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USA map showing location of Chiefland in Florida

The two RV Gypsies
& Sharyn Hurley Alden

at the
Lower Suwannee
National Wildlife Refuge
in Chiefland, Florida

map of the Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge

Karen Duquette and Sharyn Alden

Karen & Sharyn graduated from Artesia High School in California. They were friends and on the swim team together. They have not seen each other since they graduated from high school, but got reacquainted through Facebook. Sharyn presently lives in California, although she has also lived in Alaska. Karen is an RV Gypsy that lives full-time in her Winnebago RV and lives wherever her RV takes her. Karen and Sharyn got to spend a couple of days together in Chiefland, Florida.
February 7 & 8, 2013.

Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge (LSNWR) is part of the United States National Wildlife Refuge System. It is located on the western coast of Florida, along the southern edge of the Big Bend Region, approximately fifty miles southwest of the city of Gainesville. The historic Suwannee River, made famous by Stephen Foster, bisects the refuge.

The 53,000-acre wildlife refuge was established in 1979 to protect one of the largest undeveloped river delta systems in the United States. It includes twenty miles of the Suwannee River estuary and twenty miles of coastline. The constant influx of nutrients from the Suwannee River combined with numerous off-shore islands and tidal creeks create excellent wildlife habitat which supports kites, bald eagles, manatees, sturgeon, deer, and turkeys, to name but a few of the species which take refuge there.

The refuge offers bird and wildlife observation, wildlife photography, fishing, canoeing, and interpretive walks. Several boardwalks and observation towers offer views of refuge wildlife and habitat.

map of the Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge
sign: Lower Suwannee Nature Drive, Shell Mound and Chiefland

The gopher tortoise shown below was alongside the road on the lower Suwannee Nature Drive and Karen Duquette photographed it from the open window of her truck.

turtle at Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge
turtle at Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge

While driving, Lee Duquette spotted wildlife running across the road, and Karen had only a few seconds to snap a photo with her camera. After taking the photos shown below, Karen had to zoom in on the photo a bit to try to see exactly what kind of wildlife it was, but she still could not positively identify it. This, plus the gopher tortoise shown above, some Turkey Vultures and a few white Egrets were the only wildlife that Karen, Lee, and Sharyn saw at the Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge on this day.

wildlife crossing the road at Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge
wildlife crossing the road at Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge

a nice view of the coastal Estuary and Gulf as seen from the boardwalk

a nice view of the coastal Estuaray and Gulf as seen from the boardwalk

a nice view of the coastal Estuaray and Gulf as seen from the boardwalk

a white egret as seen from the boardwalk

a white egret as seen from the boardwalk
a white egret as seen from the boardwalk

Shell Mound is a 0.3 mile loop trail, with a 6,000 year old archaeological site reaching 28 feet in height.

Shell Mound trail
sign about the Shell Mound Archaeological Site
sign about the Shell Mound Archaeological Site
the Shell Mound Archaeological Site

Karen Lee, and Sharyn enjoyed a nice view of the coastal Estuary and Gulf from the Shell Mound Trail

a nice view of the coastal Estuaray and Gulf from the Shell Mound Trail
a nice view of the coastal Estuaray and Gulf from the Shell Mound Trail
a nice view of the coastal Estuaray and Gulf from the Shell Mound Trail

There were five turkey vultures high in the treetops and circling the area. Although Karen had to aim her camera directly into the bright sun, she was still able to get a few fairly decent photographs of the turkey vultures.

five turkey vultures high in the treetops
four turkey vultures high in the treetops
a turkey vulture
a turkey vulture
a turkey vulture
a turkey vulture

Below: Another white Egret

white Egret
white Egret

Look below for more stuff
Now that you have enjoyed the Lower Suwannee Wildlife Refuge,
please continue on to the other two sites in Chiefland, Florida.
You may view these in any order you wish.

Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge;
Shell Mound Archaeological Site, and birds

Manatee Springs State Park and Manatees

Cedar Key State Park

go to the next adventure of the two RV Gypsies in FloridaAFTER you have viewed all three sections above, please continue on to the adventures of the two RV Gypsies in Venice and Englewood, Florida