Lizards, and Ibis, and Rabbits, Oh My!

The Sunday after Thanksgiving, we hopped a ferry over to Cumberland Island and hiked to the (impressive) ruins of Dungeness. We were amazed by the abundance of armadillos scurrying everywhere around us (check out Ty’s video here), as well as wild turkeys, and, of course, the wild horses the island is known for. You may have heard of this “unknown” barrier island when John F. Kennedy Jr. got married there back in the late 90s.

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You have to pack in and out any food, so here we are picnicking with our giant grocery bag of boxed lunches, drinks, and extra snacks from the cute little place in St. Mary’s where the ferry departs.

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View of Dungeness’ ruins without us messing up the pic…

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Hearing the armadilloes dig and scurry and the horses whinny in the distance was so cool!

It was perfect weather for a day spent outdoors taking in the pristine beauty of this national park, and it got me thinking about some of the animals on Tybee that, while different than those we encountered on our trek around Cumberland, delight me when they cross my path. Of these three critters, one is native, one migratory, and one transplanted.

The Tybee natives are the little green anole lizards that pop up on sunny days. Whenever I see one, it makes me smile, especially when they do that thing with their throat. Surprisingly enough, Jack is an expert at catching them, whereas Krypto is a bit of an embarrassment in the hunting department and can usually be seen with his nose in the bottom of a spider lily while the lizard sneaks out the other side.

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The migratory visitors are the ibis juveniles that appear around this time of year. You can tell they’re not full grown yet because their plumage is still white. They rove around the island aerating yards with their long, curved beaks and when I turn a corner and catch sight of them, it makes my day. A pack of 5 followed Krypto and I home block for block on our walk recently (clearly, he is not a very intimidating dog).

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Finally, there are the transplanted bunnies. Island lore has it that a local hotel proprietress rescued them from becoming someone’s dinner in the north Georgia mountains and brought them back to live happily ever after of Tybee. There are least 4 or 5 of them (maybe more), some white, some black, some brown, some a mixture of all three, so I’m not sure what their lineage is but you can usually see at least two of them playing together when you’re lucky enough to spot them on the south end of the island.

Today is a beautiful afternoon (especially compared to the 30s we briefly experienced earlier this week!) and as I sit here typing this with the screen door open (but latched to keep Krypto in), the dog literally starting freaking out and throwing himself against the screen door whining. I got up to see if it was one of his neighbor dog friends stopping by for a visit but it was a little black and white bunny hopping on by–how’s that for synchronicity?

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*not a picture of the bunny who just ran by

Spring is just around the corner, y’all!

 

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