I admit – I still do not have a clear idea of what I want to do with this blog.  At this point, I’m sort of going along as I feel – and maybe that is the best way.  It will evolve as it will…

I know one thing for sure, however.  There will be photos posted here – maybe in “photo journalistic” style where I combine text with those photos.  Taking pictures is what I do!  It’s what I love!   It’s when I’m at the most within myself and at peace.  Since I have discovered photography, it’s often the way I view the world – and the way I communicate with others as to how I see it, maybe even more so than verbally.  Sharing a photograph is communication in it’s own right.  Adding text to the sharing is communication at it’s very best – at least for me.  That old saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words” is apropos here.  And, if the picture is something I’ve taken – it’s even more so.

With that in mind, I’d like to share two different photo outings I’ve had in the last few weeks.  Each outing will have it’s own entry….

Whooping Crane Conservancy

Inside our housing community here on Hilton Head Island is this wonderful area which has been left pristine … “as is” … i.e. – as nature formed it!  To explain more fully:  Many parts of Hilton Head Island consist of “planned communities”.  In many cases, it’s reclaimed land which once had been swamp land – a typical example of what is referred to as “The Low Country”.  What they did when developing Hilton Head was to create man-made lagoons to “corral” the water into deeper water bodies, so that there would be land to build houses and roads.  However, in most of the housing communities, they left a percentage of the land pristine to allow the wildlife to have some of their original habitat.  The aquatic wildlife continues to thrive on the lagoons – but they seem to congregate in these conservanciesl.

I am not totally sure why they named the conservancy “Whooping Crane” .  There are no whooping cranes there anymore, although there probably used to be, at least according to the literature on the area  They are endangered elsewhere, I believe.

To allow the residents to view these pristine areas, our housing development has built a boardwalk which goes through a portion of this conservancy.  If this were not there, it would be next to impossible to experience this habitat.  The swamp is a rather hostile environment to walk.  In wet weather, like we have now, the water can be quite deep – and – yes … alligators live there, swimming around or buried in the mud.  I have only personally seen one there – a small one a few years ago.  However, there are more there than meet the eye….

No pets are permitted so that the wildlife that live there is not disturbed by a barking dog, which might get overly excited by the sights and sounds there.

So – occasionally I go there – with my camera to experience the ambiance and to take photos of it all.  Often I go in with others, as it’s a fun outing to experience together with friends.  But, that isn’t always the most conducive to seeing wildlife because it’s too easy to chat with one’s companion.  Being extra quiet so the wildlife will allow themselves to be seen is imperative.

On this particular day, however, I was alone and crept softly along the boardwalk.  I was hyper sensitive to sounds and sights, and it’s amazing what a noisy place it is.  The beauty of the place went into my being!!  I heard cardinals and woodpeckers and crows and many other songbirds I was not able to identify.  On that day, however, I did not see much to photograph except for a pair of Merganser ducks and one woodpecker (and that picture was not very good).  I’d hoped to encounter an ibis, egret or heron or two – but that was not to be.  But – it’s never a wasted trip as the landscape itself is gorgeous:

A photo of the boardwalk and the view I had while walking

1. Male Merganser duck. The female was with him, but I wasn’t able to get the two together as those two trees made it difficult

2. Vegetation that grows up in the swamp

3. Interesting berries — probably the only bright "color" there other than greens, grays and browns, which made them stick out

4. Interesting root system in the swamp

All of these photos can be clicked and it will take you to my photo site in Flickr.  There you can click “all sizes” and will be able to see the photo larger.  Some photos are not as effective in the small sizes that I will mostly show here.

Enjoy!  🙂