Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Jekyll Island, the Wildlife

Today is the last of the 3 part series on Jekyll Island. We will talk a bit about wildlife and I will share a few interesting facts as well. A lot of my information was gathered from books picked up at a gift shop on the island...

Interest in the Club dwindled as the original membership aged. In the early 1940's after enemy ships were sighted off the coast, members left the Island and the Millionaires Club never reopened.

The State of Georgia bought Jekyll Island in 1947 and the dwellings were in a state of disrepair. Today the entire Club House along with cottages have been restored. By law, 65% of the island will remain undeveloped. Sorry kids, no McDonald's here just local Mom & Pops places from long ago.

It cost a mere $3.00 to enter Jekyll Island. What a bargain price for us Cheapskates! ha..

Here you will see one of many Great Egrets looking for a snack in the marshes.
We are always excited to see the Pelicans even though not a great picture taken by me. They were moving way too quickly.

We had a visitor on the balcony of our room. This gecko was still in this position when we left so I am kind of wondering if someone did not glue a rubber toy to the wall as a joke for unsuspecting nature lovers such as ourselves. Hum, what do you think, Live or Memorex?

We saw a raccoon and opossum and we also spotted deer tracks on the beach. We are still trying to figure out why a deer was on the beach. Do they eat the sea oats?

Ah, a cute sea turtle in the landscaping! How fun it must be to be a gardener on this island. But wait, that is not the only turtle we saw...

Jekyll Island is home to the Georgia Sea Turtle Center, click to learn more. This wonderful center has been open for about a year now and they take care of sick and injured Sea turtles then release them back into the wild. We toured the facility and learned that of the 7 sea turtles, 5 of them can be found in this area. I did not know that a day of building a sand castle on the beach could be a hamper on a baby turtle getting safely into the ocean once hatched. Knock down those castles people because they are barriers to the little things!

This turtle to the left had an issue with not being able to go under water. Notice how his shell is out of the water. They think this is a gassy issue and once cleared up, he should be able to sink below the water. He was a huge turtle but not fully grown my any means. I believe the smaller turtle below was fairly close to being released. The turtle will have a transmitter on his shell so the center can keep up with its progress and learn more about their behavior. This center also monitors the nesting turtles along the island.

The beach by our hotel is missing with high tide. Look at how natural this area remains. Sea Oats keep the dunes in place so never touch the Sea Oats because they have a purpose. Rip Rap rock has been put in place to keep the sand from washing out to sea with rough waters.

On the north side of the beach is the area known as Driftwood Beach. This area is full of dead trees with an eerie look about them. Unfortunately, we did not get to this spot with low tide so we were not able to walk about the area for the great views of driftwood. Remember, do not bother the wood it is protected being in a state park!

There are about 586 houses on the island that are privately own with land leased and a fee paid to the Island Authority under a 99 year lease which expires in 2049. The lease is transferable when ownership changes. Permanent residents number about 900 with no more lots available for building.

The island has the purest water being supplied by Artesian wells. Everything on Jekyll island is maintained and like walking into another time with its beauty.

The first Brewery in Georgia was on Jekyll Island and made of Tabby construction. Tabby is composed of equal parts of sand, lime, oyster shell and water mixed into a mortar and poured into forms.

History was made at the Club when the Federal Reserve Act was drafted there in 1910. Also when the first transcontinental telephone call was placed there in 1915. There is so much yet for me to learn about the island!

I must thank my Saint for taking me to this wonderful place. He did all the research and whisked me away for this most wonderful weekend.

Even though this is a natural state island, there is lots to do while on a visit. They have a camp ground, horseback riding, golf, tennis, museums, art galleries, shopping, the beach, 20 miles of walking or biking paths, water park and putt putt for the kids.

You can also take a boat ride for dolphin watching or hop aboard a Shrimp boat for a few hours of catching legendary Wild Georgia Shrimp. We happen to be there during the Shrimp & Grits festival. Don't knock them until you have tried them. I have never heard of them until we moved here and I love them!

This brings us to the end of our 3 part series on JEKYLL ISLAND. I hope you have enjoyed it as much as I did reliving our little weekend get away.

The sunset over the marsh was the perfect ending to this spectacular place. We WILL be going back and soon! But for now, I must get back In the Garden...

*Note: After reading the posting on Sunday of the Jekyll Island Oak trees, In the Garden was contacted by David Egan. He is the co-director of an all-volunteer, non-profit organization called the Initiative to Protect Jekyll Island State Park. One of the main goals of the IPJI is to ensure that whatever new development takes place on Jekyll Island, it does not adversely affect Jekyll's environmentally-sensitive areas or damage or destroy any of its natural assets. Click on the link to learn more about IPJI and to see some wonderful pictures.


