Tag Archive: beaufort

The last two days, I’ve headed out to get photos away from “home base”.

Yesterday a photo friend and I went to the Savannah Wildlife Refuge. I had never been, and was not sure what it would be like. We arrived and found that it was about a four mile drive, with scattered places to park along the way so you can get out with your cameras and binoculars. I don’t know if there were paths for walking other than the road, but didn’t see any. Basically it’s a huge area of “lowcountry”: swampy land, trees, bushes, and basically pristine areas for birds and animals to live. I find it interesting that as you look over the flat marsh, you can see Savannah industry in the distance. I worry a little about the water quality, and I guess there are / have been issues.

As we were driving around, we bumped into a grouping of cars which turned out to be an Audubon group from Hilton Head. They all had their fancy binoculars and bird identification books, talked “BirdSpeak”, and had spotted lots of birds which I would have never seen without their help. Next time I go, I will have binoculars of my own! One of those things this group has spotted was a bald Eagle, which is my photo of the day for yesterday. He was high in the tree, and even with my 100-400 lens, it is not a close up. Plus – he was sort of hiding behind parts of the tree. But – I’m always thrilled to get a picture of one of these majestic birds:

365 photo #20

We soon broke away from the Audubon group to do our own thing. Besides the Bald Eagle, we also saw: (to become my bonus photos for yesterday. Click them to see them larger in my flickr account)

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1. Great Blue Heron … becomes part of this branch!
2. Red Tailed Hawk (I think)

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1. Ibis
2. Loggerhead Shrike – whose beauty gives little clues to his predatory behavior. As taken from Wikipedia: “The bird waits on a perch with open lines of sight and swoops down to capture prey. Its food is large insects and lizards . Known in many parts as the “Butcher Bird,” it impales its prey on thorns or barbed wire before eating it, because it does not have the talons of the larger birds of prey.”

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1. duck – I do not know the kind
2. Coot (There were SO MANY of them!!)

Today Ray and I decided to go over to Beaufort – about a 45 minute drive from Hilton Head. It’s an historic southern town known for it’s antebellum architecture. The town is full of boutiques, although with the economy as it is, there are more empty stores than we remember in previous years. It’s also a military town with Parris Island and the Marine Corps air station not far away. Ray and I enjoy going over there — usually for lunch, and to walk around town, as well as the park behind the shops which abut the marina and river. I didn’t take too many photos this time, but the view of Main Street as we exited the parking lot in town is my photo of the day:

365 photo #21

Bonus photo:


Hubby and I had a great weekend, especially Saturday when we decided to bolt from the confines of this house (after way too much rain!) and explore the nearby town of Beaufort, SC, and then a quick run to Hunting Island, which is not far from there.

Beaufort is an old southern town, with beautiful southern architecture, which has been transformed into somewhat of a military town with Parris Island and other bases not too far away.  So — it’s a mixture of "cultures", if you will.  It’s also somewhat of a tourist town, as many of the shops and restaurants seem to be geared toward those who are on vacation – – i.e. — more "fluff" merchandise (and expensive").  So — it makes it more enjoyable, though we don’t always purchase too much.  I’ve found earrings there — and there’s one store chock full of "Vera Bradley" stuff, and I’ve gotten one or two things there, as well.

We first had lunch at our favorite restaurant, "Paninis".  It’s an Italian place (of course – our fave restaurant genre) — and has this "oh so decadent" mac and cheese that is "to die" for.  We’ve tried other restaurants and pubs in town, but end up back here.  Oddly, they took it off the menu, but when we asked the waitress, it was still there, so we both ordered it, along with this amazing – and rich, creamy textured – decadent – onion soup.

From there we browsed the town some.  This time we actually found something which we are going to purchase – and have on hold until we can get over to get it.  In the recent past, Hubby and I have been looking for a desk for the master bedroom, but have not been successful in finding what we want.  We don’t want it to appear too "office like", because it’s going to be located in our master bedroom.  Yet I want it to be functional and have some storage for things I want to be close by, like bill paying items such as stamps, envelopes, extra check books, odd necessary papers, etc.  I’d also use – and store – my laptop on it when using it in that room.  It would be my desk exclusively -  as hubby has one that’s only for him.  As is often the case with these kinds of things which aren’t easily found, if you’re patient, the item will come to you – – and it did – – by chance – – in an odd shop I would never have pointedly entered to look for a desk!  It’s a custom made desk by the husband of the shop owner, but one of the drawers is "sticky" – – and he’s coming over tonight after work to fix that – and then we can pick it up.

I also found a Vera Bradley purse to use as variety to my "organizer purse", which is rather mundane.  Everything fits nicely in it (though a little tighter) – so I’m happy.  Ok — I know — I keep too much in my purse *g*

From there we headed to Hunting Island.  Because we spent way too much time in Beaufort, there was not time to enter the paying area of Hunting Island, which is where the ocean and lighthouse are located.  It costs a bit of money to get in, and to be there for only an hour or so didn’t make it worth the "price of admission", in my opinion.  I am coming to the conclusion that trying to see both both Beaufort and Hunting Island is too much for one day.  One of these days we need to focus on only Hunting Island — and maybe — like we did with Claire and Terry one year — take a picnic lunch.  If I remember, they have little picnic tables over there.

So – – we just went out on this little "boardwalk" area which is right off the side of the road.  The area is a perfect example of what is meant by "The Low Country", which defines this area of South Carolina where we live.  The boardwalk is over top of the swampy area where one really cannot walk, so it’s the best way of seeing this type of countryside.  Best yet — it’s free to anyone!  I’ve been here many times before, so I’m getting to know certain trees, the nature of the swamp, and other random things to look for….

Of course I took pictures……

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1.  checking out the boardwalk as we exited our car
2.  This photo is taken from inside one of the few gazebos which are placed periodically between areas of the boardwalk.  It shows the swamp and what is referred to as "Pluff mud"
3.  the swamp and the small things that grow from there in the pluff mud, which is the mud of these swamps.  To read more about what that is – go here:  http://lowcountryfoodie.blogspot.com/2006/11/definition-day-2-pluff-mud.html

One of the most interesting things about this walk are the trees — especially the dead ones.  the gnarled, rustic bark – and shape of the trees, weathered by wind and water is fascinating.  It resembles drift wood, in a way, though some of it is still living – or, if nothing else, rooted in the ground.

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