Istokpoga
  • Istokpoga means "many men died here"
  • Two Seminole Indians, each in a different century of dress, are hunting the gigantic alligator
  • Behind the Great Blue Heron a thunderstorm is approaching, making the lake dangerous

At first glance, Lake Istokpoga resembles many large freshwater lakes.  But Istokpoga is not a typical lake.  Far from it, Istokpoga is a fascinating mystery.  While its debts averages about six feet, it stretches across about 27,692 acres.  It contains nearly half of all the lake surface in Highlands County.  For thousands of years, nearly all of the water draining off the Lake Wales Ridge reaches Istokpoga, and from Istokpoga the water eventually flows into Lake Okeechobee on its way to the Everglades.  Finally, water from the Ridge flows into Florida Bay. 

Life has always thrived around this lake that has never become a swamp, in spite of its shallow depth---and has become one of North America's greatest natural nurseries.  It is being groomed for premier fishing lake. 

Keith Goodson captures both Istokpoga's history and ecology.  His featured living creatures are birds that call the lake home.  The majestic blue heron stands a watchful sentinel.  Ducks arriving at their winter nesting grounds encounter the great white heron and little green heron and wintering red wing blackbirds scold.  The osprey carries food to feed its young. 

He captures the fascinating history around the lake---18th and 19th century Indians bent on conquering an alligator.  Settlers visited the lake frequently, searching for food. 

It is a great mother lake tirelessly sustaining life.  Moody in its constant changes; Goodson shows its ups and downs.  Early morning serenity around Big Island changes into a windy froth by afternoon when heavy clouds return evaporated water to the lake. 

Artist Location Size Sponsor Note Audio
Keith Goodson Lake Placid Discount Liquor at Main Street and Bellview Avenue 50 ft wide x 13 ft high Betty Curry Look for 3 little critters N/A

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