2013  HIKING, CYCLING,

& RV TRAVEL ADVENTURES

 

   
 
Runtrails' Web Journal
 
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  SPRING SCENES FROM OUR HIKES & BIKE
RIDES
AT KINGS BAY SUB BASE, p. 2

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 8

 
 
Continued from the previous page.

NATURE SCENES AROUND LAKE D

Lake D is very scenic from every angle as I walk around it. It's fun to watch the numerous birds, see people fishing, and hunt for flowers. There are three islands, several coves, and some areas with tall cattails near the shore.

All these different habitats make great places for a variety of flora and fauna to find their perfect environment.


Wispy Spanish moss hangs from live oaks and other trees around Lake D.


Palmettos form a fan-like undergrowth in the forest.

In case you're wondering why the campground is named "Eagle Hammock . . ."

The "eagle" part is easy but many people don't know that "hammock" is also an ecological term. I had to look it up to be sure of its meaning. This area is a coastal hammock, which is an elevated forest surrounded by wetlands.

You can see many of the soaring long-leaf pines, shorter live oaks with twisted branches, and other indigenous plants in the photos on this and the previous page.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

See why I like to hike around the lake so much?

But that's not all there is to see . . .

SPRINGTIME IN FEBRUARY

There are quite a few flowers in bloom this month, which is a very nice thing in what's often the worst part of winter in most of the USA.

As soon as we arrived on the first day of the month I noticed all the bright yellow jessamine vines and new red seed pods on some of the trees bordering Lake D:

From a distance the wing-like seed pods look like leaves. I don't know what kind of tree that is but the red is beautiful against a bright blue sky:

Dandelions are growing like weeds (!) and there are several other types of wildflowers in bloom, including this thistle:

Here's a shrub with pretty pink flowers that are unfamiliar to me:

Finding plants that are new to me is one of the reasons I love to travel to different parts of this country.

I do know what the next two flowers are because I've had them at my houses in Georgia and Virginia -- a redbud tree and an azalea shrub:

 

Those are two of my favorite spring flowers. I was happy to see them here so early. Our azaleas and redbuds won't be blooming in Roanoke until sometime in April, almost two full months after they began blooming here in coastal Georgia.

CRITTER COUNT

In our green folder when we checked into the RV park was a brochure about the wildlife at Kings Bay. The base is an ecologically rich area with 37 species of amphibians, 67 types of reptiles, 68 mammal species, and 219 different kinds of birds.

Out of all those, 22 are either endangered or threatened species. It's good that they have these  ecosystems on base where they are probably more protected than in privately-owned areas.


Great blue heron

I've seen many birds and a few mammals and amphibians on my hikes and bike rides -- elegant great blue herons, white egrets and ibis, wood storks, wild turkeys, song birds, alligators, armadillos, and white-tailed deer.

One morning I saw a group of sixteen wood storks in the water near the pier that's close to our end of the campground:

 

It had rained during the night and the sky was still overcast when I took that photo, with fog over the lake when I first got up. We didn't get much rain during February. Based on other photos I've seen of the lake, it appears to be about a foot below normal level this month.

More reclusive and/or nocturnal animals I haven't seen include eagles, coyotes, bobcats, black bears, red and grey fox, raccoons, 'possums, and snakes.

There are at least five species of venomous snakes around here. One of the other campers warned me after seeing a rattlesnake on one of the paths near the lake. Fortunately, neither the dogs nor I have encountered any snakes here.

Next entrycelebrating Mardi Gras in historic St. Marys, GA

Happy trails,

Sue
"Runtrails & Company" - Sue Norwood, Jim O'Neil, Cody the ultra Lab, and Casey-pup

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2013 Sue Norwood and Jim O'Neil

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