An abstract sky over the Ashley River, Charleston, SC.
About 45 minutes before sunset, 12/18/2018.
With a wingspan of 95 to 115 inches (244-290 cm), the American White Pelican is one of the largest birds in North America. It’s quite amazing to have one fly right over you!
For such a big bird they make a remarkably delicate landing, with very little splash.
The reflections were like a pot of gold in the back corner of the canal that runs along the rice field dike. The dike and canal make a 90 degree turn at this corner, and then the water widens off to the left into a pond. There was a little breeze ruffling the water surface in the more open area.
Taken about a half hour later, this view is towards that same line of trees from a bend in the dike. A few Great Blue Herons have been using the clumps of reeds sticking out from the bank as fishing and sunning spots.
This morning was very calm on the creek and it turned out to be a beautiful last day of November. I was standing on a floating dock that is offset from the boardwalk giving a nice view towards Charleston Harbor.
It was hard to decide what to make level when processing this image and no matter what I chose something looked off.
Previously I have seen Black Skimmers skimming on calm ponds. On this day I saw a few from this crowd doing it in the ocean.
As you can see above the Atlantic Ocean surf was not particularly rough, but it sure is a different challenge for a Skimmer.
This one hugged the surf line, ignoring other birds along the way.
With the surf in constant motion he had to also alter his path. I did not see him catch anything, although they can gulp it down on the fly and keep on moving.
I last photographed a Yellow-billed Cuckoo about two years ago. I spotted one last week and recognized him in flight immediately due to his long, thin body.
They prefer woodland and the trees he found most appealing were shiny with highlighted leaves behind him.
He eventually moved to the other side of the path so the sun was shining on him, but didn’t quite get his head out into the light.
He watched patiently presumably for food, often looking up above him, but I didn’t see him even try to catch anything. After a couple minutes in this spot he moved higher and deeper into the tree line.
This is the same garden pond taken the same day as yesterday’s Sepia Pond post. Taken from different angles towards the water and a quarter way round the pond, the reflections were much different.
Crossing over the white bridge leads to a path that runs along the side of the rice field canal and eventually all the way around the impoundment.
This is one of the many ponds I pass by at Magnolia Plantation and Gardens. The water behind the statue is a larger pond that was once part of the plantation’s rice fields.
The sepia treatment of the photo helps hide the unattractive floating bits of dead leaves that fall is leaving behind.
It had been our intention to be at a different pond when the sun came up but between getting out the door a few minutes late and a truck ahead of us that was indecisive that didn’t happen. I don’t think our original destination could have been any prettier than this. Unless there was a bird, or two, in the water.
Donnelley Wildlife Management Area, SC