This juvenile Little Blue Heron was on his own, just hanging around on a dead tree trunk. There was a small group at the other end of the big pond but most of his siblings and cousins have moved on. There are no adult Little Blues around the swamp either.
Birds with nothing else to do default to preening, and this fellow was no different.
The Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist was open the day I discovered it and as I stepped inside I was somewhat overcome by the size. Many of Charleston’s churches welcome visitors to view their interiors, often with knowledgeable guides on hand, as well as for spiritual reasons.
I saw no one here, and saw no welcome sign, either. The interior is an amazing work of art and craftsmanship. I took a few images and went on my way.
On a trip into Charleston last month I walked down a section of Broad Street that I had somehow missed before and discovered the massive Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist. The first cornerstone for a church on this spot was laid in 1850 and an 1100 seat cathedral was consecrated in 1854. Six years later it burned to the ground in The Great Charleston Fire of 1861. Decades of fundraising culminated in the present day Gothic building being started in 1890.
I was delighted to find that the structure is Connecticut tool-chiseled brownstone. In Connecticut, Ted and I lived only a few of miles from the now defunct Portland Brownstone Quarry. This stone was used all over the US starting in the late 1700s, reaching the peak of its popularity in the mid 1890s. It is most famous as the namesake of the New York City and Boston “Brownstones.”
Zoom in on any one of these images to see the detail of the tooling. I need to go back to capture some of the material detail.
The building is impressive in its size, 200 feet long, 80 feet wide, and 167 feet to the tall. There was supposed to be a spire, but lack of funding kept that from being completed.
The past few weeks have been poor for getting new images; lots of grey days and thunderstorms at various times throughout the day, there are not many birds around, and the greater Charleston area has been mostly shut down since Monday due to the threat of Hurricane Florence.
I got a quick stroll in at Magnolia Plantation and Gardens on Sunday between rain storms. The air was still so the reflections in the ponds were pretty even though there wasn’t much light.
Magnolia and all of my usual haunts are closed until the storm passes. Florence’s path and power for our area are still hard to predict but I expect I’ll see some changes when we are able to return.
From a distance this wasp nest looked like a dried flower head jammed into these branches. When I got close enough to see the insect movement I could tell that it was not a flower at all.
It’s interesting that the nest appeared to have a uniform depth and I couldn’t tell what was supporting the disk. The wasps were crawling around the outside of the nest, not coming and going as I would have expected.
There is a touch of fall color in the “skinny tree” which earlier this year hosted one Great Blue Heron and several Great Egret families. Now the tree serves as an occasional landing spot for a passing bird.
This Anhinga chose it as a drying off spot and executed a smooth landing.
He then turned his back to the sun and spread his wings to dry off.