Friday, May 28, 2010

The Swimmin' Hole

The Santee State Park built a great swimming area for the campers. It had an activity building, a floating dock with a diving board and a wooden bridge for hikers and fishermen.
...that is until the gators moved in.
I would imagine that they tried relocating the gators since they had gone to so much work, effort and money to build the swimming area.
The gators liked their new digs so much that they refused to leave.
So the park had to close the area to swimmers and only allow fishermen, gawkers and hikers.
There is a Huge "No Swimming" sign right beside this sign...

Funny stuff, huh?
Here is the first of four alligators that we saw one afternoon while gawking...I mean hiking.
He was only about 8 foot long.

Here was another one that was about 10 foot long. You can see the foliage from the shore in this shot. My husband took this one while I was running with three other women...I mean hiking .

Here is the third one that we saw in that "swimming hole"...another 8 footer.

And here is the Big Daddy Gator. The folks at the rangers office refer to him as "the big one in the pond". He measures in at a whooping 10-12 foot long.

Can I say "holy moly" ?

Look at the beautiful, though kinda scary humps on his back and tail...

If you didn't read the first sign, here is the other one that they post warning you not to feed the gators, notice the (no)swimming dock in the background...

I hope that I haven't scared any of you from going to the state park in Santee SC. If you are a lover of nature and wildlife, this is a fantastic place to go!

Between Santee State Park, the lake itself, and the Santee National Wildlife Refuge, we saw two Bald Eagles, several Opsreys, Indigo Bunting, Goldfinch, more wading birds than you can shake a stick at, Double-crested Cormorant , Anhinga, Great Blue Heron, Snowy Egret, Black Vulture, Turkey Vulture, Wood Duck, American Wigeon, Mallard, Wild Turkey (and friends!), Purple Gallinule, Mourning Dove, Belted Kingfisher, Blue Jays, American Crows, Purple Martins, Tufted Titmouse, Brown Thrasher, European Starling, Northern Cardinals, Red-winged Blackbird, Brown-headed Cowbird and a Partridge in a Pear, Partridge (but a whole lotta commas in that sentence).

If you love birding, this is a splendid place to take off to! The Visitor Center will even provide you with a small brochure that lists all the birds in the area so you can check off the ones that you see.

How convenient is that?

And unlike my daring husband and I, you can always watch the alligators through a pair of binoculars or not at all.

Well, it would appear that I forgot the cyrpess forest in this post...I'll try to show that tomorrow along with some painting that I've been doing.

Have a great weekend!

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