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Settling in

Sunday, 28 October 2012

I wanted to be the first person on the wildlife drive this morning, and I think I was.  The chances of seeing wildlife are always better the earlier you get out there.  It wasn’t like I left at the crack of dawn or anything, but seeing as it was a Sunday morning I felt fairly confident that visitors would take a while to get here.  Okefenokee NWR is a bit off of the beaten path.

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I think there is a guide to the wildlife drive with about 12 numbered stops along the way.  I just haven’t gotten one of those guides yet.  The first stop for Emma and me was at Alligator Pond.  I didn’t see any alligators, but the cloudiness of the last two days was gone.  There was a pleasant breeze, so the pond reflections weren’t mirror perfect.

IMG_1109I was cruising along at about 5 mph with the front windows down so I could hear as well as see anything that might be out and about.  Here it is almost November, but the swamp was alive with blooming flowers.  Don’t know yet if the blackened portions of the pines are from a prescribed burn or the great swamp fire of 2011. 

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I pulled to the side of the road here and shut off the engine just to enjoy the scenery.  There were at least four different kinds of butterflies enjoying the flower nectar, but I only captured three varieties. 

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This mockingbird was not sure about our intrusion on his/her territory.  There were little birds flitting around all over the place.

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Far off in the woods, this pileated woodpecker was going about finding something to eat in this pine tree.  I’ve found that it just never hurts to stop and take the time to look and listen.

I moved on and then parked the car to take Emma for a walk around the Chesser Island Homestead.  That place is worth a post on its own, so I’ll leave that for another time.  I’m hoping maybe I’ll get the chance to be the interpretive host at this location while I’m here.  I think it’s a really cool place.

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My main goal for this morning’s outing was to see wildlife, so I continued on to the parking area for the Boardwalk Trail.  We didn’t take that trail today, but the surrounding area was alive with birds.  There were several pine warblers gleaning insects from the trees…

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as well as a flock of palm warblers under the pines and in the bushes.  I was happy to get any photos because these little guys just don’t sit still for very long.  The place was just bubbling with them.

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As I pulled out of the parking area, a small flock of wild turkeys were in the distance.  Two of them made for the woods, but the other two gave me the eye.  As I looked down the road, a coyote was standing in the middle of the road.  As soon as it saw me, and I saw it, it beat a hasty retreat before I could get my camera to my eye. 

I saw another flock of turkeys on the way back to the rig.  It was a very nice drive this morning.  In the late afternoon, fellow volunteer Barb and I took a ride in one of the electric carts down this same drive and saw different wildlife.  I haven’t had a chance to look at those pics yet, so I’ll save them for tomorrow.  The folks here in the volunteer village are going to watch a movie this evening in the theater in the Visitors Center, but I bowed out of that this time.  I’m just not in the mood for “Lion King” tonight.  Confused smile  Instead, I dug out the sewer connection, and finally hooked up my dump hose.  I guess I’m pretty much settled in for the duration now.

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                                                                               THE END!!

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy

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