  1. This is a really nice 3 part posting, thanks for sharing your get-a-way time with us Skeeter.

  2. What a wonderful three part series of Jeckyll Island you put together Skeeter. The wildlife, history, and gardens make this a place to add to my list of things to see.

  3. Tina ... this is a remarkable place .. I would love to see it myself ! .. The part where all the dead trees and driftwood are .. now that is perfect for me : )
    Hubby knew what island this was because he and some friends go golfing during our winters to areas around there ..
    Great pictures .. and so nice to see such abeautiful place being protected !
    PS .. your husband can send me the nickle and I'll try and find an American one for him ?? LOL

  4. I went back and took a short "tour" of your other two posts about Jekyll Island. Much to see at that state park, and you're lucky to live close to such a wonderful getaway.

    I enjoyed looking at all the pictures you posted and the info and facts were well put, making for a very interesting read. Thanks for "taking" us along with y'all.

    I lived in South Carolina for five years and know a little about the importance of sea oats for helping prevent erosion. Back then I was young and bold so one day while at the beach I picked a handful for my then wife; I think she might still have them today.

  5. I enjoyed all three of your posts about the island. Like you, I find the off-season times on the beach much more enjoyable. It's a shame you can't pick any of the oats. Did you find any place that sells the seeds? It might be interesting to sow some wild (sea) oats at home.

  6. Skeeter, I've enjoyed these posts about Jekyll Island. Looks like a lovely place to visit with lots of interesting things to see and do. Are any of the historic homes open to the public? I'm glad, though, that there is a preservation society working to prevent this beautiful island from being overrun with beachfront houses and Holiday Inns:)

    And I will remember from now on to knock down any sand castles we build before leaving!

  7. I have enjoyed these posts too! Super good pictures and information. That is pretty neat about David contacting you. Any small part anyone can do is a help to the world. (At least my belief as a gardener:) Staying off here for a while but had to say hello all! P.S. I need one of those shrub sea turtles in my yard...hmmm...where can I put it?

  8. Really good three part series. I love the trees with the moss. Looks like a great place to visit. You did a really good job at making me want to go there.

  9. Really neat island. Enjoyed your visit very much. Think I will add it to my list of "go to places."

  10. I'm sitting here enjoying my coffee and reading about your wonderful trip. Thanks for taking us along with you! Cameron

  11. I've heard so much about the work the sea turtle research center does. That must have been so interesting.

    It is a beautiful place. I'm really enjoying your lovely photos.

  12. It looks like a great place to visit! The sea turtle center would be very cool for the kids to see. Great shot of the sunset!

  13. Skeeter, the 3rd part was just as spellbinding as the first 2. Great pics & a wealth of info. I like to learn about places of history. This one fits the bill. That was a gorgeous sunset.
    Thanks for taking us along with you on your weekend getaway.

  14. Driftwood Beach is very erie looking. A great place to hang out on Halloween.

  15. What a great getaway that you have shared with us all with lotsa great info. Thanks.

    I don't know if the deer eat the sea oats or not but, living on the Maine coast I do know the deer will lick the rocks at the beach when the tide is out to get salt. I used to put the big blocks of salt out for the deer and they never touched them as I found out that they would rather have the salt from the ocean if they have that around them.

  16. thanks for sharing your trip with us. it has been great to see all of your images of jekll island and cottages and gardens.

    tina come over to my place you have been tagged.

  17. Another great post Skeeter! Jekyll Island has always been on our list of places to visit and now it is even more so. Love those sea turtles!

  18. Dawn, it was my pleasure sharing this place with everyone. By writing it all up, I was able to enjoy it once again myself...

    PerennialG, If you have a list of 'TO GO' places, you should add this wonderful place to your list. It is such a natural Treasure for us all to enjoy...

    Gardenjoy, Sorry for the confusion, we do that at times around here but I (Skeeter) did these postings. I am filling in for Tina for the week, giving her a well deserved break. TINA, are you listening about the nickel??? Anyway, I am glad your husband has experienced some of the beautiful scenery in this area. They have 3 golf course's on Jekyll and a beautiful setting. This is just one of several small islands on the GA coast. We hope to explore more some day. We were so happy to see it being protected for generations to come.

    TC, funny you picking the Sea Oats back in your bold days! LOL, I think we all did a bold thing or two back when. Education is key to keeping this place in tact for years to come. I am glad you enjoyed the little journey I took everyone on. It is always fun to share joy with others...

