Sunday, February 28, 2010

Savannah Wildlife Refuge

We had a wonderful outing on Thursday to the Savannah Wildlife Refuge, which is about 30 minutes away just over the border in South Carolina. It was a bit chilly and terribly windy, but the refuge has a wonderful 4-mile auto tour with several places to stop and get out if you wish. It used to be a large area of rice paddies before it became a refuge. There are many long, narrow freshwater areas surrounded by dikes, and you can park and you can walk along the dikes for quite a ways.

Here are some pictures we took along the way...

Amirah snapped this from the car while we were sitting
and waiting for a train to pass.

This is the first dike we walked out on. Lots of wind!
There was water on either side.

We saw lots of different kinds of ducks.

And we saw our first wild alligator! Apparently,
it's less common to see them in the winter so we were lucky.

Walking back from the car we had a great view of the shipyards
along the Savannah River, just a few miles from downtown.

We all just ooed and ahed at how beautiful it was!

I think this must be some kind of cormorant,
but not the kind you see on the west coast!

We stopped at the restroom halfway through our drive
and Amirah came shreeking in glee shouting, "There's a gecko
on the soap! There's a gecko on the soap" Well, not a gecko exactly,
but it is one fine lizard. I e-mailed the Savannah River Ecology Laboratory
to see if they could help us identify it.

More ducks. Wood ducks are especially plentiful.

Scoters and, I think, egrets.

These last few pictures are just some of the scenery. This area is every bit as beautiful as Oregon, with just as many outdoor exploration opportunities. We are going to have so much fun returning to this wildlife refuge and discovering other new places!

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