Monday, February 23, 2015

An end to a good weekend...


The racing's over and we're heading back in...
 It was a good weekend.  On Saturday, I raced (sailboats) and our team came in first overall.  I've been on a winning team before, but this time we were the top over all finisher in addition to having one first place and being in the top three each of the three races.  It was an exciting day with a fair wind, but an excessively strong outgoing tide that made things challenging, especially when rounding the pin on a downwind run which was against the tide and needing enough forward thrust to make it around the buoy without hitting it.
Non-wading cranes at the Port of Savannah


Yesterday afternoon I explored the Savannah River National Wildlife Refuge, which is in South Carolina, just up the river from Savannah.  There are miles of hiking (and biking) trails and we spent the afternoon walking along the dikes that crisscross through the wetlands.  For some reason, I forgot to bring a pair of bincolars and a bird book, but there were lots of ducks and a few cranes, herons, hawks and buzzards, along with a few alligators enjoying the warm winter day.  Although you felt all alone, in the distance you were reminded that you weren't far from civilization as the loading cranes (as opposed to the wading kind) at the Savannah ports along with the industrial plants such as International Paper (thankfully the wind wasn't from the south!) were visible.

This canal (for some reason) was a reddish-brown
and even this gator was stained by the water
The highlights of the day had to be the armadillos.   These guys aren't afraid of anything and would continue digging in their search of food and ignored me with the camera, allowing me to get close shots.  It is interesting to see the hair on the back of armor which I was close enough to see.  One did run away and went straight into the briers, the armor protecting him.  Even a rabbit might leave behind a bit of fur, but this guy just slide on through. 


The refuge, in the 18th and 19th centuries, was a series of rice plantations.  The islands of high ground (hammocks) are covered with hardwoods draped in Spanish Moss.  Some of these islands were used as slave communities where they lived in the middle of the rice fields where they worked.  Today, no rice is raised here, only grass and reeds for the waterfowl.

In the distance is the US 17 bridge over the Savannah River
 The day was beautiful with temperatures in the mid-70s F and a light breeze which created a nice rustling sound in the dried grass and which keep the sand gnats at bay.  I think I'll come back again and do some more exploring around here (and bring with me binoculars and a bird identification book).
International Paper Mill
Well, that wasn't all for the weekend.  There was also a community pancake breakfast fundraiser on Saturday morning and on Saturday evening, friends prepared an incredible five-course Italian meal.  On Sunday morning, at church, we held a "Kirkin' o' the Tartans" in which everyone dressed up in their Scottish plaid and celebrated the old country (from which my ancestors left 250 years ago, so the memory is a bit distant).  I've learned this event is really an American creation, but it was fun and very colorful to see the tartan banners being marched into the sanctuary and besides, there was a bit of English bashing as we recalled the days the English wouldn't let the Scots wear the tartans of their clan nor play the bagpipe.
An island hammock with ducks flying
What did you do this weekend?  I hope it was fun filled and adventuresome!

36 comments:

  1. ha. i used to have to watch out for the dillos when i lived in florida...they are hell on cars if you dont watch it...cool on the sailing team man...that had to be thrilling...more snow here..ha...ugh.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think the dillos would also make a mess in a yard... but they were interesting to watch.

      Delete
  2. My sister and her husband who live in northern Florida really do not love armadillos. My sister swears they are the reason she can't grow tomatoes around her house.

    What a nice weekend you had - so busy with wonderful things! I went to the Presbytery of Greater Atlanta's meeting. There was a big vote - I'm sure you can imagine what it was for.

    I'm chairman of the worship committee at my church and one member of the committee speaks out every year against having a Kirking service - saying it's not fair to the people without Scottish heritage. Sigh. I never know what to say to that - it's a tradition in our church and everyone (as far as I know except she and her husband) loves it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, that vote! The Kirkin was fun and once a year is enough for a bagpipe, I just don't know what I'd do if the Romanians started to cry for accordions :)

      Delete
  3. Sometimes when visiting the mountains of Arkansas, I will be sitting somewhere overlooking a valley and hear what sounds like a bulldozer coming through the leaves. It always takes me awhile to spot the armadillo rooting around in the leaves and making all that racket.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They seem fearless and certainly aren't graceful.

      Delete
  4. That does sound like a good weekend. Much better than the one I just had. ;) That gator needs a bath! haha

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sorry that your weekend was good--that just ain't good, here's hoping you have a better week, Chrys.

      Delete
  5. I've never been to Savannah, but I've always wanted to go. I hear it's beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Until last April, I'd never been to Savannah even though I have been beside it many times on I-95 and the train heading to Florida.

      Delete
  6. Sounds like a wonderful weekend. I am quite fascinated with both the stained alligator and the armadillos. Such amazing creatures in your neck of the woods/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, we do have interesting creatures here that can eat you (gators) and entertain you (armadillos)

      Delete
  7. Wow, my weekend wasn't near as packed as yours. I know how much the water and boats mean to you besides the lucky wins, great work for all. I have to say what a treat first to be in such a lovely climate, to walk withing trees of Spanish Moss a favorite of mine, but what fun critters too, and how close you got to them. Fun stuff all the way around, and I haven't even mentioned the pancake breakfast. I'm happy for you, and for us getting to see your photos too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was just happy to be able to sail considering how hectic the weekend was.

      Delete
  8. I absolutely love all the pictures you take. While I don't like going outside to do all these things, I do enjoy reading and seeing pictures about what others are doing outside.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Congrats on your win! I lived in the Harbor where the TransPac ends up every two years. Very nice photos. So glad I came along-



    ALOHA from Honolulu
    ComfortSpiral
    <3

    ReplyDelete
  10. congratulations on winning the race! And that armadillo is adorable!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He does have kind of cute ears, doesn't he?

      Delete
  11. I had no idea there were armadillos in Georgia. What a cool thing to see!

    My weekend was spent playing the violin for the musical, Oklahoma! . . . a different kind of fun.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, these were technically in South Carolina but they're in GA, too.

      Delete
  12. Replies
    1. I am not sure that it is an Albino, I think it is just stained from the muddy water.

      Delete
  13. Congratulations doing so well on your boat races. You live an exciting life, Sage.
    I've never seen an armadillo, and I didn't know they're that big. Thanks for bringing it to my computer screen (and not closer than that).

    I had a good weekend too, not nearly as exciting, but nice nonetheless.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The armadillos are that big, but I wonder how much they weigh with their armor.

      Delete
  14. Albino alligator! They're still scary even when pure white. Most notorious of all predators in my opinion. :P

    Hey, congrats on winning the race.

    I'm a new visitor. Looking forward to reading more from you.

    ReplyDelete
  15. This does sound like an epic weekend. I'd love to see an armadillo in person someday!!

    ReplyDelete
  16. I am sure there are folks in Florida and Texas who would love to send you a few :)

    ReplyDelete
  17. Your picture (sailing) is just awesome. It has inspired me to paint this weekend. I owe you.

    ReplyDelete
  18. That is a wonderful weekend. You always post fantastic pics.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I Love the deep and varied history of where you live now. A different world from where I live. Great post!

    ReplyDelete