I was in Greenville, South Carolina for the weekend. I went down there to help someone out with some things, but they were sick and so I spent much of the weekend on my own, rambling around a bit. I don't know how many miles I walked but my pedometer showed over 38,000 steps for the two full days that I was there, so I definitely added some miles to my shoes. There is a very nice urban trail, the Swamp Rabbit Trail ...
I had lunch in the downtown and then set out on my walk this past Saturday, walking along Main Street.
my final hike (of so many hikes) in Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge, I mentioned some of the animals I had seen there over the years. One I never saw was wild swine. But I saw this one in Greenville!
The first part of my walk was the most scenic, as it goes through the dramatic and popular Falls Park. The falls are about 30 feet high.
Along the way, there were nice views of the river and parks, and sure signs that spring is here, even though the temperature was in the low 40's.
About halfway to the zoo from Falls Park is a memorial to local hero Major Rudolf Anderson, USAF, September 15 1927 to October 27, 1962. Look at the date of his death and see if you can figure where he died for our country. No - not in Vietnam (he had served in the Korean War, by the way). He was the only American fatality in the Cuban Missile Crisis and was killed when his plane was hit by Cuban anti-aircraft shrapnel.
Just past the Anderson Memorial is a bridge on the Swamp Rabbit Trail named for him:
Also in the African area were a beautiful giraffe couple and their calf. As a funny aside, a little girl who was there with a bunch of friends and their moms, announced in a voice that most of the people at the zoo could hear: "There is a boy giraffe and a girl giraffe. I know how to tell the boy from the girl...." Then she very loudly stated exactly how to tell. I could not help but laugh (as did the women in their group). Here is a photo of mother and calf:
I'd zoomed in for a close-up of Mom, part of her 18 inch tongue sticking out:
The saddest animal there was the Amur leopard, the rarest big cat in the world. There are 35 individuals left in the wild. The zoo had three of these magnificent and beautiful cats - equal to about one tenth the entire wild population. In their glassed-in enclosure, one could get very close to them. It would be very sad if these cats disappear in the wild, but it seems likely. It is hard to believe that in our big, beautiful world, there may not be enough room for this cat to go on living.
The leopards live in a very cold part of the world, and probably enjoy the cold weather we were having this day more than the sweltering Greenville summers.
After leaving the Greenville Zoo, I returned on the Swamp Rabbit Trail to the downtown, and snapped a couple of photos of the impressive falls, this one from along the path, showing the pedestrian bridge above....