Welcome back to one of Jekyll’s best places to learn the hidden lessons of nature and all about alligators.
By Ben Carswell
JIA Director of Conservation
For the wildlife denizens of Jekyll Island’s Horton Pond, the year 2020 has been… unremarkable. Despite the historic challenges that are taking place in the larger world, the relatively peaceful natural realm surrounding Horton Pond continues as though nothing is afoot. Visitors and residents can take comfort in knowing that this serene refuge has also continued to bring peace and healing relief through the improvements that the Jekyll Island Foundation funded in 2014.
In Spring, alligators awoke from their winter torpor and went about their usual grumbly mating rituals, occasionally scattering the turtle squad gathered on the basking platform with no care for social distance. Wood ducks moved back into the Pond’s nesting box. Now in Summer, the Kingfisher’s rattling call echoes from water’s edge to the tops of the tall pines. Night herons peer out from shadowy shrubs along the bank. The anhinga somehow achieves a comic beauty despite appearing to be a mashup of a turkey, a fish, and a snake. The dragon flies have arrived now. They are hunters of insects, but they are hunted themselves, from below by bass in the pond and from above by swallow-tailed kites whose unmatched regal grace in the skies inspires faith that the world shall overcome.
In this timeless theater of biodiversity, the show flows on, and the island is delighted to be able to share this encore with you again, through our Gatorology program. This Ranger led experience focuses on instilling appreciation, knowledge, and respect for the ancient American Alligator. Now an even more intimate educational experience, the maximum number of tickets per session has been lowered to six. We hope you’ll join us!
Gatorology is offered at the Horton Pond observation deck each Wednesday and Friday from 11:00 am – 12 noon through September.
To support CONSERVATION efforts on Jekyll Island, click HERE.