It was my first time in South Carolina and my first national park east of the Mississippi, both very exciting things. I haven’t seen all that much wildlife in parks, Wyoming in the winter aside because I lived there and it was over months. I really didn’t see much in Congaree either, as far as mammals and reptiles go, but I did see tons of bugs and let me tell you, I got just as excited about the first spider as the last.
I think it was easier to spot bugs because they were usually on the boardwalk railings and we just walked along the boardwalk trail pretty much the whole time. Spiders were usually in the trees near the boardwalk, but there were tons of caterpillars and a praying mantis on the railing. You bet I stopped to take pictures of all of them. It’s also nice on the boardwalk because I didn’t have to watch where I was walking as it was all even. Whenever I’m hiking, I’m looking at the ground so I don’t trip on a root or rock.
You really just need to keep an eye out as you walk. At a little overlook by Weston Lake I spotted a spider between two boards on the railing, the one right under this, actually. But I spent most of my time there watching two turtles swimming just below me, snacking on an apple that got tossed in. I didn’t notice them at first, or even think to look, until a family came up and said something to each other, I just overheard. I tried showing them a spider, one kid almost stuck his hand in the web, and not one of them acknowledged me. So, they were nice.
The praying mantis was really exciting, too because I think I’ve only seen one other one last summer. We were able to get really close to him and got some pretty awesome pictures. I’m not gonna lie, I was a little afraid it was going to fly right into my face, but thankfully it didn’t. A ranger came by while we were admiring it and was only a little more impressed with it than the family was with the spider. He at least said hi and asked what we were looking at.
I also saw this bee, had no idea how close to this I was sitting while I was taking pictures. I noticed it and wasn’t even nervous and let me tell you, bees freak me out. Like, I really do not enjoy being around them, at least when they’re flying. But I wasn’t that nervous here. And by that I mean I wasn’t nervous at all.
I really enjoyed Congaree and would love to go back to hike more and take out a canoe or kayak. Hopefully I would get to see even more wildlife, maybe more outside of the bug category. Either way, I’ll definitely be back.
Wildlife to keep an eye out for:
- Spiders of all sorts
- Wild pigs
Have you been to Congaree National Park? Did you see any wildlife? What did you see? Did you like the park?