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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Final thoughts of North Carolina!

(FIRST, I was just informed by Blogger that I've exceeded my storage space. Picasa is all full. And now I have to pay for GB? Anyone have any tips around this, or another host?)



Last night I wrote an entry from school, because my computer was getting fixed, cleaned out, and reformatted. Today I got 'er back and I'm ready to finish up sharing the end of my spring break vacation.

As a final "hoorah" Mady and I decided to head back to Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge for one last sunset drive on Friday, 3/16/12.

As we were just about to pull off the highway, and onto the Wildlife Drive, we noticed several cars pulled to the side of the road. We of course hit the breaks, turned on the hazards and got out to see what the fuss was...

Photo credit: Mady Alfieri
 AN 11' AMERICAN ALLIGATOR!

Photo credit: Mady Alfieri
Somehow the only pictures I lost in the drama of my technology failures, were the alligator pics. Lucky for me, I had a great wildlife-photographing friend with me! Thanks to Mady for sharing with me and on my blog. This alligator is an old female that has claimed this canal/ditch as her own. The staff at ARNWR know her well, and had told us to watch for her earlier in the week. This channel is miles long, and has little tributaries off of it, so I thought there was no way we'd actually SEE a 'gator. Before last week, I didn't even know they lived as far north as North Carolina!

As we pulled in and got on "our road" that's proven successful to us earlier in the week, we noticed that the water level in the irrigation ditches was really drawn down. Noticeably since we had started visiting earlier in the week! And Mady noticed the below, a little reddish 'coon rooting around in the mud. As soon as we stopped to take pictures of him on the ground, he treed...but still gave us some nice shots!


I've never seen a red panda or a coati first hand, BUT this little guy seemed very reminiscent of them both. After all, they're all cousins! He's also very red, which maybe just a color variation of THIS 'coon...or maybe 'coons are redder in the south?

Unknown

Unknown

Yellow-bellied slider (?)

Sunset at the Refuge

Unknown

Buffalo City trail

Buffalo City trail 

Loblolly pine (?)

Along the boardwalk were really informative signs about the local flora and fauna. It was very interesting to learn about a totally new complex of wetland species. Granted above, the cattail, is quite common..everywhere. But there was mountain laurel, loblolly pine, sweet gum, ferns, and many other plants that I knew nothing about.

We found this plaque in a pine, and I'm unsure of how old it is. It SEEMS older with the use of the word "game".

And our wildlife vacation is coming to an end. How fitting to find this sign at the end of the trail.

Warbler species, unknown. We "pshed" it in!

ARNWR did not disappoint us on our last evening!

That's the last of my photos from an awesome trip. Can't wait to do it again!

1 comment:

  1. Wow, great photos and what fun. Wish I was there with you two. Thanks for the vicarious experience.

    ReplyDelete

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