We have been going to Dauphin Island, Alabama for almost 30 years, we consider it one of our favorite places on the planet. We haven’t been there since the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in April of 2010, but this year, we decided it was time to go back and reconnect and relax on our favorite island.
It is considered a ‘barrier island’ so when a tropical system does come into the area, it tends to take the brunt of the wind, waves, and surge. A few weeks prior to our arrival, Tropical Storm (formerly Hurricane) Nate went over the island, thankfully, none of the houses on the island sustained major damage, but the storm surge moved the Gulf of Mexico beach onto the island. We were told that there was six feet of sand covering the main road that traverses the western end of the island. Which explained the 10-15′ high piles of sand on either side of the road, and also the police barricade we had to pass through when we traveled the island. Slowly but surely, the island is getting back to normal.
After getting settled into the house we rented, the adventures began. My main curiosity was the state of the wildlife after the oil spill, and numerous hurricanes since 2010. Thankfully, I was treated to a daily encounter of wildlife every day. Here are some of my favorites.
This Kingfisher was present every day, and he was very vocal about our presence in his ‘fishing area’. At the same time, he was a treat to watch.
The above Great Blue Heron fished the canal in front of our house every day. Each morning, we would look for ‘Rodney’ (we had to name him because he had such a elegance about him/her) and would pride ourselves in locating him, his stealth is amazing.
Pelicans are one of my favorite birds. I’m not sure why I’m drawn to them, I think it may be instinctual, but they are a magnificent bird in my eyes. I wondered how the populations fared after the spill, but during a day of kayaking and witnessing so many of them, I knew that they were going to be ok.
The island is also home to an Audubon Society Bird Sanctuary and we were able to enjoy a stroll through it with various family members on a beautiful Saturday afternoon. There are numerous turtles, even a ‘soft-shelled turtle’, which I’d never seen before, and a baby alligator. Unfortunately, we didn’t encounter any birds, but the other wildlife made up for it.
This lounging kitty knows how to enjoy ‘island life’. Although he was spotted eyeing Rodney, I believe Rodney would win that battle!
To cap off our wonderful stay, our last day there, we spotted numerous sun dogs, and even inverted sun bows. Unfortunately, my camera didn’t capture the inverted sun bow which was above all the other ones. It was truly an amazing sight, one that I’d never witnessed before, and may never see again.
I was truly sad when the time came to leave the island, but now I know, we will not let as much time pass before we go back.