Tag Archives: Charleston

In A Court Yard, Charleston

Out and around town looking for new ideas, maybe web site changes.

In A Court Yard, Charleston
In A Court Yard, Charleston

Photographs taken behind one of the old, and not renovated, homes from the 1800’s.

In A Court Yard, Charleston
In A Court Yard, Charleston
In A Court Yard, Charleston
In A Court Yard, Charleston

Forced myself to use a prime lens. No zoom I actually had to move my feet…what a concept!

Well Hidden, Cottonmouth

Not a great shot, sticks in the way.

I didn’t think it prudent to go moving leaves and twigs around. They are fine as long as you don’t go poking them.

Well Hidden, Cottonmouth
Well Hidden, Cottonmouth

It is one of the world’s few semiaquatic vipers (along with the Florida cottonmouth), and is native to the southeastern United States. As an adult, it is large and capable of delivering a painful and potentially fatal bite.

Cottonmouth in a local swamp.

Hooded Merganser, A Little Flamboyant

There’s nothing subtle about them. The males you can ID from far away. It’s like they have big puffy heads.

I find them to be as shy as a Wood Duck. The only place I ever get consistent opportunities is the ponds around old Magnolia Cemetery. Even there most shots are long.

I waited along a hidden place on the bank of the pond to get these closer than normal, shots.

Hooded Merganser, A Little Flamboyant
Hooded Merganser, A Little Flamboyant

Below is a female. No crazy colors, but still a puffy head.

Hooded Merganser, A Little Flamboyant
Hooded Merganser, A Little Flamboyant

Mergansers are diving ducks and prefer fish caught under the surface. So, a shy bird, who swims under water. A good reason they are hard to photograph.

Hooded Merganser, A Little Flamboyant
Hooded Merganser, A Little Flamboyant

Mergansers spend the winter in the Lowcountry. We do have year round residents but I don’t see many and we are out and about often.

Quick Jump, Great Blue

It’s the same every year. The rookery starts to fill, the Herons move around, me discovering how rusty I am.

Quick Jump, Great Blue
Quick Jump, Great Blue

This male needed to fly, exercise after sitting around all day.

Quick Jump, Great Blue
Quick Jump, Great Blue

Me, I wasn’t ready, hit only two shots, and had to change settings on the fly.

 

Entering Drayton Hall, Charleston

Drayton Hall is the only plantation house on the Ashley River ‘plantation row’ to survive intact through both the Revolutionary and Civil wars, it is a National Historic Landmark. The river was the highway between the original 1600’s rice plantations and wealthy Charleston, South Carolina.

While very rural at the time the homes were designed, and built, like Renaissance architect, only better. Rice was like gold for centuries.

Drayton Hall, Charleston
Drayton Hall, Charleston

The entrances of plantations, like the grand manors in Charleston, were meant to immediately impress visitors. Actually many of the Charleston manors were owned by the plantations.

Drayton Hall, Charleston
Drayton Hall, Charleston
Drayton Hall, Charleston
Drayton Hall, Charleston

The details are incredible. Even more so when you consider they are from the era of 1600 – 1700.

Unfortunately the second floor here is closed for maintenance. Vibrations from the floor above are damaging the plaster design ceilings. It turns out the original design had a flaw, not enough open space between the wooden floors and plaster work. It only took 300 years for the damage to start.

Drayton Hall, Charleston
Drayton Hall, Charleston
Drayton Hall, Charleston
Drayton Hall, Charleston

A few more trips are needed to photograph the back room details. We do have access to the building and live nearby. Light and weather are the main consideration.

Best viewed large, the house is very impressive.

Drayton Hall, Ashley River, Charleston, South Carolina.

Anhinga Fishing

It’s not very big, but he was catching enough for a meal in the swamp waters. It’s was not deep, and of course muddy yet there were fish (and critters).

You can barely see this catch.

Anhinga Fishing
Anhinga Fishing

Below he flipped it in the air, caught then swallowed. He made sure it was head first to avoid any sharp gills.

Anhinga Fishing
Anhinga Fishing

Anhinga and Cormorants are similar species. A Cormorant has a hooked bill and dives in deeper clear water. It can be salt water. Cold doesn’t bother them much, they are common in the northern US.

Anhinga dive for fish also. However they spear prey with a sharp beak. Swamps/marshes are their preferred territory, not salt water. They are also a tropical South American bird that has moved up to the Lowcountry. They can tolerate cold for a short period.

Anhinga Fishing
Anhinga Fishing

They do well in swamps because they are very aggressive. The only real danger to them are the Alligators.

Photographed in a smaller local swamp, Magnolia Plantation property.