Baby Alligator, Heron & Puddles

This morning started out with a thunderstorm.  Ron got the awning down just in time.  Then we were without electricity for a few hours.

Boy fishing with small alligator trying to get his bait

We were sitting outside having coffee when a lone Canada goose walked right into our campsite and honked and honked repeatedly.  I thought he was probably trying to tell us something, as animals in distress will sometimes do that.  Since we didn’t have any idea what the problem was, he took off, honking constantly, and walked the entire length of the canal near our site.

Baby alligator

It finally dawned on me.  Geese mate for life.  He was alone.  I bet he was looking for his mate, and I’ll also bet an alligator got him or her.  So sad, if that was the case.

Later this afternoon, we were walking the dogs when we saw a boy fishing from the bank.  We struck up a conversation with his dad.  Then we learned that a small alligator was messing with the boy’s fish line, maybe trying to steal his bait.

Here’s looking at you!

His Dad called out, “Don’t you try to catch that alligator!  Don’t you try to catch that alligator!”

I had Ron hold the dogs, then walked down the bank to get a closer look.  Sure enough there was a baby alligator, with just his nose above the water.  As I watched, more of the head appeared.  And soon the body also came into view.  The dad told me that when they come in at night, the boat lights reflect off so many alligator eyes that it looks like someone strung Christmas lights.

Baby alligator’s body comes into view

What is really scary is that this is the “safe” part of the water that I was letting Sheba play in up until a couple of days ago.

Sheba apparently senses that something is wrong with the water because she hasn’t tried to head into it lately.  However, rain puddles in the street are fair game!

Sheba finds a safe rain puddle in the street

Tonight is our last night here at Cotton Hill COE.  It’s been one of the most beautiful places we’ve stayed this far south.

We’ll be back.  But probably in the winter when the alligators are hibernating!

Walter F. George lake at sunset

Walter F. George Reservoir Campgrounds

View from Pine Island campground

Today we checked out all three campgrounds here at Walter F. George lake.  They are all spectacular in different ways.

Pine Island

The big expanse of water I was looking for is visible from both the Pine Island campground and some of the sites in the Old Mill Road campground.

The Pine Island campground has a large swimming beach, while the Old Mill Road campground at the other end of the lake has all kinds of convoluted little inlets and gator warning signs!

Our campground, Marina View, has the least shade of the three.  And several of the big rig pull through sites here have a view of only a canal that connects to the lake. However, a lot of boaters like them because there is also parking for their boats.  And a couple of fishermen simply leave their boats in the water.

The swimming beach at Pine Island campground

We saw tenters also in the Old Mill Road loop.

Today, since Sheba chewed Sunny’s eye drops bottle, I had to have my vet at home call in a prescription to a vet in Blakely, about 25 miles from here.  Sunny can’t do without his medication for even a couple of days without the artery in his eye enlarging and turning his pupil bright red, and the rest of his eyes looking like hamburger.  I was so grateful we were able to get the prescription filled locally without having to pay an expensive vet bill.

Crystal clear water

We also had a visitor today who looked at the Casita and exclaimed, “That is the cutest little camper I’ve ever seen!  Is it new?”  He was pretty surprised when I told him it was a 2005.  I asked him if he would like to see the inside, and he was thrilled.

We passed his campsite later while walking the dogs and he enthusiastically told his neighbors, “These are the people in that cute little camper down there!”

View from Old Mill Road campground

Sheba is also getting a lot of fawning attention from the other campers.  Unfortunately she goes into her hyper emotionally out of control puppy mode when she meets strangers.  She just loves everyone–and can really be pretty obnoxious about wanting to jump all over them.  I am surprised at how much energy it takes to camp with a puppy.  She is so good all day, staying in her pen most of the time.

Wide view from Old Mill Road campground

Every time we take her for a walk, we end it with letting her jump in the lake–leashed – after carefully scanning the area for gators.    So by the time she gets in the trailer at night, she has burned off most of her excess energy.

Then she only does minor things — like pulling paper towels out of the trash and chewing them to pieces.

I will REALLY be glad when she gets a little older and calms down a bit!

Gator habitat at Old Mill Road loop

We are really enjoying our stay here.  We have full hookups for only $12 a night with our senior pass!

Old Mill Road has several gator warning signs

Cypress trees by the boat launch area


The geese casually paraded within 5 feet of where I was standing

The marina from Old Mill Road campground

A Slice of Heaven

Cotton Hill campsite #58

“You got any pretty sites left?” I asked the gate attendant when we pulled into Cotton Hill COE.

View from our site

“A few,” he smiled.  “How many days are you staying?”

“Seven,” I answered.

“Oooooh, that cuts it way down.  Let’s see, I’ve got 6 and 58.  58 is in the Marina View loop, and it has the best view in the campground.  You can take a look at both of them if you’d like.”

“No, we’ll take 58!” I replied, figuring he knew what he was talking about.

View of the marina from our site

He wasn’t lying.  Our site is gorgeous.

I was a little surprised that the lake wasn’t wider.  I’m used to the Georgia COE’s having huge expanses of water.  But there is something indefinably special about this place.

Instead of putting up both sections of the dog pen, we only put up one.  And since we couldn’t stake it down in the gravel, I bungied it to the trailer tongue and step and reinforced it with a couple of other bungees.  It works!  And both Sunny and Sheba have been wonderful about staying in it without barking.  I am impressed with how well they are behaving.

There’s a playground to our right.

Sheba has not had the first potty accident in the trailer, so I am almost ready to declare her housebroken.  At least it appears she is Casita-broken!  🙂

And she is really loving the water  here!

Sunny waiting for Mom while Sheba is already down the bank and in the water

Sheba in the water

Bungeed dog pen


Fuzzy heron photo

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