Solitary Snowy Egret

Snowy Egrets are entertaining to watch as they dart about, working to stir up small fish in the water. This one separated himself from the flock of nearby Roseate Spoonbills and Wood Storks and took a short break. We are used to seeing  Great Egrets waiting this way, but generally the Snowy Egrets don’t have the same perseverance.

Snowy Egret
Snowy Egret

A quick turn and a pounce into the water yielded nothing, this time.

Snowy Egret
Snowy Egret

Taken 7/26/2018.

Grove House: Rear

Like many plantation homes in the south the front of Grove House faces the water where all traffic would have originated when the house was built in 1828. This is a view of the back of the plantation house, taken from the Live Oak lined drive.

Grove House
Grove House – rear

The pond where I photographed the water lilies in yesterday’s post sits in the circular turn of this drive, just in front of the ground floor entry arches.

Grove House Rear Entry
Grove House Rear Entry

Below are the Live Oaks lining the driveway leading away from the back of the house.

Live Oaks Leading Away from Grove House
Live Oaks Leading Away from Grove House

Today Grove House is home to the offices of the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s ACE Basin National Wildlife Refuge.

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/

Lining the Banks

Wading birds and alligators gathered along this marsh inlet as the tide was going out.

Wading Birds and Alligators
Wading Birds and Alligators

The Snowy Egrets changed position frequently, they seem happiest when flapping around. The other egrets and herons tended to stick to their claimed spot, even as the alligators passed by.

Wading Birds Lining the Shore
Wading Birds Lining the Shore

Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Little Blue Heron, Tricolored Heron,  and White Ibis shared the banks.

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

Great Blue Heron Surrounded by Spanish Moss

Mosquitoes had driven us from our walk around the rice field perimeter and I almost didn’t stop to photograph this stately Great Blue Heron. There was a little breeze here so I could stand for a minute and time my shots between the strands of Spanish Moss gently waving back and forth.

Great Blue Heron In Mossy Tree
 Great Blue Heron In Tree with Hanging Spanish Moss

I had taken a picture of the tree an hour earlier when we were headed out on our walk.

Spanish Moss Draped Tree
Spanish Moss Draped Tree

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