Going Wild at Fort Clinch

My day started watching dolphins frolicking off the shore in front of our camp. Cali and I passed by the fishing jetty and took the nature trail that leads over to the fort. She was excited to sniff among the trees and moss and try to decipher what varmints had been wandering the trails the night before. When we got back to the RV, PJ was over at the bath house putting in our laundry. We got that done then headed into Fernandina Beach to attend the Weds. 12 and 12 meeting.

On the way back through the state park, we parked at a trailhead and took off into the forest to see what might be lurking amongst the trees. We hiked for a couple of hours passing small streams and algae covered ponds. In warmer weather, alligators can be found basking on the banks but today we saw no gators. Birds were abundant, most noticeably herons and egrets but lots of fast moving little birds flitting around in the trees also.

About half way back we encountered an armadillo grubbing around in the leaf litter rooting for insects. The first live armadillo I’ve actually seen in the wild. We’ve seen plenty of squished ones lining Route 66 on our cross country travels but this one was fully alive. He was extremely focused on his work and we were able to sidle up really close to him before he realized we were watching him. He stepped back with a start and raced back into the brush.

Not too much further on, we spotted a buck quietly feeding between the trees off the side of the trail. He wasn’t too impressed by us watching him. He stared back at us for a while then kept on moving deeper into the woods. An hour later, we re-emerged at the car and drove home to tend to Cali and grab some lunch. It was a beautiful, sunny day staying in the mid sixties in the mid-afternoon.

After lunch, I got online trying to line up campgrounds down the road. It’s a popular time for camping in Florida and lots of places are fully booked. PJ pulled out her paints and started in on an art project at the picnic table outside. We whiled away the afternoon until it was close to sunset then headed out to walk the beach again. I took off while PJ was putting things away and wandered around the high tide line looking for shark teeth. This area supposedly has lots of them laying around but I wasn’t seeing any. What I did see when I looked up though was a pod of dolphins feeding off the end of a short jetty not too far off of shore.

Not long after, PJ went speeding by on her power walk arms swinging rhythmically at her sides. A few other tourists were meandering around the beach poking around for shells or watching the boats go by. Some time later, I saw PJ turn around way up ahead so I turned around and a while later she caught back up with me near the fort. We spotted a deer hanging out on the beach near one of the jetties in front of the fort. What would a deer be doing at the salt water beach? Munching some seaweed? Not sure, but it was an interesting sight.

The sun was going down as we neared the point back at the campground. Lots of cloud cover today so no direct sunset but still plenty of pretty skies and beautiful vistas. Even the paper mills across the water in Georgia looked scenic in the pink glow of the evening light. We played around at the fish dock out front and stayed out until it was too dark to see. Another wonderful day at Fort Clinch State Park.

4 thoughts on “Going Wild at Fort Clinch

  1. Love your pics – wildlife galore! PJ, I know that Karen offered you a ride from the airport when you come back, but you can add me to the list of drivers too. Love, Meema


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