On our way home from Hilton Head, we decided to stop in Augusta, Georgia to visit the Phinzy Swamp Nature Park. We needed to stretch our legs and use the restroom, and this was the perfect place to do it. Free parking, free admission, and a wonderfully maintained set of well marked trails.
I particularly enjoyed the boardwalks, amongst the beautiful old growth trees draped with spanish moss.
Back at home, we are being practically over-run by a new invasive species of spider, so I was particularly delighted to see some native orb weavers. I haven’t seen Argiope aurantia in a really long time, so I spent a few minutes photographing this beautiful specimen.
We also saw a few other species of orb weavers, so clearly there is still a healthy population in Augusta. I’m not sure what the ecological impact on our orb-weavers will be back at home, but it was so nice to have an afternoon amongst spiders a not a single Joro spider.
I also spotted this praying mantis on one of the boardwalks. I haven’t seen one of these guys in years!
There were a multitude of dragonflies, and I even spotted one feasting on a moth that she had caught. Dragonflies seem like unlikely predators, but they are extremely territorial and excellent hunters, excellently equipped at quick and agile aerial movements and huge eyes.
This is a beautiful park, and one that I would definitely revisit in the future if I travel through Augusta. It was the perfect way to break up the monotony of our drive home, and is situated near enough to civilization that its easy to access amenities when needed.