This week’s challenge comes from guest host Sue (Mac’s Girl) at The Nature of Things. She has asked us to feature hobbies or interests we have enjoyed over the years or something new we have discovered during this time of staying at home.
During this time of staying at home each day consists of a few of these activities: Reading, cooking, walking and photography. A major outing is an occasional grocery store run.
I’ve always loved to read and I have really enjoyed having the time to read more than usual. These days I get most of my books digitally from the local library and I often have four or five books on hold. My favorite recently read book is Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate. As you can see from the next photo, I’ve just about worn out the cover for my IPad and my two favorite books have been read and reread many times.
I’ve had a lot of time to spend cooking and baking during the shutdown. I’ve enjoyed using fresh produce from my favorite produce stand whenever I can.
Before the shut down I walked on the days I wasn’t going to water aerobics or going to the gym at the local YMCA. During the shut down my main exercise is walking. For a while the beach was closed and most walks were in my neighborhood. Now that the beach is open, I walk on the beach at least once a week.
I’m always looking for things to photograph. Recently my garden has been full of birds, butterflies, and blooms.
The Tybee Island Lighthouse is across the street from the parking lot for the beach. I was excited when I saw the flag flying Friday morning in honor of Memorial Day Weekend.
Please take a moment this Memorial Day Weekend to remember all of our fallen military heroes who gave their lives for our country.
For this weeks challenge, Ann-Christine has asked us to showcase a special spot. My special spot is a sandy beach.
I tried to pick a specific beach but couldn’t narrow it down to just one. Instead, I chose a few shots from some beaches here in my own home state of Georgia.
There are 15 barrier islands off the Georgia coast. Only four can be reached by road – Tybee Island, St. Simons Island, Sea Island, and Jekyll Island. The rest can only be reached by boat. Some of them are undeveloped, some are managed by the state of Georgia, and one is a National Seashore.
Sapelo Island is one of the barrier islands that is owned and managed by the state of Georgia. The island is accessible by ferry from Darien. You can see more photos from our visit there at Weekend Getaway on the Georgia Coast.
I can’t mention the Georgia barrier islands without including Cumberland Island, the largest and southernmost barrier island in Georgia.We spent a day there about 40 years ago but unfortunately, I don’t have photos from that visit. Cumberland Island is a National Seashore and can be reached by ferry from St. Marys. We’re hoping to make a return trip to the island this spring.
It’s been over 40 years since we last camped in Anastasia State Park. We were camping in a tent with our kids and back then you could drive on the beach.
Today there is no more driving on the beach in the state park. Instead, there is a huge parking area with walkways over the dunes and a wheelchair accessible beach mat to the beach.
It was chilly, foggy and raining during most of our stay. On the first sunny day we went exploring. After a drive south on famous highway A1A, we headed to the Saint Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park.
Founded in 1893, the Alligator Farm started out with just a few exhibits of Florida reptiles. It has expanded over the years to include not only reptiles but also birds and mammals from all around the world. Today, in addition to the educational shows and exhibits, it is also used for research.
As we wandered through the zoo toward the Native Swamp and Rookery to see the nesting birds (I posted about them here) we stopped to observe the many varieties of animal life.
Saint Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park
Albino alligator from Louisiana
Baby alligators and turtles at the Saint Augustine Alligator Farm
Maximo, a saltwater crocodile, is largest animal at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm
We took a break for lunch and drove to the nearby Conch House Marina and Guesthouse to eat outside on their waterfront deck.
After lunch it was back to the Alligator Farm to watch the 3:00 alligator feeding. Can you say feeding frenzy?
Feeding frenzy at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm
The alligators go after a tasty rodent on the end of a fishing rod
Our next stop was the Saint Augustine Lighthouse. Gorgeous views were our reward for climbing all the steps to the top.
St. Augustine Lighthouse
St. Augustine Lighthouse Fresnel lens
View from the top of the St. Augustine Lighthouse
When we weren’t exploring St. Augustine we enjoyed being in Anastasia State Park. Our campsite was surrounded on three sides by natural vegetation and the beach was only a 10 minute walk from our campsite. One afternoon we explored the nature trail near the campground.