Tag Archive: pluff mud

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….!

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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