Category Archives: Landscape

Cloud Layers

“Stop the car!” As we approached Middleton Place the storm clouds were blowing away and fresh fluffy clouds were rolling in at a lower level over the plantation house.

Clouds Over Middleton Plantation
Clouds Over Middleton Plantation – click photo for larger view

There weren’t any people or animals in view to add or subtract from the scene in the few moments we were able to stay parked in the entrance. I would have liked the horse drawn carriage to pass by, but it wasn’t to be.

Middleton Place, SC 5/5/2017.

Not in Kansas, Either

The swirling of the clouds reminded me of the beginning of the movie Wizard of Oz when Dorothy was still in Kansas. It was more than a little eerie and cause to review our storm plan.

Swirling Storm Clouds – click for larger view.

A flock of Canada Geese made their way to safety, honking and trying in vain to get into a tidy V.

Canada Geese Flying in Storm – click for larger view.

It was oddly calm on the ground and we were fortunate that the system passed with no damage.

Summerville, SC 03/31/2017

Morris Island Light Through Driftwood

This was a quiet January day at the north end of Folly Island, without even a gull in sight. This pile of driftwood marks the spot where high tide can trap you on the beach if you aren’t watchful.

Morris Island

This listing light, decommissioned in 1962, guided ships near Charleston Harbor. Once on shore, shifting sands have resulted in the light now being off shore, surrounded by sand bars. All remnants of the accompanying housing complex are long gone.

Click on photo for larger view.

Last Light at the Rookery

The water was still and the reflections sharp as the sun went down.

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Birds that had been squabbling an hour before managed to settle in as darkness approached. I’d like to know how much of that goes on after dark, but I’m not sure I’m brave enough to stay.

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Another pond with wonderful reflections on the way back to the car.

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Click on any photo for larger view.

Great Blue Heron: Foggy Morning

This Great Blue Heron was speaking to its mate on a recent foggy morning at the rookery.

Great Blue Heron

No one came so he/she took a trip around the pond, returning to repeat the ritual. I had my shutter speed set too low to get any flight shots.

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The Great Blue Heron’s neck feathers were on full display to help with mate attraction.

Great Blue Heron

Most of the pairs and singles were quiet by their nests for the hour we were there, seen below. There were a few Anhinga in the tree, too.

Great Blue Heron Rookery

Click on any photo for larger view.

Magnolia Plantation Heron Rookery, January 16, 2017.

Reflective Landscape

In less than an hour the sky went from mostly cloudy, to dotted clouds, to full sun on a recent morning. The wind that was moving the clouds was only aloft, with only a slight breeze at ground level.

Landscape Photograph Donnelley Wildlife Management Area

The big pond at Donnelley Wildlife Management Area reflected it all. Bare trees and the Spanish Moss give a silvery sheen in the early morning light.

Landscape Photograph Donnelley Wildlife Management Area

A few Great Blue Herons were prowling around the perimeter and some ducks splashed in the distance, too far for a photo.

Landscape Photograph Donnelley Wildlife Management Area

In the silent gaps between airplanes and dogs barking in the distance the noises of the ducks carried through the stillness. It was almost solitude.

Donnelley Wildlife Management Area, 1/12/2017.

Click any photo for a larger view.

Too Many to Count

One Roseate Spoonbill perched in a tree above a pond full of Alligators. I stopped counting at 60 and I’m sure there were more hidden in the reeds and along the banks.

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From a distance the alligators looked like logs bobbing in the pond. Most of them didn’t move much but make no mistake they were alive.

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Don’t fall in!

Donnelly Wildlife Management Area, Colleton County, South Carolina, 11/25/2016.

Empty Rookery

The heron and egret rookery at Magnolia Plantation and Gardens is currently home to a few alligators and some turtles. Several weeks ago there were still a few Little Blue Herons and Great Egrets; none were around on Sunday. We’ll be returning periodically over the next month watching for the duck migrants then the return of the herons and egrets.

In the meantime the colors of fall were quite striking on the still water.

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The tree dripping with Spanish Moss below held several Great Blue Heron nests late last winter then was taken over by various Egrets through the summer. The island with the larger trees also had multiple nests. On this day one lone Ibis was watching the swamp.

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Click photos for a larger view.