Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 74.djvu/613

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609
OKEFINOKEE SWAMP

prairies seem to have no counterpart in Dismal Swamp, but they look very much like some pictures of the Everglades.

The prairies are dotted here and there with small clumps of cypress trees and evergreen vines and bushes, known as "houses," from the fact that hunters sometimes camp in them while in the swamp. These probably represent shallower spots, or incipient bays.

In some of the prairies are considerable bodies of open water, known to the natives as lakes. These doubtless mark the deepest parts of the swamp, not yet filled with vegetation. They are comparatively shallow though, the combined depth of water and muck perhaps nowhere exceeding ten feet.

PSM V74 D613 Chaises prairie.png

Chase's Prairie.

 

Animal Life

As Okefinokee Swamp has probably never been visited by a zoologist, no reliable account of its fauna can be given here. Bears and deer are still found on the islands, and occasionally stray outside of the swamp. An old hunter living at the north end of the swam]), when interviewed by a correspondent of the Atlanta Constitution in the spring of 1897, estimated that in the forty years he had lived there he had killed about 150 bears, 200 deer, and hundreds of wolves, minks and wildcats. In the summer of 1900 there was an item in the same paper to the effect that a large black bear had been seen at Manor, about ten miles northwest of the swamp, and caused great consternation among the negroes employed in the turpentine orchards there. Early in 1907 a bear was seen several times near Adel, in Berrien County, about sixty miles farther west, and Col. C. E. Pendleton, commenting on it in his paper,