Category Archives: Animals

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/

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

Dolphins Strand Feeding: Pelican Audience

These Dolphins were strand feeding on the opposite side of the river, at least 300 feet (90 Meters) from where I was standing. The photos don’t have nearly the detail as my Dolphins Strand Feeding: Success post, but I thought it was quite interesting to see the process from a different angle.

Dolphins Strand Feeding with Pelicans
Dolphins Strand Feeding with Pelicans

Not to mention the Pelicans that were keen on seeing if they could nab a fish from all the action.

Dolphins Strand Feeding with Pelicans
Dolphins Strand Feeding with Pelicans

The Pelicans were following the Dolphins as they swam up and down the river. I didn’t see any fish this time but the Pelican on the left made a quick exit as if he had something he didn’t want to share.

Dolphins Strand Feeding with Pelicans
Dolphins Strand Feeding with Pelicans

Dolphins Strand Feeding: Success

After the fishless stranding of my last post, I was fortunate to witness another strand feeding with the fish jumping wildly.

Dolphins Strand Feeding
Dolphins Strand Feeding

Three Dolphins had driven the fish to shore and the fish did their best not to become lunch.

Dolphins Strand Feeding
Dolphins Strand Feeding

The next photo is heavily cropped, but I wanted to show a closeup of the Dolphin – fish encounter. I’m not certain the Dolphin got this one, but it seems likely.

Dolphin with Fish

The frenzy only lasts a few seconds, then the Dolphins roll/flop back into the water, continuing to splash with their tails.

Dolphins Strand Feeding
Dolphins Strand Feeding

Dolphins Strand Feeding

A number of Dolphin pods in South Carolina catch fish by a process known as strand feeding. Singly or in groups, they drive fish to the shore, aka strand, usually at a steep bank, then nab the fish.

Dolphins Strand Feeding
Dolphins Strand Feeding

To stay at a distance that is safe for the Dolphins doesn’t always result in the best images, but it sure is interesting to watch. I didn’t see any fish during this stranding.

Dolphins Strand Feeding
Dolphins Strand Feeding

Marsh Rabbit With Good Salad

This Marsh Rabbit found a patch of grass that he didn’t want to give up. He saw me before I saw him when I first passed by and I jumped when he sprang into the water at the edge of the marsh with a big splash.

Marsh Rabbit
Marsh Rabbit

I didn’t expect to see him again, thinking he’d either moved further from the trail where humans pass regularly or had been lunch himself for a nearby alligator after creating all that commotion.

Marsh Rabbit
Marsh Rabbit

To my surprise when I  returned he had come out into the open to have some more of that grass. It didn’t look like much to me but he was consuming his salad with gusto.

Marsh Rabbit
Marsh Rabbit

Deer Fawn

Tucked into the roots of a Cypress Tree this new born fawn was hunkered down, surrounded by water.

White-tailed Deer Fawn
White-tailed Deer Fawn

I’m not sure how he got there; it would have been interesting to watch and know what was on the mother’s mind.

White-tailed Deer Fawn
White-tailed Deer Fawn

A few hundred feet away was a watchful pair of eyes and listening ears. This one seemed way to small to be the mother, perhaps it was an older cousin.

White-tailed Deer Fawn
White-tailed Deer

Rabbits

I spotted these two rabbits about a half mile apart. The first one is a Swamp, or Marsh, Rabbit. I’m basing the identification on an educational sign posted near this location and that he is sitting in water / swamp vegetation.

I frequently spot one or more in the swamp edge or on one of the small islands just off the trail on the way to the heron rookery. They can move pretty fast even in the reeds and rarely do I see enough of one to get a photograph.

Marsh Rabbit
Marsh Rabbit

The second one was in a small grassy area behind one of the garden ponds. Until I compared the images I thought this was probably another Marsh Rabbit, but now see some differences. Leporidae is the family of rabbits and hares and with over 60 species I’m going to leave it at “Rabbit.”

Rabbit in Grass
Rabbit in Grass