Tag Archive: driftwood

Whew! It’s taken me way too long to get back to blogging since our trip north. Though stressful, the trip went well. The cats were excellent travelers, although Felix’ “meow voice” was working over time! We are now safely settled into our home on Long Island, but during this period of time, I’ve been distracted and scattered, so much so that there were three days when I did not get that daily photo taken. I had vowed not to allow that to happen, but perfection is elusive. My few days “lapse” will not stop me from continuing to take daily photos.

As I said I would do, I’m going to return to the beauty of Hilton Head in order to update my daily photos from the last days on Hilton Head before heading north. It will be fun to relive it.

On May 1st, I took a gorgeous sunrise walk on Folly Field Beach with my friend, Kim. We moved from Folly Field, to Port Royal Beach, then onto to the edge of Mitchelville, where the ocean moves into Port Royal Sound. It was a leisurely walk, as we stopped often along the way to take photos of whatever fancied us. I’m not much of am morning person, so I miss way too many sunrises. However, once I’ve managed to tear myself out of my cozy bed, I’m always grateful that I’ve made the effort. That time of day has the best lighting for photos, as well as being much cooler and more comfortable in spring and summer. As we finished our walk, the temperature got oppressively warm, I was anxious to get out of the sun and the heat.

It will be difficult to choose one photo to be the photo of the day for May 1st – but with the option of bonus photos – I’ll just choose one:

365 photo #122. I have never considered jellyfish to be attractive or pretty, but they become almost like a stained glass window in the low morning light! There were tons of them on the beach that morning

Bonus photos:

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1. Good Morning! Sunrise!
2. Tide Pool reflections (of a house on the shoreline)

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1. surf line — with sea foam
2. sea creatures and plants – including whelk egg sacs

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1. shell – we placed it on end like this for photographic purposes
2. driftwood

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1. snowy egret
2. pelicans and sea gulls out on the sand bar

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1. sanderling – oh my do they love to scurry on the beach!
2. more driftwood out in the tide pools – with barnacles

I think it may be time to see what the beach is like here — before the tourists invade. We don’t have much more time until then….

More catch up in next entry…


On Tuesday of this week, my friend, Kim and I decided to go over to Daufuskie Island, a small island (only 8 square miles!) tucked between Savannah and Hilton Head. Before I post my photos of my trip to Daufuskie Island, I did a little internet research on it’s history, so there will be a brief background to my photos.

The island – despite some recent development – is amazingly pristine, probably due to isolation because of the lack of easy transportation to and from the mainland. There is no bridge — and all transportation is by boat.

Now – for a quick (and incomplete!) history, beginning prior to the Civil War: At some point in the 1700’s, English planters created twelve cotton plantations, a crop that, at the time, used African slave labor. Because of the isolation of the island, as well as the absence of plantation owners, the slaves maintained their African “Gullah” traditions much more strongly than the slaves on the mainland. After the Civil War, the plantation owners fled, leaving the newly freed slaves behind, who continued to grow cotton. After the Boll Weevil destroyed the cotton crop in the early 20th century, they switched to oystering. Then the Savannah River became polluted in the 1950’s, destroying the oyster industry (until recently). After this, many of the Gullah residents left to find work on the mainland and the population diminished, and is now less than 20 individuals. Beginning in 1985 residential properties and vacation resorts were created, giving some work to Gullah people. Yet, much of the land still remains pristine and undeveloped. Transportation is by foot, bicycle, and golf cart more often that by car. In fact – there is not a commercial car ferry service to Daufuskie — at least one that I can find on the internet. However, we did see some cars on the island so they got there somehow! Many of the roads remain unpaved – covered from above by a beautiful canopy of live oaks. So – clearly – for those who live there now, and even for those who vacation there, the living is simple. Amenities which we take for granted are not as easily procured. But — from my vantage point – that is it’s beauty!

So — Tuesday’s 365 Photo will be from our Daufuskie Island trip:

365 Photo #108 — First Union African Baptist Church. Originally a Gullah church, it now is a church to all island residents — and visitors attend, too.

Now — for the bonus photos, which will be many, as I’d like to chronicle our water taxi trip over and back from Hilton Head, as well as the four hour golf cart self guided tour over the island. We were given a map and … off we went! As always – click on any photo to see it larger in Flickr…

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1. An interesting and somewhat rusted boat, “Yellow Jacket” that is docked at a marina off Hilton Head Island. I believe it’s still operational, but we wondered…!
2. Dock at Daufuskie Island, Melrose Landing, where we were dropped off and picked up.IMG_8483 IMG_8487
1. We did not have a guided tour, so I don’t know anything about this house, but, with the shutters closed, I wonder if anyone is there. Yet – it seems fairly well taken care of. I wonder if it’s a Gullah residence?
2. Another interesting residence on “Attitude Adjustment Boulevard” 😉

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1. “The Iron Fish” store — metal sculpture artist’s workshop and store
2. sculpture is displayed on his porch

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1. sculpture is displayed outside
2. artist apprentice working.

