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12/07/23 - Little St. Simon's - Departure

Here are some more photos of our departure. There are a few sunrise pictures, and they are much less saturated with color than the ones taken using an iPhone in the previous post. A few birds came to say goodbye including a woodpecker and an egret. The armadillos were sleeping in presumably after a wild night at the Armadillo Factory.

Early morning with the moon

More early light

Light caught by a tree

Brilliant red

More morning glow

Saying goodbye

More morning light

Goodbye to the wild trees

More early light

The main building at the lodge

An egret by the water

Keywords: georgia

12/06/23 - Little St. Simons - Our Last Day

Even before we finished our packing, we went down to the river to watch the sunrise. It was a band of pink reflected on the water, a very stark, pure light. It was cold, but we savored the moment. A few hours later we were on a fast motor boat heading for the marina. There were only four of us, so we didn't bother with the larger flat boat.

We made good time to the marina, transferred our bags to our rental car and headed north on I-95 for Savannah's airport. We expected horrible traffic, but the road was relatively quiet. We arrived with time to spare. Rather than sit for hours inhaling stale air, we settled on a patio and took advantage of the airport's free wifi and did a last bit of bird watching.


Early light

That band of pink

A bit later

An amazing sky

It was cold, but we were in no hurry to get indoors.


The band of pink seen through the trees

Another view

Yet another

Our last bit of bird watching at the Savannah airport

Keywords: georgia

12/05/23 - Little St. Simons - A Bit of the Backbone Trail

That afternoon we took a short walk along the Backbone Trail. Actually, we took the Alternate Old House Trail to the Backbone Trail, but that's a long story. It was our last hike on the island, so we made the most of it. At some point, exhaustion set in.

A butterfly

Indian pipes

The trees

The marshes

The trail

A sandy stretch

The ground below

Keywords: georgia

12/04/23 - Little St. Simons - Three Pines and South Pond - Part 1

On our second day on Little St. Simons Island, we headed from the lodge south to the Three Pines Trail, and having completed the trail we took a loop around South Pond. This was different country, more forested but as flat as everywhere on the island.

Our big surprise was, having reached the end of the Three Pines Trail, we found a tree full of wood storks. They're prehistoric looking birds. Everyone uses that adjective. We first thought they were ibises.


The trail

A row of pelicans, almost like garden ornaments


A mushroom of some sort

Palmettos and foreat

More of the trail

A woodpecker

More along the trail

Another bird

More of the forest

More Spanish moss

More forest

A view into the marsh

More palmetto forest


Another mushroom

One stork

Two storks

Storks in a tree

The tree in context

A better photo of one of the storks

Egrets in the distance

Keywords: georgia

12/03/23 - Little St. Simons - Three Pines and South Pond - Part 2

On the South Pond section of our walk, there was an eagle viewing area that promised us a view of an eagle's nest. We didn't see the nest, but we did get a brief look at the eagle.

Tall trees

Wild forest

Marsh lands with a possible eagle's nest

A few dead needles

A poor photo of the eagle in flight

Another marsh view - There was lots of marsh.

Across a boardwalk

The ground below

Another bit of the trail

Reflective water

Another view

Keywords: georgia

12/02/23 - Little St. Simons - Sunrise

One of the positive things about getting to the east coast is jet lag that lets one see the sunrise.

Keywords: georgia

12/01/23 - Little St. Simons - Atlantic Beach - Part 1

In the afternoon, one of the guides drove us down to Atlantic Beach. We stopped en route to see Norm, possibly the largest alligator on the island. He is noted for eating smaller alligators among other nutritious snacks. There was some good bird watching on the path to Norm's Pond.

Then we explored the beach. We didn't go very far. We were still tired from our morning walk. The beach was broad and bright with breakers offshore. There were plovers and oystercatchers about. Most of them were pretty far away, so we relied on binoculars and a spotter scope, so we didn't get too many photos.

A hawk in a tree en route to Atlantic Beach

A fork in the road

Prickly pear cactus, almost ripe

One of many armadillos

The walkway to Norm's Pond

Seen from the walkway


A nearby duck

Another small bird

Yet another

And another

Still more

Even more - or is this the same one


A heron

The countryside

Autumn grasses

The road goes on

By the road

The walkway to the beach

A first glimpse of the beach

In the sand


Keywords: georgia

11/30/23 - Little St. Simons - Atlantic Beach - Part 2

We didn't wander too far at the beach, but we did spend some time looking out to sea and along the shore.


The scalloped beach

An oyster catcher

Bright sun

More shore birds

A jellyfish

The walkway back in amazing light


More of the walkway

A hard to spot marsh rabbit

A phoebe - not a kingfisher

Back at the lodge

Possibly acorns

Keywords: georgia

11/29/23 - Little St. Simons - Kitchen Garden

We took a brief break for lunch and explored the lodge grounds. We found an armadillo, no surprise there. We also found the kitchen garden complete with the traditional hanging gourds.

