There are gators in northeastern North Carolina. They live all the way up to the Virginia border. Young gators stay out of the lake at the center of the refuge where they'd get eaten by the big boys. This, and a little larger, is about what you see in the trail side ditches.
This is a Southern Silk Spider. They are hrmless to people. Nevertheless, they are huge. This time of year, they are 4-5 inches in width. By the end of summer, they'll be has wide as a person's hand. They live off of the North Carolina state bird - the yellow deer fly.
I saw a small snake in the road. This Barred Owl got to it before I did. Yes, they hunt in the middle of the day, too.
A shy skink.
When black bears eat soybean plants, they eat the whole plant. They tear off stalks of leaves and eat it all.
I didn't see any big bears today and only did a little hiking on my favorite trails. Too damned hot. And it would rain for a half minute or so, then the sun would come out the humidity would go through the roof. And the yellow deer flies were relentless. Nonetheless, there are some big boys out and about.