Wednesday, September 17, 2014


Oatland Island Wildlife Center was a stop we made on our way from Tybee Island.  Well worth the trip, with plenty of critters to see.

The large brick structure was built by the Order of Railway Conductors for a railroad workers retirement home in 1927, then at one point it was the very first building for the Center for Disease Control (before they moved to Atlanta).  Now it belongs to the Savannah Board of Education and they have 175 acres of forest, salt marsh and freshwater wetlands.  The animals you can see there include a wolf pack, bobcat, cougars, eagles, owls and alligators.  

American Alligator nest with eggs (unsure whether they were real or not).

This is how big a bald eagle's nest is!!  Mock-up lets you sit inside, but I know those eggs were not real.  The center had two beautiful bald eagles and a lot of raptors, including owls and hawks.  

Male cougar.  As soon as he saw us, he ran up to the glassed area and began walking back and forth.  When the water hose came on, he ran there, pushed himself up to the fenceline and let the water spray him down.  Guess he was hot and humid in the Georgia weather.

American Beautyberry, which was abundant along the paths.  The Native Americans used this for numerous ailments.  Plus it's just beautiful to look at!

And speaking of things which are beautiful to look at:  We got to drive over to Spring Island, South Carolina to meet a blogger/artist friend I'd met online, Pam Johnson Brickell.  Pam is a naturalist in every way and loves going out and doing plein aire painting in the woods, along the streams, at the golf courses (where wood storks nest in the trees along the sides of the greens).  It was such a treat to meet her and she graciously took us around the area to show off some wonderful sights in the Spring Island Trust area.  All the homeowners in the area have their homes built back from the roads, tucked away and unseen, keeping the place as natural as possible.  

Pam works for the Spring Island Trust, doing signage for some areas, along with leading workshops in watercolor journalling in the Art Barn.  She does more than that, but I really don't know how she works at all with so much beauty all around her, including egrets, owner's horses, ponds and marshlands, old growth forests, tabby ruins, etc.  (Tabby is a mix of limestone, sand and oyster shells and was used to build many of the early buildings on the plantations.)

Thanks, Pam, for taking the time to show us around and for having a lovely dinner with us and your hubby!!!  

And I'll end with a trip to where many have ended:  The Bonaventure Cemetery just outside of Savannah.  

Couldn't resist taking this one.

Bench where one sits and sips martinis.  The grave of Conrad Potter Aiken, author, is under the bench.  I love that is says, "Cosmos Mariner  Destination Unknown" on the bench.  He supposedly saw the ship, The Cosmos Mariner, once when he was visiting the graves of his mother and father (in the same family plot).  He came home and looked up the information in the shipping news and it said, "Destination unknown."  His father and mother's dates of death are the same - his father shot his mother and then turned the gun on himself, making Conrad an orphan at age 11.  He spent the first 11 years of his life in Savannah, and his last 11 years of his life in Savannah (in the house right next door to his boyhood home).

The songwriter, Johnny Mercer.

The most photographed grave in the cemetery, that of little Gracie Watson who died at age 6.  Her gravesite is completed surrounded (and locked) by a metal fence.  There is a plaque telling her story inside the fencing.  What gave me a little chill was the toy animals someone is leaving on the fence for Gracie.

Another pretty statue.  


Vandy said...

Looks like a fantastic trip, Rhonda. Thanks for sharing your photos.

Studio at the Farm said...

Love the photos of the wildlife center and Spring Island. It looks so beautiful [and for me, so different] there.

PaintedSouvenirs said...

Nice photos, Rhonda. I see that you had an amazing trip.

CrimsonLeaves said...

Maybe it is just because I don't have a great close up view, but you and your friend look like sisters. I think if you had same hair color, I'd be hard pressed to tell you apart! Loved seeing more of Savannah in both last post and in this one!

RH Carpenter said...

It was a wonderful week, Vandy. So much to see, Kathryn, and horses on Spring Island for Bruna - and trails for riding! Thanks, PS :)

Sherry, we don't look anything alike - but seeing the photos, we do! ha ha Isn't it funny? Perhaps it's because we both were smiling and squinting? Glad you enjoyed all the photos - now back to work for me after a few more errands to catch up (always seems like you need a week to catch up from a week away). said...

Thanks for sharing all your photos from Savannah. A place I would love to visit. You've inspired me even more know to get my act together and book a trip. Thanks!

RH Carpenter said...

Savannah is a beautiful city and such history - and good food and things to see and lots of ghost stories and fun things. I would go back again, maybe in the spring when the azaleas and magnolias are in full bloom!