Thursday, April 03, 2008

Oh the Places You'll Go.....

You may have wondered just why it is that I've been so quiet for the past few days, so I am about to explain it all. C and I have been on a birding/kayaking trip in the wilds of South Carolina. We are having a grand, grand time! Because we have been so busy with activities during the day, and spending time with friends in the evening, there has been little time for the internet and/or blogging. We had some thunderstorms and a lot of rain early this morning, so our scheduled birding trip for today was canceled, and a substitute was offered in its place. I opted to stay 'back at the ranch' and have a quiet day to myself. Sometimes a body just needs that!

Pardon all of the pictures, but I would like to share a few images from the past few days with you all. I'll start with today and then just move around to wherever the pictures take me. Hope you don't mind my disorganization!

We passed several of these signs on our way to Palm Key, South Carolina:

Welcome to the South!

After a bit of lunch this afternoon, I explored the compound where we are staying and found the labyrinth and 2 'blue bottle trees':

I love walking a labyrinth, something my friend Barbara has helped me to appreciate. This particular one is made from oyster shells:

It was very peaceful while I walked: only the sounds of a few birds chirping and an occasional squirrel scolding.

I read Jane LaFazio's blog this morning and she made some prints using watercolor crayons and leaves. I always pack my little art bag when we go on trips, and found that my watercolor crayons and a great little journal from Deb Roby were still inside, so I tried my hand at some leaf printing:

We took a walk through a wildlife management area on our first morning here and looked for red-cockaded woodpeckers. You may or may not know that they nest only in the Longleaf Pine. Here is a baby longleaf:

Here is a red-cockaded woodpecker hole. They are easy to spot high in the pines due to the sap trails:
I have heard that the sap trail discourage snakes from getting into the nests to eat the babies.

There was a lovely pond in the wildlife management area, and after spotting my fair share of waterfowl, I saw this lovely water lily:

.............and then I spotted this little guy:

As I said, this is a birding/kayaking trip. Here are a few of our kayaks:

We paddled through a magnificent Cypress Swamp on Monday afternoon. Here is where we put in:

Look at these Cypress Knobs, aren't they great!

The water was just black with tannic acid.........a little creepy at first, but I loved it once I got used to it!

The lines and patterns on the old Cypress Trees were pretty fantastic.

C looks so calm, cool, collected and comfy in his red rig:

I'm stylin' in my purple Keens and chartreuse kayak:

Don't we look like the sporty group:

On Tuesday morning we stopped at the Old Sheldon, en route to our kayaking put-in point. One of our daughter's best friends was married there several years ago. It is quite a picturesque spot:

On Tuesday night we visited a rookery and saw many egrets roosting. It was too dark to get a picture of them, but I did get this closeup of a wood stork roosting in a pine tree high above me:

Yesterday was a lovely day and we kayaked for about 4 hours in the morning. We met up with about 4 common Loons that have not made the migration north yet. They dove and swam and accompanied us downstream for many miles. Unfortunately I could never catch them on the surface long enough to snap a pic, but you can see how lovely the day was:

That's all for now: time to go take a shower and get ready for dinner! Hope your days are full of colorful adventure!



Karen Hall said...

I wondered why you had gone so quiet - now I know!
Lovely to hear about your trip

Gerrie said...

Wow, I am impressed - kayaking. I have a fear of water so a kayak and black water would be too creepy for me. I do love the color of the kayaks in the water and those lovely old cypresses.

Carol said...

So good to see your photos. Pity about the bit of rain but otherwise it looks idyllic. I've never kayaked - is it hard work, do you get stiff sitting there for ages. I imagine I'd never be able to get out again once in. My birding gets done on foot. Would love to be there with you though. OOXX

Plain Jane said...

oh my your trip looks just wonderful!!! such gorgeous and fascinating scenery and I love seeing and knowing about birds. Lovely! enjoy my friend, and lets see some more leaf prints :-)

Karoda said...

Those waters and cypress trees speak...what narratives they have to tell! Imagining this trip to be a fantastic renewal of spirit!