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1. driftwood for sale
2. “The Iron Fish” store sign just off the road

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1. Mary Fields School — made famous by the author, Pat Conroy, who wrote a book, “The Water is Wide” about his experiences teaching there from 1969 / 70.
2. Praise House – a place where slaves expressed their African religious beliefs during slavery – and the forerunner to the First Union Baptist Church (see 365 photo above)

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1. The Council Tree — where men gathered to discuss island issues after church
2. interesting driftwood at Bloody Point

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1. Grave stone at Bloody Point – a Gullah cemetery. Note the sand dollar shell — which has significance to Gullah faith: “The sea brought us, the sea shall take us back. So the shells upon our graves stand for water, the means of glory and the land of demise.”
2. Mt. Carmel Baptist Church II (1st one burned down!). It is not used as a church, but as a museum now.

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1. We couldn’t get inside Mt. Carmel Church (I suspect you need to be on an actual tour to get inside some of these places – and we were just on our own) – so we took photos of the inside through the windows. Note the bottles on the window sill. Also — it ended up to be an interesting photo with the reflections of the trees off the window
2. quilt on a chair by a window.

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1. Black squirrel. I’d never seen one before, but I guess they are rather common on the island
2. Kitty — on the porch at “The Iron Fish”

That’s enough for now. There is lots more to see over there, so I hope to make another trip there in the future. And … more “catch-up” 365 photos will be in the next entry!

After church and our usual lunch at the Plantation Cafe today, Ray and I decided to walk off our big meal at one of the beaches which we can access from where we live. The weather was warm and sunny — “better” than perfect for a January day. One MUST take advantage of days like these!

I don’t know the actual name of the beach, but it’s on Port Royal Sound. It’s not the typical ocean beach with traditional ocean waves, and pristine sand. This beach is often littered with beach grass, a little pluff mud, oyster beds, driftwood and many assorted shells. This, for me, makes it more interesting than the average ocean beach. I have a photography friend who has the knack for finding bones, teeth and other artifacts on this beach. However, I don’t have an eye for those things, so when I’m alone, they’re lost on me. She and I have dubbed this beach “Boneyard Beach” because of her interesting finds!

Like the ocean, The tides affect this beach too, and there is always a line of grass showing the last high tide mark. There are also gentle waves, bringing the shells gently in and out. Often I see aquatic wildlife there — egrets, herons — hanging out in the tall grass grazing for food in the tide pools. But – there was nothing today except for a few sea gulls. So – I took pictures of the scenery

Today’s photo is of one shell that’s hung from a piece of driftwood. I’ve noticed on several beaches in the area that it’s become custom for beach walkers to sometimes hang shells from dead branches making the driftwood look like a very “beachy” Christmas tree! Sometimes red ribbon or other beach things like colorful seaweed is placed there which really adds a festive touch. Today I saw only this lone shell and thought it needed to have a photo taken of it….

365 photo # 8

As I said in my last entry, on the day of the earthquake and tsunami, a friend and I went to a beach on Port Royal Sound, which is not far from my house.  Because it’s not directly on the ocean, it’s a bit more sheltered and the water more “quiet”.  The waves are more gentle, though the tides still affect the water.  On this beach there’s lots of “pluff mud” in addition to sand and beds of oyster shells and numerous weathered and unique pieces of driftwood.  To me, this beach is more interesting because of the numerous things to inspect and photograph. 

My friend has dubbed this beach “Boneyard Beach” because of the artifacts she has found there on her many beach combing trips, and I’ve taken to calling this beach this name, too.  She’s come home with teeth and bones from various animals and aquatic wildlife who had once lived there.  I don’t have an eye for finding these, but she seems to spot them in among the shell beds and sand like they are a shiny needle in a haystack!   

On this day, I can’t remember if we found any artifacts.  I arrived at the beach reeling from the news of the earthquake – and lack of sleep from having watched too much of the news about it in the middle of the night just after it happened.  I almost didn’t want to go, but am glad I did.  I said this before, but it’s worth saying again:  I saw the water … and it was sobering to realize that this same calm water could cause such death and destruction – if given the right conditions. 

So – my friend and I went about our usual walking the beach with our cameras – enjoying the gorgeous, clear weather, the calm water, the beach, the driftwood, and shells – and, at least for me – appreciating it more than usual.

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1.  View of the beach showing pluff mud, beach grass, shells and sand – and on the edge of a little stream of water that flows from inland to the beach. 

2.  pluff mud at the shore line – the tide was high but receding

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1.  Great egret along the shorline and beach grass

2.  I believe this is a loon in winter plumage.  Loons breed on fresh water northern lakes, but they migrate to the coast – sometimes further south – to sheltered salt water bodies during the winter, and this loon is still in his winter home.  I’m not sure they go until April or even early May.  However, I also believe that it’s injured.  I was astounded at how close he allowed me to get to him.  As I got closer to him, he did move – but kind of limped toward the water.  I do know, however, that loons are very awkward on land.  Except to nest, they spend almost no time on land, so this may be it, too.  He did manage to waddle back to the water after being startled by my friend’s and my presence. 

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1.  An interesting close up of a piece of driftwood in the sand.  I see a head on this – and an eye, nose and even a mouth, too!

2.  More driftwood – along a stream that runs from inland to the beach whether the tide is in or out. 

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1.  Looking back to the stream of water that goes into the Sound.  If you look carefully, you can see a Great Blue Heron standing on those rocks.  The picture was taken into the sun, so there was a lack of contrast between the bird and the water.  Click on the picture to see it larger in my flickr account.

2.  The entrance / exit to the beach.  I took this as we were leaving.

From there we went over to Jarvis Park … next entry….!

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