Saturday a week ago, I walked on the beach at Sandbridge to watch a lovely sunrise. Then, before packing up and heading home, I decided to take this final walk in Back Bay, so I drove the two mile to the wildlife refuge, hoping to see some wildlife in the next hour or so. I've seen plenty there over the years, including:
- Mammals - white-tailed deer, gray fox, red fox, river otter, raccoon, bobcat, nutria, cottontail rabbit, swamp rabbit, feral horses (that came over from Corolla, North Carolina), bottle-nosed dolphin
- Birds - among others: osprey, great blue heron, harrier, clapper rail, American bittern, great egret, cattle egret, belted kingfisher, green heron, tundra swan, snow goose, Canadian goose, green-winged teal, mallard, red-winged blackbird, sanderling, great black-backed gull, herring gull, laughing gull, brown pelican, royal tern, common tern, kestrel, cardinal, king bird, glossy ibis, double-crested cormorant, American coot
- Reptiles - black rat snake (or black racer), eastern hog-nosed snake, water moccasin, smooth green snake, brown water snake, eastern garter snake, brown snake, eastern box turtle, red-bellied slider, loggerhead turtle (dead on the beach).
I started my walk by gazing across these cattails and the marsh at Back Bay:
memorial to Richard Hodge:
As I walked past so many familiar sights, I felt a bit wistful, and I found it hard to leave when it came time to. But I was cheered by thought that I will likely be back here at some point for another hike, if not nearly as frequently as before. And, of course, I plan on lots of hikes to come in other areas.