Friday, October 17, 2008

National Wildlife Refuge Week - Pickney Island

In celebration of National Wildlife Refuge Week, Water-Dog Outfitters has partnered with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to offer tours of Pinckney Island. Rob and I chose to take the hayride tour. We enjoy Pickney Island but, to date, had not been past Ibis Pond. Here was a chance to scope it out and see if our thin-tired bicycles would handle the trails (not!).

We took the 3 p.m. tour. The weather was Carolina perfect. But, being that time of day, we didn't see a whole lot of wildlife. Rob saw an armadillo off in the woods and we all saw a small flock of White Ibis roosting in a tree near one of the ponds. There were Gulf Fritillary butterflies everywhere. I've decided, after studying these butterflies in flight, that they look like the TIE Fighter ships in Star Wars. The speed of their wing beats is such that my eyes see the shape of these fighters. I see a lot of natures shapes in science fiction movies. Have you noticed this too?

Pickney is beautiful!! The main trail has some large stones that really require a bike with large tires. But, there are also wide grass paths that shoot off of the main trail that are just lovely. We stopped for a break along the NNW shore with a view of Mackay Creek. I always pronounced it Ma ka' (long 'a' in ka) but, our guide pronounced it Mac' key. I need to get a hold of a local and get the scoop on how to pronounce the name.

Our view, at the stop, looked toward Little Harry and Corn Islands. The tide was low enough to see oyster beds across the creek. Thank God for Oysters! They keep our waterways clean. How? Oysters pump 7 gallons an hour through their mucus covered gills! Yes, 7 gallons an hour!!! They can filter water in an estuary system within weeks. This doesn't mean mankind can get lazy about potential pollution though. Town planners and developers need to remember this!

I've linked the title of this blog to the Pickney Island Wildlife Refuge page. Have a peek :)

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