Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Dauphin Island: Fort Gaines

Imagine you are a retired military man who likes birds and butterflies and gardens and photography and military history . . .

Now, imagine you can find all of the above on one island. Dauphin Island is a paradise for AdventureMan.

Imagine you are a woman who loves road trips, beautiful beaches, taking pictures, taking walks, beautiful scenery, especially beaches and wading birds . . .

And that is also all on the same island.

We can’t wait to go back to Dauphin Island. Birding season is just kicking up again, after the heat of the summer and the threat of hurricane season. The birds migrating south have their final rest on Dauphin Island, before heading out across the big Gulf of Mexico to warmer climates for the winter.

And there’s an old fort, too!

These forts were built to protect the American southern coast from a variety of enemies, including at one time, our fellow Americans. They are built solidly, with great big cannons.

So what is the fort defending against now?

There is another way to get to Dauphin Island from Pensacola, if you get there at the right time and there isn’t much of a line, because this little ferry can’t take a lot of cars. It goes to Fort Morgan, still in Alabama, but across Mobile Bay:

AdventureMan says the forts are built in the style influenced by Marc René, marquis de Montalembert, who is said to want to do for defense what Vauban had done for the attack.

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September 25, 2012 Posted by | Adventure, Arts & Handicrafts, Building, Cultural, ExPat Life, Living Conditions, Road Trips, Safety, Travel | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Brave Church Features Moslem Call to Prayer

Thank you, Hayfa; this is beautiful! He is singing “God is Great! God is Great! I testify there is no God but God, and Mohammed is his messenger.”

The Jews, the Christians and the Moslems all worship the one true God. The Kingdom of Heaven arrives when we all learn, as we are commanded, to live in peace with one another.

September 25, 2012 Posted by | Faith, Spiritual | Leave a comment

Dauphin Island: Audubon Bird Sanctuary and Shell Mound

After exploring the west end of Dauphin Island, we explored further, and found what we were really looking for – the Audubon Bird Sanctuary. It was even better than we had imagined. You drive in and park, open your doors, and it smells good, like salty sea fresh air and pine trees together. They have walking trails that are beautifully done; even ramps and areas for people in wheelchairs, special areas for picnics out just a short walk.

The trails are clearly marked, and have great signage.

A very short walk takes you to a lake area, with an overlook and lots of soft shell turtles poking their heads out curiously:

At one point, AdventureMan laughed and said the long needle pine has decorated this smaller tree for Christmas:

We know we will be coming back, so we saved the longer hikes for another, cooler trip. 🙂

Dauphin Islanders have put a high priority on protecting their sea and bird life. They have bought up several parcels where the wildlife is protected and free.

We found the Shell Mound park, and it is magnificent. There is a road lined with trees dripping with Spanish Moss, and there is more wild lantana than I’ve ever seen in one place before. The butterflies are crazy about lantana, especially this orangey kind, and there must have been a thousand butterflies, just in this one small area; it was like butterfly heaven. Most of the butterflies we saw were Gulf Fritillaries or Sulphers, but AdventureMan says he also spotted a BuckEye. It was magical, just watching them flit so happily from blossom to blossom.

We are already thrilled we came to Dauphin Island, but . . . there is more to come!

September 25, 2012 Posted by | Adventure, Beauty, Education, ExPat Life, Living Conditions, Road Trips, Travel | , , , , , | Leave a comment