Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Gators and Gracie

What's cooler than alligators?


BABY alligators!

They were a little under a foot long.

Mama stayed very close by.

The Savannah National Wildlife Refuge is a very unassuming four-mile loop around 18th century rice plantation fields. Trip Advisor reviews would have you think the gators step up out of the water and shake your hand ("I saw dozens!"). That was not my experience. But maybe that's because it's April and still chilly out (by Savannah standards, not mine). But from what I saw, you could walk the four miles without fear of a close encounter.

I encountered maybe 10 vehicles during my time there, which was probably around two hours. And the only people going to a place like this are people who WANT to be there, so there was a shared enthusiasm with people slowing down to talk ("Did you see the eagle?!"). When I found the baby gators, I was so excited, I stopped a couple to tell them. They happen to be from Canterbury, NH, and we talked for a while and watched the babies.

My research tells me that this next bird is an anhinga. One (the father?) was at the top of the next tree, watching over everything. This one (presumably the mother) flew into the nest. And what's cooler than an anhinga?

A baby anhinga!

 And what's cooler than two turtles that look like they're paddling a log?
"I feel like we're going in circles. Are we going in circles?"
A bad picture of a baby turtle!

There was an alligator lurking about 10' away, so I got out of there before it did something untoward.
After being in such a quiet place, I wasn't ready to tackle downtown Savannah, so I went to the opposite extreme of all of this life, survival, etc. at the refuge.
I present to you the enormous and stunning Bonaventure Cemetery. 



 I went mostly to see what is arguably Bonaventure's most famous resident.
Little Gracie Watson
The cemetery is impressive in size.
And I thought I might not be able to find her after a while. But then a van went by with her face on the back. Apparently they give tours of the cemetery. And apparently I wasn't thinking that far out of the box after all.

Next up--downtown Savannah!