Category Archives: South Carolina

Pelican: Master of the Glide

Quietly and without any fuss Pelicans glide around the edges of the harbor. Generally moving at a slow speed, the shot is all about the angle.

Coming straight at me, this pair turned together like a pair of dancers.

Pelican Gliding Over Charleston Harbor
Pelican Pair Gliding Over Charleston Harbor – click photo for larger view

They veered off at the last moment, following the shape of the USS Yorktown and staying over the water. I was at the edge of the flight deck where the deck becomes wider.

Pelican Pair Gliding Alongside the USS Yorktown
Pelican Pair Gliding Alongside the USS Yorktown – click photo for larger view

This single Pelican was also following the edge of the Yorktown, a little higher off the water, with the  Charleston Peninsula as his backdrop.

Pelican Gliding Over Charleston Harbor
Pelican Gliding Over Charleston Harbor – Along Side of USS Yorktown – click photo for larger view

The Pelican’s large wingspan makes a shot against the sky work. The feather and chest detail show off nicely as he passed over me with just a tilt to alter his direction.

Pelican Gliding Over Charleston Harbor
Pelican Gliding, Feet Perfectly Tucked – click photo for larger view

Taken three days in May, 2017.

Will It Fit?

I always take a breath when I see cargo ships pass under the bridges around Charleston. The prospect of not fitting is an optical illusion at certain distances from the bridge.

Loaded Cargo Ship Leaving Port
Loaded Cargo Ship Leaving Port -click photo for larger view

MSC Karlskrona loaded and leaving port, has passed under the Ravenel Bridge on a gorgeous spring day. The SPA Wando Welch Terminal is visible in the left background.

Charleston, SC 05/05/2017.

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.

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 Stick Flight

The flying is easy in the open as the male Great Blue Herons bring sticks to their mates.

Great Blue Heron bringing sticks to nest

Until they get close in.

Great Blue Heron bringing sticks to nest

Maneuvering around the trees that support their nests is a bit tricky. Sometimes they circle around several times before attempting a landing.

Great Blue Heron bringing sticks to nest

The mate keeps a watchful eye.

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Click any photo for larger view.

Magnolia Plantation Audubon Swamp, 01/11/2017.

 

Marsh Flyovers

A number of wading birds have returned to this marsh area in the last few weeks. The numbers of Great Egrets and Great Blue Herons had gone down to just one or two that were easy to see the last few times I was here.

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Today a half dozen of both the Great Blues and Egrets were in and out of a canal area that is conducive to full body photos.

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The reeds that make up most of the marsh are slowly sinking as winter progresses, making it a little easier to see birds approaching and where they land.

Click on either photo for a larger view.

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.

Great Blue Heron Touching Down

Reeds around the edge of the canal prevented me from getting the approach.

Great Blue Heron

The rest all happened in less than two seconds.

Great Blue Heron Photograph

The Great Blue Heron is a very graceful flyer, despite his size.

Great Blue Heron Photograph

No points this time due to an uneven landing.

Great Blue Heron Photograph

Is that an Alligator or a log?

Great Blue Heron Photograph

It could be either but the Heron prudently took a quick hop over it before settling down.

Click on any photo for larger view.

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Donnelley Wildlife Management Area, November 25, 2016