Opal, Nibbles or one of the others

Kitchen gardens

Another view

Keywords: georgia

11/28/23 - Little St. Simons - North Dike and Back to the Lodge - 1

We had two whole days on Little St. Simons Island. They have organized, guided tours, but we just wanted to walk, so we did what we did on our last visit. We had them drive us up to North Dike near the north end of the island, and then we walked backed to the lodge. We followed North Pond and took advantage of the various blinds and observation platforms to scan the pond for birds and alligators.

It was cold, so we only saw one alligator, but we saw egrets and herons and a woodpecker and a variety of ducks. The going was easy and the day was brisk. It had been close to freezing the night before. The island is probably very different during a Georgia summer, even this close to the ocean.

Early at the lodge

Where we stayed

A hitch hiker on our ride north

The road north

More of the road

Even more, leading out to the dike

A view from the dike, with alligator


Recent rain on the road

Heading south

We saw a lot of muhly grass

A side spur to one of the blinds

An egret

Miscellaneous ducks

A heron

Back on the road south


More egrets

A marsh scene

A wet spiderweb

More of the track

A downy woodpecker


Keywords: georgia

11/27/23 - Little St. Simons - North Dike and Back to the Lodge - 2

We made our way down to the South Dike and then headed into more wooded country. We heard a sound in the forest, an armadillo rummaging about. He or she - something only of interest only to another armadillo or a grammarian - was wary but offered us a good view. It was an easy walk south along the main road. Have we mentioned that the land in this part of Georgia is flat? It wasn't long before we returned to a familiar landmark, the vulture tree, not far from the lodge.

More of the track

The view from an observation tower

Almost abstract

Another spiderweb

A web with huge drops of water

Yet another web

Another look at the pond

View from the South Dike


On we go

More marshland

Cactus of all things

Yet another peek

A more forested part of the track

An armadillo

Forest with palmettos


Spanish moss

Still heading south

More of the track

The vulture tree

Keywords: georgia

11/26/23 - Fort Frederica and the Journey to Little St. Simons Island

It was a rainy day, but we made a point of getting out to explore Fort Frederica. There was a whole town there and a fort. The British were braced for a Spanish invasion. The Spanish were right down there in Florida. Now it's an archaeological site and a pretty place to walk around.

Then, the rain picked up. We drove north to the marina and boarded the rain soaked boat that would take us and our soon to be soaked luggage to Little St. Simon's Island. It's a privately held nature preserve. Like everything in this part of Georgia, the waters were flat, but we were cold and soaked through by the time we reached the dock at the lodge.

Fort Frederica


All that's left

More oranges

The fort

Watch on the river


More of the site

The dock at the marina

The long ramp through the rain

A hunkered down egret

A rainy journey

This eagle is a regular at that sign

Further along and freezing

Hard to see clearly in the rain

Roseate spoonbills

Another terrible photo of roseate spoonbills

A better picture of an egret

Warming up by the fire

Keywords: georgia

11/25/23 - Guale Reserve

To work off some of our Thanksgiving dinner, we explored the Guale Reserve on St. Simon's Island. It's flat, but we took a long loop, so we burned a few calories.

A typical stretch of trail

Instead of hills, they have palmettos. No thanks.

More of the trail

A little mushroom

More palmettos

Dark forest

Deadly blue things

Green trail

Yet more mushrooms

More forest

Even more mushrooms

Deers tongue, still blooming

A sandy stretch

Amazing funghi

More of the same

Pine cones and needles

Another flower

More pine cones and needles

A cardinal

Another section of the reserve

This section goes to the river

The trail there

Another glimpse of the river

Keywords: georgia

11/24/23 - Sunset at The Cloister

We stayed at The Cloister. We could see why the G7 was happy there. We ate on the patio at Tavola, so we got to see the spectacular sunset.

A view from our window at the mysterious conclave

The main atrium

An Atlantic beach

Someone else enjoying the beach

More beach - The Atlantic Ocean smells different.

Another view of the beach

Some Christmas cheer

Tavola sunset

The Cloister - It's chock full of such passageways.

More sunet

Late sunset

Keywords: georgia

11/22/23 - Savannah - Day Two

We spent the next day exploring Savannah. The city is full of parks and gardens. The trees are covered with Spanish moss.

Some steps

One of the squares

Flowers in bloom

Another square

Christmas is coming.

Another sign of Christmas

A hidden garden

More flowers

More Christmas

A last gardenia

Another square

Another garden

More Savannah

Keywords: georgia

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