It was a beautiful morning at this old rice field pond even if there weren’t many birds out. It was hot so they had reason to stay tucked in elsewhere.
This tree has become known as the Spoonbill Tree as it is a favorite perching and thus photography spot. The water is very high; often there are two or three alligators lounging on the ground up near the trunk.
In 1825 George Washington Morris, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, became the ninth owner of the land that he named Grove Plantation. Three years later he built Grove House. These images are the front of the house, taken from the extensive tree lined lawn from the left, center, and right.
As you move away from the building the massive Live Oaks close in quickly, giving a feeling of seclusion. The second floor porch that runs the full width of the house is very inviting and the wide overhang would have helped keep the home cooler during the South Carolina summers.
The house has survived numerous hurricanes and the wrath of the Civil War, during which many similar estates were torched.
Snowy Egrets are entertaining to watch as they dart about, working to stir up small fish in the water. This one separated himself from the flock of nearby Roseate Spoonbills and Wood Storks and took a short break. We are used to seeing Great Egrets waiting this way, but generally the Snowy Egrets don’t have the same perseverance.
A quick turn and a pounce into the water yielded nothing, this time.
Like many plantation homes in the south the front of Grove House faces the water where all traffic would have originated when the house was built in 1828. This is a view of the back of the plantation house, taken from the Live Oak lined drive.
Cashmere Goats are one of the heritage breeds that Middleton Place houses in its barnyard, devoted to animals that were known to be on the farm at some point during the 18th and 19th centuries.
Over numerous trips here this is the closest I’ve come to an “action” shot of one of the goats.
This is closer to what I usually see:
From the Middleton Place website:
In the 1850s, Williams Middleton imported and raised cashmere goats, sending their treasured hair to France where it was processed into cloth. The goats need minimal shelter due to their dual coats. Each year, starting in March, the goats’ hair can be harvested by combing out their winter coat.
I have read about the damage wild pigs perform across South Carolina to crops, gardens, yards, anything they can root up, but this was the first time I had seen them in action.
This was a group of about a dozen, appearing to be a boar, two sows and two groups of youngsters, at slightly different sizes.
All of them except the boar were so busy feeding they didn’t even notice us when we stopped in the road.
We had driven by this small field a few days before and the grass the Wildlife Management Area staff had planted earlier in the summer was up about eight or ten inches (20 – 25 cm) and fully covered this plot.
The WMA maintains a number of areas along the roads through the property that attract and support different kinds of wildlife. I don’t think this was the outcome they wanted: complete destruction. I suppose the good news is a little fertilizer left behind and freshly turned earth to accept new seed if they decide to replant.
The boar had his eye on us and started encouraging his family to move along with some grunting and posturing. Off they went to destroy something else.