Savannah – I celebrated Independence Day by making an early morning visit to the Savannah National Wildlife Refuge before the temperature became oppressive. It was my first visit to the refuge in over a month and while I didn’t get a lot of photos, it was an enjoyable visit. I saw a pair of Black Bellied Whistling Ducks flying in a formation that fighter pilots would have been proud of, but I wasn’t able to get a photo of them – how disappointing. I also saw a couple of Purple Gallinules, but they were too far away for good photos. The highlight of the morning, however, came before I started down the wildlife drive; while I was taking some photos of the sunlight shining through the mossy Live Oaks at the entrance a Whitetail Deer fawn walked within 6 feet of me! Unfortunately as soon as I made a move it quickened its pace and I didn’t get a photo until it some distance away. Curiously, I never saw a doe nearby. The fawn didn’t seem lost, however, it seemed to be intently moving toward some intended destination, not exactly taking its time but not in a hurry either.
As the Savannah River Harbor deepening project goes forward, I still worry about what it will do to the Savannah National Wildlife Refuge through increased salinity as a result of the deepening. The refuge truly is a special place, an island of nature and wildlife amidst and ocean of modern life and industry. Hopefully it survives the harbor deepening and remains a place of refuge for coastal wildlife and a place for us to enjoy viewing and learning about the natural world around us. It truly is a place that highlights the Savannah area’s juxtaposition of wildlife and industry.
Even leaving the refuge at 10:00 am, it was still getting oppressively hot; the heat index was already climbing to and above 100F. While it’s at the peak of summer, I probably won’t be making frequent visits to the refuge, but I’m looking forward to the temperatures moderating during Autumn so I can resume enjoying the refuge’s coastal beauty.