This was not a great photography morning. I saw a lot of birds, but too far for good shots. The air was hazy and sunlight harsh. The Alligators doing their thing in this pond caught my eye. Fish were jumping and several Alligators floated in between. The grasses along the bank are starting to look like fall.
There was a lot of activity to be seen on a late afternoon boat ride into the Harbor River from Russ Point on Hunting Island, SC even as the day came to an end.
From the beach near the dock a fisherman was casting into the river.
A Bald Eagle watched over the river and surrounding marsh from a dead tree.
A pod of Dolphins was all around us as we set out, probably fishing for the last meal of the day.
Off in the distance it was raining.
The Harbor River is at the southern end of the Ashepoo-Combahee-Edisto (ACE) Basin National Estuarine Research Reserve.
The Reserve’s 99,308 acres of pine and hardwood upland, oyster reef, forested wetland, barrier islands, cypress swamp, and tidal marsh combine to make this one of the largest undeveloped estuaries on the East Coast and home to many endangered species.
Saint Phillips Island is a mixture of marsh, maritime forest, and sand dunes. The south coastal barrier islands are known to have had indigenous populations going back thousands of years and at least one ancient shell mound has been located here.
From the air the island looks like corduroy fabric, with the wales running parallel to the mainland. Various amounts of water are in the wales and the island can only be traversed lengthwise. This peaceful scene is near the center of the island. And yes, there were plenty of mosquitoes.
Saint Phillips is one of a group of barrier islands that sit at the edge of the Atlantic Ocean between Hilton Head Island and Edisto Island, protecting mainland South Carolina from the sea.
In 2017 the State of South Carolina purchased Saint Phillips Island from Ted Turner, who self describes as “founder of media empire, philanthropist, and environmentalist pioneer in sustainable resources.”
He owned the nearly 5000 acre (20 square KM) property for several decades, creating nature trails and building this modest home for seaside get-aways. The state parks department is exploring how to include this treasure as part of Hunting Island State Park (not to be confused with Huntington Beach State Park in Murrells Inlet).
Accessible only by boat, I was fortunate to be on one of the first public trips to the island. There was a lot to see and no where near enough time!
Our tour included a walk through the house. The screened front porch facing the ocean was fantastic!
When the house was first built there was an expansive sand beach leading down to the ocean. Barrier islands change continuously from the effects of storms and daily wave action and that beach is now gone. At some point this rip-rap was installed to help keep the water at bay.
September 13, 2019
This was our first night in the area and I scouted a sunset spot using Google Maps and The Photographer’s Ephemeris phone app. The color was subtle over Brickyard Creek and there wasn’t much of a foreground but it ended up being a pretty good choice.
After the sun disappeared three kayakers worked their way back to the boat launch, impressed with what they had seen. Voices really carry over water!
Click on either image for a larger view.
Sunset taken from a small park at the edge of Pigeon Point Boat Launch, Beaufort, SC.
I was happy to see this aged and fallen Rose of Sharon left in place on a lawn at Rose Hill Plantation. While not thriving, it provided a nice burst of color when the actual roses in the formal gardens on the property had gone dormant.
Many blooms were managing just fine and were a very intense color.
A few bees buzzed around in the late morning heat, 90 plus degrees F (32 Degrees C).
This one got stuck down in the flower’s center then crawled his way up a petal, curling it as he went, to get out. I wondered if he was carrying too much pollen to lift off, but he eventually made it.
Cedar Shoals Creek drops down this small rock falls just before it runs into the Enoree River at the site of South Carolina’s Battle of Musgrove Mill State Historic Site.
It has been abnormally dry in this region of the state so there were limited splash options to photograph, on the other hand more of the textured rock was visible than there would be with a big flow. And I was able to get different angles without getting my feet wet!
As falls go this one is quite modest, but as I’ve been living in the SC Low Country that is just above sea level for three years any elevation is something to see.
This pretty spot on the Enoree River in Clinton, SC, was the impetus of the August 19, 1780 Revolutionary War Battle of Musgrove’s Mill. Possession of this easy to ford section of the river in the rural, agricultural area was the impetus behind the skirmish.
A modern bridge less than 1000 feet (300 Meters) downstream made this site obsolete for river passage a long time ago.
The day I visited a few turtles playing “king of the hill” was the extent of the activity.
Another image just before sunrise on at Botany Bay, August 4th, with an unidentified bird waiting for the day to start.