Monday, October 17, 2016

Exploring more of Santee National Wildlife Refuge


After mass and grocery shopping on Sunday, we had some lunch and I talked to both of the boys for a while.  Work is going well for Nicolas and Bryce’s classes are fine . . . his football team isn’t doing too great, though!

We wanted to get out for a while and explore some more of the refuge, so we decided to go out to the Cuddo Unit for the Auto Tour Drive.


Nicolas did this drive last winter and saw alligators, so our hopes were up that Dad would get to see a gator!

During the first few miles of the drive, we were in a dry, grassy area, so we were on the lookout for birds – we did spot some turkeys and a large hawk, but nothing I could catch in a picture.

As we got down close to the water, in an area called Alligator Alley, we kept our eyes peeled for gators.













The environment looked like a perfect habitat for gators, and the signs were promising . . .











Tom and I got out for a better view of the water, but Dad wasn’t stepping foot out of the Jeep!  Smile

Still no gators!


We continued on and didn’t see any wildlife, but we did see lots of hurricane damage.

Lots of hurricane damage here, too!

Driving the Auto Loop











There was a deer and hog hunt in the Cuddo Unit last week, so they got the area minimally cleared as quickly as they could so the hunters could get in, and there is still quite a bit of cleanup to do.

Tree down over the river











Maybe the cleanup will be part of Tom’s volunteer activities; we’re not sure yet.

Towards the end of the drive, we passed by a beautiful pond,

Beginning of fall colors

Great white egret


and finally spotted some wildlife!  A great white egret flew by and landed in a tree across the pond.  There’s a canoe trail that goes from this pond out to Lake Marion, but it was currently marked as closed.  Maybe we’ll have a chance to get on the water – hopefully in something bigger than a canoe!


Back at the Visitor Center today, we talked to Garrett, the Biologist, and he assured us that he could take us to places where we’ll definitely find gators!

Tom and I have been going out for bike rides every night after dinner . . . and each time the sunset has been spectacular!



Sunset_October 17th


I love the reflection of the sun on the water!




  1. The pictures are wonderful as usual.
    Hope you can find the gator for Tom's dad to see.
    Wish we were on the road already due to a bad case of Hitch-itch but have to wait and get some work done first.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

  2. The Hurricane changes habitat so may take some time for the wildlife to get established again. But you know there are gators out there;-))))

  3. Tom and his Dad went out with the Biologist today, to some of the non-public areas of the Refuge, and they got to see a Bald Eagle, alligators, turkeys, and lots of other birds! They had a good day!


Thanks for reading! We'd love to hear your comments!