Gulf Fritillary

Gulf Fritillaries were zipping all around the swamp edges yesterday morning in what I have come to recognize as a harbinger of fall in South Carolina.

Gulf Fritillary
Gulf Fritillary

There were a lot of spider webs, too, attached to every kind of plant around the swamp. I walked with a small stick to move those that blocked the trail and only walked into a couple.

Gulf Fritillary
Gulf Fritillary

Butterflies seem aware of the spider web strands and easily manipulate around them.

Gulf Fritillary
Gulf Fritillary

I saw this last Gulf Fritillary as we were leaving bouncing on a more delicate wild flower.

Gulf Fritillary
Gulf Fritillary

Taken 9/8/2018

Fall Colors

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.

Anhinga Drying in Sun
Anhinga Drying in Sun

This Anhinga chose it as a drying off spot and executed a smooth landing.

Anhinga Drying in Sun
Anhinga Drying in Sun

He then turned his back to the sun and spread his wings to dry off.

Anhinga Drying in Sun
Anhinga Drying in Sun

Rust of Time

Opened in 1850, Charleston’s Magnolia Cemetery is now home to an abundance of decaying monuments and fences. The shapes and colors make them all beautiful.

Magnolia Cemetery, Charleston
Magnolia Cemetery, Charleston, Crepe Myrtle adding a dash of pink

I doubt the original mourners could have envisioned the current state of their loved ones’ resting places in this older section of the cemetery. Even payment for perpetual care, which is marked on many of the plots, has not prevented the ravages of time.

Magnolia Cemetery, Charleston
Magnolia Cemetery, Charleston

What will it look like in another 150 years?

Bye-bye Birds

This is an image from early July which at the time didn’t seem so interesting, being mostly bird butts. Now that we’ve spent several weeks seeing almost no birds this appeals to me more.

Wading Birds in Flight
Wading Birds in Flight

This is just a small part of what I estimated to be at least a thousand birds in the shallow water at the marsh edge. I could not get closer due to a huge alligator blocking the trail.

Black Skimmer

I love watching Black Skimmers doing what their name implies. Their flying skills are extraordinary, including not needing to watch where they are going when they plunge their heads into the water.

Black Skimmer
Black Skimmer

Very agile, a slight tip of the wings is all they need to change direction or speed.

Black Skimmer
Black Skimmer

I didn’t see a fish, but sometimes they pull up just a bit to swallow something they’ve caught before continuing to skim the water.

Black Skimmer
Black Skimmer

Bear Island Wildlife Management Area, SC, July 15, 2018.

The Director’s Pose: Bird Style

The large egrets and herons make dramatic water landings that include looking a bit as if they are conducting a musical group.

Great Egret Wings Spread for Landing
Great Egret Wings Spread for Landing

The Great Blue Herons especially seem to easily maintain their balance and smoothly tuck their wings into position.

Great Blue Heron Wings Spread for Landing
Great Blue Heron Wings Spread for Landing

The Tri-colored Heron completes his landing with a little less elegance, his wing tip feathers working just a little harder for some reason.

Tri-colored Heron Wings Spread for Landing
Tri-colored Heron Wings Spread for Landing

Bear Island Wildlife Management Area, just after sunrise, July 15, 2018.

Methodist Campground

A circle of 99 rustic numbered “camps” form the Indian Fields Methodist Campground on a ten acre (four hectare) site in St. George, South Carolina. Indian Fields was built in 1848 and has been a site for religious gatherings continuously since then.

This site is used just one week a year; there is electricity and running indoor indoor to sinks only. Privies, also numbered, are out back, across the road.

Indian Fields Methodist Campground
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Pine trees stand straight, towering above the camps, sentinels to the passage of time. The buildings have no ornamentation and the rusting metal roofs were the only sign of color not provided by nature.

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Indian Fields Methodist Campground

This view from the porch of camp #25 shows how meager the buildings are. Even if their doors were closed there were numerous other openings into the interiors. I kept expecting to get startled by a bird or other creature that had taken up residence, but saw nothing.

Indian Fields Methodist Campground
Indian Fields Methodist Campground

This last view is from outside the circle where the  cooking quarters all face outward to the circular road. The kitchens have been modified more than other parts of the camps over time with sinks, stoves, and storage compartments. I imagine that food is a big part of the social aspect of the annual gathering.

Indian Fields Methodist Campground
Indian Fields Methodist Campground

Taken 7/8/2018, Sony Alpha-6500, processed to have an old postcard look.

9/2/18 Note: I edited this post last evening to change 100 to 99 in the first sentence after Ted mentioned my error. I foolishly used the WP interface on my iPad and the post got all scrambled up and the  last two images didn’t display. My apologies for presenting a mess.