Category Archives: Animals

Tree Frogs, Big and Small

Tree Frogs seem to be hanging around everywhere this month, including reeds in the swamp.

Two Tree Frogs on Reed
Two Tree Frogs on Reed

This pair found a reed to their liking at the edge of the swamp for a nap.

Two Tree Frogs on Reed
Two Tree Frogs on Reed

Neither one showed any acknowledgement of my presence.

Two Tree Frogs on Reed
Two Tree Frogs on Reed

This is my first post created from scratch using the Block Editor. It seems tedious with a lot of extra steps compared to my usual process of adding a few images then typing a sentence or two in between.

Please let me know if you see any display issues in Reader or any way that you view WordPress posts. Thanks.

Update 10/15/2020 Changed settings on the images to link to media file so viewers can click on image for a larger view.

School’s Out

I became aware of the water’s surface moving as I watched a Green Heron fly away.

Bugs? No.

Tidal Inlet
Tidal Inlet

Then, wham a school of fish exploded out of the water.

School of Fish Jumping
School of Fish Jumping

Fortunately for me they repeated this frenzy multiple times.

School of Fish Jumping
School of Fish Jumping

One or two much larger fish seemed to be pursuing the smaller ones.

School of Fish Jumping
School of Fish Jumping

The smaller ones must have been getting their own lunch, because they kept coming back when they very easily could have swam back down the creek.

School of Fish Jumping
School of Fish Jumping

The brick and stone work supports a culvert under a dike that controls water flow into the main pond at Magnolia Cemetery.

School of Fish Jumping
School of Fish Jumping

This creek is tidal, about 1/2 mile (0.8 KM) as the crow flies to the Cooper River, just west of Charleston’s Ravenel Bridge.

Young Dolphin and Bonaparte’s Gull

Or Follow The Food

Dolphin can be hard to spot from shore until they break the surface but this Bonaparte’s Gull served as a great marker for me. You can just make out the young Dolphin below and to the left of the bird.

Bonaparte's Gull Fishing Around Dolphin
Bonaparte’s Gull Hovering Over Dolphin

With an idea where the animal is there is some chance of capturing an image of him above the water, like this:

Bonaparte's Gull Fishing Around Dolphin
Bonaparte’s Gull Fishing Around Dolphin

I had the pleasure of speaking with Lauren Rust, founder of The Lowcountry Marine Mammal Network (www.lmmn.org), while I was watching the Dolphins in the Kiawah River on March 18. She spends a lot of time monitoring the local Dolphin and shared with me that this behavior goes on regularly and she has wondered if it is the same few Gulls who have figured this out. The Dolphin is a two year old who still stays pretty close to its mother, who was feeding nearby.

Bonaparte's Gull Floating With Dolphin
Bonaparte’s Gull Floating With Dolphin

These two had developed an understanding. and if you zoom in on the next image you’ll see the Gull got a fish just as the Dolphin ducked under the water.

Bonaparte's Gull Fishing Around Dolphin
Bonaparte’s Gull Fishing Around Dolphin

It appeared that the Bonaparte’s Gull was following the Dolphin, which presumably was following fish.

Bonaparte's Gull Floating With Dolphin
Bonaparte’s Gull Floating With Dolphin

Lastly, a wider view of the unlikely pair, taken on the Kiawah side of the river, looking towards Seabrook Island.

Bonaparte's Gull Fishing Around Dolphin
Bonaparte’s Gull Fishing Around Dolphin

Dolphin Strand Feeding

Conditions shaped up nicely on Wednesday to head to Beachwalker Park on Kiawah Island to observe Dolphins feeding. Timing was good, with low tide about 10:30am. Strand feeding, the method peculiar to this area of South Carolina’s coast where Dolphin drive fish to the shore, tends to happen two hours either side of the low tide.

For a couple of hours the light was good and I was pleased to get this sequence, which was much less vigorous than previous times I’ve witnessed this behavior. The Dolphin seemed to be lolling around in the shallow water, not zooming full speed ahead.

Dolphin Strand Feeding
Dolphin Strand Feeding

Other times I’ve seen this as a cooperative effort but this Dolphin was on her own.

Dolphin Strand Feeding
Dolphin Strand Feeding

My position and the shape of the sand bank cut off some of the action.

Dolphin Strand Feeding
Dolphin Strand Feeding

I got a little closer before the Dolphin flipped around and caught a fish.

Dolphin Strand Feeding
Dolphin Strand Feeding

Once again I was amazed the power of these animals which is evident in the splash of water and waves that rushed to shore.

Dolphin Strand Feeding
Dolphin Strand Feeding

It turns out that it was a good thing I went Wednesday. As of today all of the area beaches are closed due to Covid-19 concerns.

Pigs! Stop!

Ted spotted them when I was driving and of course yelled “stop!”  He got out of the car but I could not–it wasn’t a safe place to pull over plus I didn’t want to spook the pigs.

Wild Pigs
Wild Pigs

It was almost sunset with the sun was already down below the trees. I got a few images out the car window at a bad angle, in between watching out for cars running up behind us.

Wild Pigs
Wild Pigs

I was amazed how jet black this last little fellow was.

Wild Pigs
Wild Pigs

I expect Ted will have a variety of pictures and maybe a better story to tell.

Update: Ted’s version of events at TPJ Photo

Oliver, Truck Companion

I recently had the pleasure of meeting Oliver and his owner.

Oliver in Truck
Oliver in Truck

Oliver was buckled into the front seat of the truck for safety; they were about to head for home after a short road trip.

Oliver in Truck
Oliver in Truck

I got the impression that Oliver did not care where they were headed, he was quite happy to be along for the ride.

Oliver in Truck
Oliver in Truck

He looks a bit like a Huskie and clearly had eyes for his owner.

Oliver in Truck
Oliver in Truck

All ready here, just waiting on my pal.

Oliver in Truck
Oliver in Truck

Oliver had a clear view out the front, until nap time, which comes with a pillow in this well equipped truck.

Oliver in Truck
Oliver in Truck

American Mink

I had no idea what this was when I first spotted movement on the edge of an oyster bed. I had ducks on my mind as I’d seen them here before.

American Mink
American Mink

Those sharp oyster shells seem like a hazardous place for a Mink to hang out but he seemed at home here.

American Mink
American Mink

He came fully out of the water moving to the right, I changed position to see where he went. He did a u-turn and disappeared into the water. A short but interesting encounter.

American Mink
American Mink