"Not all those who wander are lost" - J R R Tolkien
Ok, so this wasn't my FAVORITE picture of the day, but it was the one with the funniest story behind it. Just so you know my favorite one.......involved a bald eagle. Started off the morning with a trip the the Chehaw Wild Animal Park, which is a cute little zoo in the middle of a state park. It has a small petting zoo area (for children and Dawns), a small reptile area, and then a few small, but enjoyable mostly African animal exhibits. Very small, but homey. The thing that made me want to go visit it (besides the fact that it was free with my annual pass to the Cameron Park Zoo, was that it advertised free roaming lemurs, which sounded cooler than it actually was, but still.... So, the lemur exhibit was an area with trees that the lemurs could climb in, while you are walking over a bridge not far away from the trees. Now, only one of the lemurs was out this morning (it was chilly!), and he was playing hide and seek on the ground, but I dutifully scanned the trees, checking for other ones, got to the other side of the bridge, and saw the above instead. A bobcat. Ok, now remember, I had just seen a wild bobcat before leaving VA, and the first thing that popped into my head was that I was seeing a wild bobcat in a zoo. Of course, this was not the case, it just so happened that the free roaming bobcat exhibit was right next to the free roaming lemur exhibit. He was a cute guy, it just made me laugh when I realized what the problem was.
After the zoo, I headed down the road to Reed Bingham State Park, which was listed in a magazine as the top place to see a bald eagle in GA. It was a very nice park, that rented canoes kayaks at reasonable rates. Ignoring the cold, I would have gone out in one, if it hadn't started drizzling at that point, and didn't want to kill my camera (it's a little early in the trip for that!). Even with it being winter, there was a whole flock of ducks, several Canadian geese, a nice large lake, great canoe trails, a cute little picnic island, and, of course, a bald eagle. Got some great pictures of him in flight/landing. When I come back to GA to do the whale shark dive at the aquarium, I will have to come back to this park and take a kayak out.
My last stop of the day was Stephen C Foster State Park. In between, though, had to make a quick stop at the mall in Valdosta to look for a formal dress for the dressy dinner nights on the cruise, and thankfully, was able to find one quickly, easily, and cheaply! It's a pretty black, sparkly, floor length with some bling dress. Pictures will come from the cruise. The drive out to the park, through the Okefenokee swamp, was beautiful. Swamp on both sides of the road, big white tail deer, and, of course, some more water birds. Got to the actual park, and it was closed for the next day and a half due to weather. Of course, it was 48 and barely drizzling, so I had to laugh. They are as bad as VA schools! Shut down if they even THINK something might happen. Would have loved to take the 5 mile Nature Trail through the swamp there, but may have to add it to the list of things to come back to as well. Took a brief detour into the very top part of FL, before heading back in to GA for the night. The next few days are going to be fairly busy, with various activities planned, then the Winter Square Dance Festival near Tampa, and then headed out for the cruise!