Unexpected, A First, Satellite Launches

This is beyond the best viewed large suggestion. It’s tiny, and a long (long) ways off. It’s the only way to view this shot.

Last night we were out on an uninhabited  barrier island.

When suddenly…

Unexpected, A First, Satellite Launches
Unexpected, A First, Satellite Launches

The SpaceX launch came into view.

At first I though the ship had dropped booster rockets. More came so this was when the rocket was releasing the payload of new satellites. A bit later there was a smaller second release.

Wrong lens, wrong settings, perfect spot. We were out in the ocean to avoid ‘light pollution’ for milky way and star photography.

Hiding At My Feet, Alligator

Standing at the trunk, water flowing by, there was nothing to see at this corner of the marsh.

Looking down, where the water was moving fast there was just ripples and greens. Well, at first that’s the thought.

Hiding At My Feet, Alligator
Hiding At My Feet, Alligator

A closer look down around the pilings found a big wrinkly head. The bumps made him blend right into the water 😂.

Not a little guy either.

Tricolored, Ashley River

This was at the start of a long circular dike along the Ashley River. A few trees, some long dead, hang over the water making a favorite rest stop for these herons.

Tricolored, Ashley River
Tricolored, Ashley River

At this point the bird was hot and gasping. Me too.

Tricolored, Ashley River
Tricolored, Ashley River

Walking by I grabbed these from different angles. I’m not sure I even stopped, there was shade ahead and that was my real goal.

Ribbon Snake

Even though he was right out in the open I walked straight to him. Being thin, and the lines, had me thinking it was a stick. They aren’t very big, maybe 3 feet (1 meter).

Ribbon Snake
Ribbon Snake

There were boot heel prints in the dusty sand here, you can see how thin they are.

Ribbon Snake
Ribbon Snake

Above is the trail we found him on. This trail is on an old wide dike. On the right is the Ashley River, the left a plantation marsh once rice fields. Viewed large you will see a trunk down the trail to let the water flow into the fields from the river. The river has been moving water back and forth on this spot for centuries. This is part of a plantations back property.

Ribbon Snake
Ribbon Snake

Here is another look at the Ribbon Snake stretched over the trail.

Again for perspective he is laying over tracks of a small ATV that has passed over the dike recently inspecting the area.

Taken on rice fields owned by Magnolia Plantation, Charleston.

Alligator Must Climb

Alligators are more flexible and capable than you would expect. I have seen one, multiple times, jump out of the water. I know, horrible thought but their powerful tails can push them up.

However, they can’t climb, way to bulky. Yet here he is…

Alligator Must Climb
Alligator Must Climb

I’ve seen them grab hold of a ramp with their claws and pull themselves up when the water is low. Never one this big, or heavy, though.

Too bad I missed that part.

Flight School, Little Blue Heron

Two Little Blue Herons flying in circles, because they can.

We call this ‘flight school’ since these are young Herons, still white and learning.

Flight School, Little Blue Heron
Flight School, Little Blue Heron

The adults teach them flight by keeping just ahead of the young ones while holding food.

Flight School, Little Blue Heron

Flight School, Little Blue HeronOnce older they fly in circles chasing each other. Fun to watch, hard to photograph.

In Strawberry Chapel, Black And White

I admit that up north history was an abstract concept for me (and many people). You may learn of the Boston tea Party, or Paul Revere but visually it’s a plaque between two skyscrapers.

In the Lowcountry you have early US history, starting in the 1600’s, and you can walk up see it. Not long ago we sat on the steps of a rural plantation porch in the delta. The same exact spot also shared with George Washington,  Marquis de La Fayette, and the ‘Swamp Fox’ Francis Marion. Click to view.

In Strawberry Chapel, Black And White

In Strawberry Chapel, Black And White
In Strawberry Chapel, Black And White

I first learned of Strawberry Chapel in 2016 from a group of local photographers that documented the history of the Lowcountry. Landmark sites like this but also to the smallest rural General Store that were still standing from the 1800’s. I was hooked. Finally September 2022 we were able to get past the old stone wall and visit the chapel.

Strawberry Chapel is a parochial chapel of ease in the lower part of St. John’s, Berkeley Parish in Berkeley County, South Carolina that was built in 1725. Click here for Wikipedia chapel details.

In Strawberry Chapel, Black And White
In Strawberry Chapel, Black And White

I believe sometime the in the mid 1800’s the prayer and wreath were added. They are made of small pine cone petals sewn together.

In Strawberry Chapel, Black And White
In Strawberry Chapel, Black And White
In Strawberry Chapel, Black And White
In Strawberry Chapel, Black And White

A restoration was just completed here. Over the years water damage happened, the walls were in need of a re-plaster (using the old methods), and windows were repaired. I’m sure 297 years has taken a toll.

In Strawberry Chapel, Black And White
In Strawberry Chapel, Black And White

There will be a service and baptism here next month. Usually there are four dates a year the chapel opens. This is the only complete Chapel of Ease I have seen, others were ruins. It’s a National Landmark with private owners dating back to it’s creation.

Strawberry Chapel, Childsbury, South Carolina.

TPJ Photography