We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Lots more fun pics below the fold, with critters, Southern food, etc. -
My pal Paula, the sous chef. On our last morning there, I was wandering around smoking coffee and drinking a good Avo ceegar, and identifying birdsong at 5:30 AM when she encountered me and asked me if everything had been good. I replied, yes, except for the lack of my favorite southern breakfast of biscuits and gravy.
She changed the whole menu for me. Biscuits 'n sausage gravy with scrambled eggs. Everybody loved it.
Every morning one of the naturalists announces the weather, the UV Index, and the Bug-o-Meter, and then any group activities if people are interested. Summer nature Camp.
Black Vultures roosting, early morning. Hoping for the death of a guest, I suppose.
We took a skiff out to explore the salt marshes for a couple of hours. Flushed lots of cool shorebirds. Whimbrels.
Armadillos wandering all around, seemingly oblivious to people.
I was lucky to spot this Water Moccasin on a hike through the woods. He defensively displayed his cotton mouth so I didn't feel like moving in closer.
When we had a spare minute, we liked to bike out to the ocean beach.
This gal hates skeeters. I called her "Burkha Girl" and I do not think she appreciated that.
Shrimp Boil down at the beach
We had a full moon, which meant large tidal changes and meant Horseshoe Crab mating time. They mate and lay their eggs in the wet sand at the same time, resulting in feeding frenzies by the shorebirds.
At low tide, it's a big beach
That's our friend Laura, one of the Naturalists, doing the oyster roast. After tasting about 30 of them, I think I can say that Southern oysters are fairly bland, large but not delicious. I like Blue Points and Wellfleets. But, like sex, any oyster is better than no oyster.
They hand everybody a glove and an oyster knife.
My terrible photo of a heron rookery. There's a gigantic gator living in that pool, named Norm.
BD - You're right, the video was excellent. I view shore birds as the clowns of the bird world. All that running around -- that's what ya got wings for, fella! The crocs looked a little tame, though, at least after the arm-wrenching, body-snagging, head-ripping-off brand we have here in Florida, but maybe it just wasn't feeding time.
Hold on a sec.
"Armadillos wandering all around, seemingly oblivious to people."
Fixed that for you.
If there's any irony here, it's that this don't-step-off-the-trail nature preserve started off as a hunting lodge.
"Mmm, these Speckled Whimbrels are delicious! Pass the salt, please."
"Here you go. Wait'll you try the chef's Baby Armadillo Stew. Finger-lickin' good!"
Whether or not Water Moccasins measure up to Rattle Snakes is probably still an open question. So much depends upon the seasoning.
There is a noted naturalist and zoologists that lives on the coast of Georgia known as Carrion Carol. Carol was a prim-and-proper young graduate student, who fell under the spell of our professor, a prominent environmentalist, when I knew her in the 1970's. She married the professor, later divorced, and then moved to Cumberland Island where she became known as caretaker of the wild horse herd and other living things. At least one PBS tv special featured her, with one segment of her riding bareback with no bridle amidst the herd running through the surf; what a scene! One of Dr. Wharton's field trip rules was "thou shalt not waste protein", so roadkill animals were examined, catalogued, and sniffed for addition to that night's Wharton Stew. Carol continued the carrion cooking, giving her her coastal nickname. She is highly respected and much sought after by visitors for her vast knowledge and experience. Find her if you can. One of my sisters met her on the dock to Cumberland last year, and brought some remembrances back from Carol.