Whenever human or animal feet stepped upon the floating land of Okefenokee, it trembled. This phenomenon gave the swamp its Native American name, Okefenokee, "trembling earth." Okefenokee's beginnings in what is now southern Georgia and northeastern Florida can be traced back seven thousand years, when rivers veering toward the Atlantic Ocean created a massive ridge that held back a deep bowl of sand. Seeds and other organic matter drifting on its surface spawned floating islands. Over this fragile, now sedentary terrain flow many streams that feed two rivers--the Suwanee, emptying into the Gulf of Mexico, and St. Mary's River, into the Atlantic. This is Okefenokee, one of America's most spectacular wetlands, a mosaic of plants and animals in an ecosystem unlike any other in the world. Cypresses draped in Spanish moss line the waterways. The floating islands harbor carnivorous plants and conceal the meanderings of alligators. From beds of sphagnum moss come the tack-hammering calls of carpenter frogs. Several hundred black bear still roam Okefenokee, and the haunting calls of sandhill cranes echo through the morning fog. The fascinating image and the primeval spirit of Okefenokee are captured in this dazzling book of full-color photographs by the acclaimed photographer Lucian Niemeyer. Revealing the swamp's amazing diversity of wildlife and plants--alligators, cranes, trees, mosses, flowers, and both natural and man-made habitats--Niemeyer's images cover the swamp's length and breadth and make Okefenokee an invaluable overview of this wetlands treasure. George W. Folkerts's accompanying text sheds light on the history of this lush, natural marvel and of the impact made by the settlements of Native Americans, European explorers, and modern Americans. He details both its fragility and the human efforts to assure the swamp's conservation. This is a sweeping, comprehensive portrait that reveals the vibrant beauty of Okefenokee's flora, fauna, and breathtaking landscapes. Lucian Niemeyer lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico. His books include Chesapeake Country, Long-Legged Wading Birds of the North American Wetlands, Old Order Amish, Shenandoah: Daughter of the Stars, and Where Water Meets Land. George W. Folkerts, a professor of zoology at Auburn University, has written textbooks on environmental problems and has published papers on a great variety of biological topics.
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