Living a Wildlife

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Driving down the road in the Wildlife Refuge

The week before Christmas we experienced something new—hot and humid weather in December. The temperatures have been in the 70s with a humidity ranging from 80-100 per cent. The air is on, blinds are closed to block out the sun, and the dehumidifier is going full strength. We were told by our campground neighbors that this weather is unusually warm for Savannah. I have been finding that it’s unusually warm everywhere, even in Chicago.

We found out something new. In RV life, humidity and condensation are our enemies. The week before this hot week, it was cooler in the mornings and we noticed condensation on our windows when we got up. We talked to one of our neighbors about it and he told us to get a dehumidifier. The condensation and humidity will cause mold and mildew in an RV. Windows closed, air on, and dehumidifier on. We are getting this RV thing down!

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Great Blue Heron

Our new exploration this week took us to a park that resides in both South Carolina and Georgia—the Savannah National Wildlife Refuge. There are multiple refuge centers within the Savannah Refuge Complex, spanning a 100 mile length along the coastline and totaling 54,949 acres. The Wildlife Refuge Center that we visited is 29,175 acres and is home to a large variety of birds, turtles, bobcats, and of course, alligators. A small visitor’s center, a nature walk, and a four mile wildlife drive are available inside the park. While many small hiking trails are along the wildlife parkway road, we did not venture on any. One, because of the bugs being so bad and two, alligators!!

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Driving through the refuge was very peaceful and relaxing. Open wetlands, draping Spanish moss, and marshes are seen along the drive. We saw lots of ducks, a Great Blue Heron (so cool!), many Great Egrets and Snowy Egrets, and five alligators. Since the alligators swim in the muddy water, they look brown in color. That makes it hard to see them against the mud and brown land.

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Can you spot the alligator?

Here are some interesting facts about alligators:
• Alligators are living fossils from 200 million years ago. That’s before dinosaurs roamed the earth.
• Alligators are called the American Alligators and in the 1950s were endangered. In 1987, the alligator was pronounced fully recovered and is the first endangered species success story.
• They are quick in the water but slow on land.
• The tail of an alligator accounts for half its length.
• In the winter months, alligators will come out of the water to warm up in the sun before heading back into the water at nightfall.

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Since telling others about our trip to the Wildlife Refuge, we have been asked many times the difference between alligators and crocodiles. We really didn’t know the answer so we looked it up and here is what we found: crocodiles have a narrower snout and lower jaw teeth so the teeth are visible even when the mouth is closed. Adult crocodiles are brownish in color while alligators are black.

Christmas is near and we are in the mist of getting ready for the holidays—shopping, wrapping gifts, listening to holiday music, and decorating. We know this is a busy time of year for everyone so thanks for taking time to keep up with us and our travels.

Till then!


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