Category Archives: Landscape

Santee Delta By Boat, 1

The first week of November we took a boat trip in South Carolina’s Santee Delta, about half way between Charleston and Myrtle Beach.

North Santee River
North Santee River

We starting at a public boat landing where US Route 17 crosses the North Santee River and headed up river. These images were from the first stretch of the river.

North Santee River
North Santee River

Once we passed a few docks with moored boats it was easy to imagine our boat of ten folks as the only humans for miles.

North Santee River
North Santee River

A variety of trees line the river bank, and were in various stages of color and leaf loss.

North Santee River
North Santee River

Santee River Trip with Coastal Expeditions
November 8, 2021

Resurrection Fern, Front Lit

A view of the fern featured in my post Resurrection Fern, Back Lit seen from the other side. The branch was conveniently parallel to the ground and just at my eye level.

Resurrection Fern on Live Oak Branch
Resurrection Fern on Live Oak Branch

Regrettably, I didn’t take an image that shows how big this branch is.

Resurrection Fern on Live Oak Branch
Resurrection Fern on Live Oak Branch

Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, Charleston, SC
November 17, 2021

Resurrection Fern, Back Lit

Early morning sunlight shining through dried Resurrection Fern and a few fallen leaves on a Live Oak branch.

Resurrection Fern
Resurrection Fern

Common all around the low country, this fern will go from brown to green in a matter of hours after a good rain.

Resurrection Fern on Live Oak Tree
Resurrection Fern on Live Oak Tree

This remarkable plant can lose about 75 percent of its water content during a typical dry period and possibly up to 97 percent in an extreme drought. During this time, it shrivels up to a grayish brown clump of leaves. When it is exposed to water again, it will “come back to life” and look green and healthy.

The resurrection fern is a type of epiphytic fern, which means it grows on top of other plants or structures and reproduces by spores, not seeds.

— National Wildlife Federation nwf.org/

Fall Colors, Donnelley Dike

I went down one of the dikes in an effort to get closer to the autumn color.

Fall Colors Down a Dike
Fall Colors Down a Dike, Alligators in the water and reeds

Some openings into the reeds allowed a colorful reflection. The gap on the closer side of the canal is an Alligator passage, created as they go back and forth from the bigger pond to the canals.

Fall Colors Down a Dike
Fall Colors Down a Dike

These canals are kept clear to allow the management of water flow to the back ponds.

Fall Colors Down a Dike
Fall Colors Down a Dike

I do not know plant that had gone to white fluff.

Fall Colors Down a Dike
Fall Colors Down a Dike

Donnelley Wildlife Management Area
November 14, 2021

Great Egret, Fall Colors

I wonder if the limbs of the Spoonie Tree creek as a Great Egret works his way along them.

Great Egret in the Spoonie Tree
Great Egret in the Spoonie Tree

Knowing you can fly if needed probably gives some confidence, even if your perch is on its last legs.

Great Egret in the Spoonie Tree
Great Egret in the Spoonie Tree

The Great Egret found a satisfactory spot…

Great Egret in the Spoonie Tree
Great Egret in the Spoonie Tree

a little breeze ruffled his feathers as I dropped to a better angle for the background.

Great Egret, Fall Colors in Background
Great Egret, Fall Colors in Background

Donnelley Wildlife Management Area
November 14, 2021

Fall Colors, Donnelley Pond

Pine trees dominate the South Carolina low country landscape, including most of the wildlife areas I frequent so I don’t see a lot of autumn color change.

One Great Egret and Four American White Pelicans feeding
One Great Egret and Four American White Pelicans feeding

The back edge of the big pond at Donnelley WMA  is an exception, and more this year than I remember.

Alligators Floating on a Chilly Day
Alligators Floating on a Chilly Day

I didn’t expect to see so many Alligators out as it was only about 50 F (10 C).

Alligators Floating on a Chilly Day
Alligators Floating on a Chilly Day, Spoonie Tree to the Right

If you zoom in on the next photo you’ll see Alligators gathered under the Spoonie Tree, which I recently featured in a post: The Spoonie Tree, Slowly It Tilts.

Spoonie Tree Visible to the Left, Beautiful Fall Colors
Spoonie Tree Visible to the Left, Beautiful Fall Colors

Donnelley Wildlife Management Area
November 14, 2021

The Spoonie Tree, Slowly It Tilts

How low can it go before it falls?

Roseate Spoonbill Landing in the Spoonie Tree
How the Spoonie Tree Got Its Name (October 2020)

First, a throw back to two years ago… changing water levels in the pond worked to carve out the earth under the roots. Alligator action might have played a role, too.

The Spoonie Tree
The Spoonie Tree June 2019

The smaller branches long gone, some kind of vegetation hid the base over this past summer.

The Spoonie Tree, September 19
The Spoonie Tree, September 19, 2021

At the beginning of October:

The Spoonie Tree, October 3
The Spoonie Tree, October 3, 2021, Roseate Spoonbill up top, Alligator below the tree, right

A couple of weeks later that cavity beneath the tree had collapsed.

The Spoonie Tree, October 17
The Spoonie Tree, October 17, 2021, An Alligator visible at the base of the grass

I’m hoping the tree will stay around even after it collapses  to serve as a perch for the wading and water birds.

Donnelley Wildlife Management Area, SC