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.
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
This wooden “trunk” controls water flow to and from the old rice field pond seen here and the tidal Ashley River, just at my back as I took this image. A variety of wading birds have become accustomed to stopping by; when the water is flowing through the trunk the fishing can be pretty easy on the low side.
Sunday morning we saw at least seven Bald Eagles between two wildlife management areas we visited. I’m always in awe when I see one; their size and regal bearing when they sit is impressive and their flight skills are extraordinary.
This first one was likely watching the sunrise with us. We were hoping he was going to fish for breakfast in the pond in front of us, but after a half hour of waiting we moved on with him still sitting right there.
This utility pole sits at one end of the Bennets Point Road bridge over the Ashepoo River. From this vantage point the Eagle can see a vast area of river and marshland stretching at least a mile (1.6 KM) east and west.
I visited another of South Carolina’s Methodist campgrounds last week. It turns out there are quite a few still operating around the area.
It is immediately obvious that Cypress Methodist Campground is different from Indian Fields Methodist Campground as the “tents” are in a rectangle rather than a circular arrangement and it feels less unified.
This section in the first corner is dominated by a giant Live Oak tree dripping with Spanish Moss.
Some other differences that became apparent as I wandered the grounds were the newer metal roofs on many of the camps, locks on the doors as the result of vandalism, and the lack of front porches on most of the cabins.
Another difference is that the associated church building and a small grave yard are on the same property.
The Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist was open the day I discovered it and as I stepped inside I was somewhat overcome by the size. Many of Charleston’s churches welcome visitors to view their interiors, often with knowledgeable guides on hand, as well as for spiritual reasons.
I saw no one here, and saw no welcome sign, either. The interior is an amazing work of art and craftsmanship. I took a few images and went on my way.
On a trip into Charleston last month I walked down a section of Broad Street that I had somehow missed before and discovered the massive Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist. The first cornerstone for a church on this spot was laid in 1850 and an 1100 seat cathedral was consecrated in 1854. Six years later it burned to the ground in The Great Charleston Fire of 1861. Decades of fundraising culminated in the present day Gothic building being started in 1890.
I was delighted to find that the structure is Connecticut tool-chiseled brownstone. In Connecticut, Ted and I lived only a few of miles from the now defunct Portland Brownstone Quarry. This stone was used all over the US starting in the late 1700s, reaching the peak of its popularity in the mid 1890s. It is most famous as the namesake of the New York City and Boston “Brownstones.”
Zoom in on any one of these images to see the detail of the tooling. I need to go back to capture some of the material detail.
The building is impressive in its size, 200 feet long, 80 feet wide, and 167 feet to the tall. There was supposed to be a spire, but lack of funding kept that from being completed.
Opened in 1850, Charleston’s Magnolia Cemetery is now home to an abundance of decaying monuments and fences. The shapes and colors make them all beautiful.
I doubt the original mourners could have envisioned the current state of their loved ones’ resting places in this older section of the cemetery. Even payment for perpetual care, which is marked on many of the plots, has not prevented the ravages of time.