A recent article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution revealed the surprise results birdwatchers found on a trip to the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge.
Last spring, wildfires consumed 115,000 of the South Georgia swamp’s 438,000 acres. The ensuing summer drought worsened the condition of the swamp which is a natural habitat for many species of wildlife.
Despite the sweeping fires, the worst in decades, and the rainfall shortage, the birdwatchers spotted more sandhill cranes, wood ducks and woodpeckers than recorded the previous year. They were surprised by the beauty and life of the swamp.
A naturalist explained that, in fact, the fire had been beneficial to some plant life that is beneficial to some wildlife.
The bird-counting writer of the article, Charles Seabrook, surmised: “Droughts and wildfires, of course, are part of the natural cycle, and over the many millennial, the Okefenokee’s flora and fauna have learned to adapt…”
As we often say: That’ll preach.

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