He Must Know Something

All this empty shoreline and you had to land here?

Great Blue Heron and Great Egret
Great Blue Heron and Great Egret

The Great Blue Heron was tucked out of my sight until the Great Egret touched down.

Great Blue Heron and Great Egret
Great Blue Heron and Great Egret

The wading birds follow each other, usually hoping to capitalize on a good fishing opportunity. Why else would the Great Blue Heron have chosen this spot?

Great Blue Heron and Great Egret
Great Blue Heron and Great Egret

Spoonbill Tree: Empty

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.

Pond
Old Rice Field Pond

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.

Empty Tree
Empty Tree

See Early Morning Pond for a view of this tree taken last October with the roots exposed.

Grove House: Front

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.

Grove House at Grove Plantation
Grove House at Grove Plantation

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.

Grove House at Grove Plantation
Grove House at Grove Plantation

The house has survived numerous hurricanes and the wrath of the Civil War, during which many similar estates were torched.

Grove House
Grove House at Grove Plantation

Previous post: Grove House: Rear

Solitary Snowy Egret

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.

Snowy Egret
Snowy Egret

A quick turn and a pounce into the water yielded nothing, this time.

Snowy Egret
Snowy Egret

Taken 7/26/2018.

Grove House: Rear

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.

Grove House
Grove House – rear

The pond where I photographed the water lilies in yesterday’s post sits in the circular turn of this drive, just in front of the ground floor entry arches.

Grove House Rear Entry
Grove House Rear Entry

Below are the Live Oaks lining the driveway leading away from the back of the house.

Live Oaks Leading Away from Grove House
Live Oaks Leading Away from Grove House

Today Grove House is home to the offices of the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s ACE Basin National Wildlife Refuge.

Cashmere Goat

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.

Cashmere Goat
Cashmere Goat

Over numerous trips here this is the closest I’ve come to an “action” shot of one of the goats.

Cashmere Goat
Cashmere Goat

This is closer to what I usually see:

Cashmere Goat
Cashmere Goat

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.

https://www.middletonplace.org/

Lining the Banks

Wading birds and alligators gathered along this marsh inlet as the tide was going out.

Wading Birds and Alligators
Wading Birds and Alligators

The Snowy Egrets changed position frequently, they seem happiest when flapping around. The other egrets and herons tended to stick to their claimed spot, even as the alligators passed by.

Wading Birds Lining the Shore
Wading Birds Lining the Shore

Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Little Blue Heron, Tricolored Heron,  and White Ibis shared the banks.

Wild Pig Destruction

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.

Wild Pigs
Wild Pigs

This was a group of about a dozen, appearing to be a boar, two sows and two groups of youngsters, at slightly different sizes.

Wild Pigs
Wild Pigs

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.

Wild Pig Boar
Wild Pig Boar

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.

Wild Pig Family
Wild Pig Family

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.

Wild Pigs Disappearing into Woods
Wild Pigs Disappearing into Woods