    Walk2write, Wow, have I sewn some wild oats in my past but too old to sew any now... lol... I have a bit of sand in my yard but doubt I have enough for the seeds to thrive plus they would need the salty splash of water. I can see me now trying to come up with a way to add salt into the garden hose.. lol... Off Season is the greatest for any tourist spot! But at times some things are not open with less patronage... :(

    Rose, Yes, some of the homes are open to the public and set up as tours. We went into the Goodrich home as it is an art gallery. We were not able to get in on the tours as the festival and weather interfered. The Clubhouse and a few are open at hotels or Bed and Breakfast type places but oh so pricy! I would like to spring the bucks some day and stay in one of them. It is great that a watch group is keeping an eye on the preservation of this jewel...

    Tina, have I convinced you to come down for a visit there with me some time? It would be fun to explore this place with other nature lovers...

    Sarah, thanks for your kind words. I hope some day you and your family can get to Jekyll island as it is worth a visit. Such natural beauty unspoiled by human hands...

  19. Troutbirder, Glad you enjoyed the tour of Jekyll. It was fun putting our visit on paper but a bit difficult to chose the pictures as I had so many to pick from! I hope you do get there some day. I promise you will be glad you did...

    Cameron, I hope not salt air got into your coffee this morning! I am glad you enjoyed the visit with me...

    Marnie, the Sea turtle center was awesome! I learned a lot about the huge creatures that we otherwise rarely get to see. Very interesting and the staff were so knowledgeable and helpful with questions. I think it is a great program. I was just telling troutbirder how difficult it was to select the pics to post. I had so many you know.... lol...

    Dave, the girls would really enjoy the Sea Turtle Center as well as the beach the turtles call home during laying season. There is just so much to do and see to capture little minds as well as big ones! lol

    Lola, I am glad you enjoyed the visit through my eyes. I just wish I could take each and everyone of my nature loving buddy's on this blog there in person to see this wonderful place. We dont have many places such as this left as we are slowing turning them into concrete parking lots. :(

    Rick, Driftwood Beach is a really cool looking place. Stick around for more pics on a Halloween posting I will get up in the next week or so. I saved the real eerie looking pictures of the beach for that... tee hee...

    Jean, we knew the deer would eat salt as we keep a mineral lick out for our furry ones to enjoy! With all the salt in the air and on everything, I would think they would not have to go to the beach for a lick. Maybe they were just going to the beach to gaze out to the ocean and enjoy the sunset! lol

    Marmee, Tina may not see your TAG as she is taking a little break from the computer. I will mention it to her though... I am glad you enjoyed the tour. It was my pleasure taking you with me...

    Cindy, move Jekyll to the top of the list! A great place to escape cold winter snowfalls as it does not get that cold down there. Such nature to enjoy during the winter also as birds flock to the marshes, so they say. We may get back before years end if possible. The turtles were awesome to see! They have a viewing window that you can look through to see the turtles when the Vets are working on them! How cool is that...

  20. Lisa, thank you for your very, very kind comments on my blog. My ego was feeling a little deflated, but not now. I've read it three times.

  21. Rick…
    Dawn, Tina and Skeeter here. I dont see Lisa listed anywhere on comments. I hope Lisa sees your kind words. :)

  22. Once again, thank you for these postings! It truly is a wonderful place, as I remember it. Wow...it's been ten years since we were there!

    Do they still do the nighttime turtle walks?

  23. Kylee, 10 years? About time for another visit then. lol... Yes they do the night walks but not sure if that is year round or just during laying season or what. We did not have time for a night walk so we did not inquire but we should have for a future visit. That must have been awesome for the kids and yourself...

  24. Well, they girls were 18 and 15 (they were the ones playing in the USHS Golf Championships) and had no interest, so it was my mom and me that took the walk. We didn't get to see any turtles coming or going, but the group that had gone the night before did. We saw evidence of one (tracks in the sand) and a nesting area that had been fenced off, but no turtles. Still, it was a pretty neat thing to do.

  25. Kylee, we saw the deer prints on the beach and were all excited about that! Funny thing is, we have deer in our yard eating corn we put out for them each and every day of the year and here we go and get excited about seeing deer prints! We just love the critters... The girls would probably enjoy the island more now. My niece has been to Europe many times as a teenager. This past summer she was so excited to go as an adult (23) to “appreciate things” a bit more. When she said that to me I was like, wow, Diane is growing up! lol