okefenokee? Join the iNat Okefenokee Photography Project and follow the Okefenokee Photography Wordpress blog at If you have an Okefenokee blog post or journal, message me the URL through my iNat profile page and I’ll post it in this project. Thanks for contributing and for be a lover of this great piece of earth, the Okefenokee Swamp! William

Publicado el julio 15, 2020 10:19 MAÑANA por williamwisephoto williamwisephoto | 1 comentario | Deja un comentario

23 de julio de 2020

Six Foot Ratsnake

Eastern Ratsnake, Oglethorpe County, Georgia
Large six foot Eastern Black Rat Snake forked tongue, Georgia
© Photographer: William Wise | iNat observation: 53845509
A frantic friend called me with a “giant rattlesnake” in his yard. Knowing it probably wasn’t a rattlesnake, I kept making excuses to not drive out to his Oglethorpe County home. But he kept insisting, “it will be worth your while.”

On arrival it was, of course, gone from the spot where he first spotted it. After about 5 minutes of flipping logs, my friend saw it over in a nearby brush pile. I love the yells of excitement and fear heard on the video as I pulled this big Eastern Ratsnake out from the debris and onto the open ground!

I measured it right at six-feet; probably one of the biggest I’ve caught. It had a squirrel-sized lump in its belly. My friend counted all his chickens and none were missing.

Publicado el julio 23, 2020 01:17 TARDE por williamwisephoto williamwisephoto | 2 comentarios | Deja un comentario

27 de julio de 2020

Okefenokee Fall Photography Workshop

The refuge is excited to be hosting a Fall Photography Workshop with John Reed! Mark your calendars...Saturday November 14, 2020 from 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Join award winning local nature photographer, and longtime workshop leader, John Reed for an informative and enjoyable day at the renowned Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge. Register in advance by emailing
Scary large alligator in swamp swimming at camera
Okefenokee Alligator © Photographer: William Wise | iNat observation: 51934272

Publicado el julio 27, 2020 10:00 MAÑANA por williamwisephoto williamwisephoto | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario