Thursday, May 15, 2014

5/14/14 Skidaway Island State Park

Skidaway Island; GA

     Heading Southeast from Savannah through Isle of Hope leads to Skidaway Island.  This is home to the Skidaway Institute of Oceanography and "The Landings," one of the largest gated communities in the United States.  But our first stop is Skidaway State Park.  A portion of the park is shown above on the right hand side of the river.  

     The park has a lot to offer, but its most unusual attraction is the giant sloth in its visitor's center.  These sloths were on North America very recently in geographic terms - they didn't die out until about ten thousand years ago.  

     In this photograph is park ranger Skye Sullivan, a three year employee here.  The visitor's center was closed when I got here, and she was kind enough to let me in for some photographs and to answer some questions.

     In 1822, some guys went to tie a boat up to a log and then realized it was not a log.  It was the fossil of a giant sloth, the first found in the United States.  Can you imagine finding bones like these back in the old days?  The word "extinct" wasn't even part of the vocabulary, so people had to assume that these creatures still lived somewhere.  No wonder monsters played such a big role in stories written in ages past.

     Anyway, the fossilized skeleton that those men found is now in the Smithsonian Institute, but there is a plaster cast here of a similar skeletal remains of a sloth.  These creatures were vegetarians, and at the time they lived they probably had no natural predators.  After all, this is an elephant sized critter.

Skye Sullivan

    The model of a sloth below accompanied a description of this first find in North America and some basic facts about the animal.

   Also inside the visitor's center are a number of stuffed animals and birds that are indigenous to this area.  There are some live animal cages and displays as well.  

     There are large campground areas for both RV and primitive camps.  The showers and bathrooms are readily accessible and clean.  

     There are miles of hiking trails, and for the first mile I was having fun taking photos of critters I spotted along the way.  This fly has really neat colors.

     I like the pattern on this fellow.  He hesitated just long enough for me to shoot this photo.

    But this next guy was great. I spotted him a bit off the trail and when I approached, he lifted up his head and posed nice for me.  He is about four foot long or so.  I didn't have time to look up the specie, but he looks like many rat snakes I have seen in the past.

     Halfway through, I got interrupted with a phone call that brought some great news.  I cut my visit short, and will fill in on the details tomorrow.  Suffice it to say that great things are coming about, and each missing piece of the puzzle in the way this journey is going to work seems to be falling into place right at the time it is needed.

     Today's parting shot is from Skidaway Road.  I photograph these old gas stations whenever I see an interesting one, and one day will do a story just on them.  This is the first one that I have seen operating as a beauty salon.  

Have a great Thursday !!

If you would like to contribute to this journey or to the foundation, just click Here.  If you have no idea what this is about, Click Here and Here.  Click Here to email me, and if you want to read today's meditation just click Here.  Thanks for your interest and support !!

No comments:

Post a Comment