Tag Archive: whooping crane conservancy

I’ve been busy over the last three days, but the photos have been taken and it’s finally time to post.

I have so many photos to choose from for February 22nd. My childhood friend, Connie visited for a day on her way to be with her daughter and family. I cherish these visits, as we have a lot of history … good history!. We may be separated for a year (or more) at a time, but when we get together, it’s like we never were apart. Conversation flows … and, that’s an understatement! 🙂 Plus – she travels with her white lab, Maggie. I’ve never been much of a dog person, but Maggie has won over my heart, not to mention that the cats did very well with her. There were a few “fluffed up” kitty moments with minimal hissing, but it was short lived, as Maggie doesn’t chase them. They always have time to quickly retreat to the safety of “high places” in the house.

Connie has a blog, too: View from the Empty Nest. It’s full of insights — the kind that come while walking Maggie! Many are thoughts I’ve always had, but I never “thought” to “think” them! (I know — that doesn’t quite make sense…!) Check it out — it’s a good read!

On the one full day Connie was with us, we looked for “photo ops” in beautiful spots, both at home and in the neighborhood. First there were some photo ops right on our lagoon. Then we went into Whooping Crane Conservancy. After a quick lunch, we took Maggie for a walk on Boneyard beach. As we drove there, we made a stop along the side of the road where there’s another lagoon and aquatic life often hang out. As I type, I still can’t decide which photo will be chosen for this. All I know is that I will include several bonus photos!

Ok – – here we go — an alligator in the swamp inside Whooping Crane Conservancy:

365 photo #53

And — of course there will be some bonus photos:

IMG_1045 IMG_1052
1. fall foliage lives on inside the Whooping Crane Conservancy…!
2. Ibis well hidden in the brush in Whooping Crane Conservancy

IMG_1019 IMG_1090
1. Ibis on the lagoon at home
2. I wonder what those cormorants see??

IMG_1073 IMG_1120
1. Anhinga – drying it’s wings
2. Maggie — such a sweet white lab — on the beach! 🙂

Connie left first thing the next morning – but I kind of remained sluggish, and didn’t get out for photos. Suddenly it was 10 p.m. and I hadn’t even picked up my camera – so yesterday’s photo is a wall hanging — something my son gave to me for Christmas one year. I love the haggard expression the kitty. Reminds me of me when I’m not in a good mood! 😉 When I was younger I had a photo copy of this picture taped to my refrigerator, which said “I have a handgun and PMS, any questions”. Kind of said it all!

365 photo #54

Today I looked to our cats for the photo. The weather started out ok, but it’s now reduced to rumbling thunderstorms and tornado watches…. This is Felix — “birding and squirreling” behind the draperies!:

365 photo #55

Bonus photo: On Tuesday night I won honorable mention in the camera club competition – category “windows”. It’s the first ever ribbon for me:

This isn’t the EXACT photo I submitted as it had to be resized just slightly for printing, and I enhanced the saturation a small amount, as well.

Yesterday I had a chance to take photos outside of the house. The weather has been cloudy for the past few days, but there was this window of opportunity and my friend and I went to the Whooping Crane Pond Conservancy to see what was inside. There wasn’t much in the way of wildlife – except for a little gecko. We could hear interesting, and unique (to me) bird calls.

The 365 photo for today is a photo of a dragon fly wing that my friend found. It seemed to be a fun object to experiment with some macro photogrpahy on top of the boardwalk railing… It’s so intricate!

365 photo #46

Bonus photos:

IMG_0843 IMG_0838
1. Interesting shadows of plantlife and an odd root system in the algae laden swamp
2. the little gecko. Not the best photo of him, but he slipped away before I could get another.

Today the weather (up until now – the sun is peaking out now!) has been cloudy with rain. So — it was inside photos for today. This is a “floral” painted porcelain cat which I purchased quite a few years ago because it reminded me of my mother in law’s paper mache floral kitty which I loved so much, which was the 365 photo #41. I have it placed in the same spot where my mother in law had her paper mache kitty when she lived here — on top of the breakfast bar counter.

The little kitties next to the floral cat are actually tiny boxes. The head (or top of the body) comes off to reveal a place to store something very tiny!

365 photo #47

Yesterday was “kitty day” at Chez Sweetmeow. It was time to take Misty and Felix to their annual check up at the vets – always an interesting adventure. Getting the kitties into their pet carriers (without one of them going under a bed where they are nearly impossible to get) takes strategy and finesse. It’s about outsmarting them. We were successful (humans: 1 … kitties: 0), and off we went – on time – to the appointment. It’s always good when Ray is around to help with this endeavor. Thank you, Ray, for being there!

On the way the kitties meowed – separately, and together in chorus. We put them into the car with their carriers facing each other so that they could give each other comfort – but I’m not sure that happened. Meow meow. Meow meow. Interesting to note when the two kitties meowed at the same time how much lower Misty’s meow is from Felix’ meow. It was good that we only had about 25 minutes on the highway with them.

The vet visit was short and sweet – just two shots for each – a quick check of weight and teeth and off we went – back to where we’d started. Felix is not overweight as I’d feared, but is simply a big boned kitty of 14 lbs.! Misty is wiry and petite coming in at a slim 8 lbs. Both both are fine for their body builds.

I thought the kitties would be exhausted for the rest of the day. Instead, they spent much of the afternoon squirreling and birding from the sliding glass doors, which brings me to yesterday’s photo of the day: Felix takes a break from birding to pose for the camera:

365 photo #18

And — here are two bonus photos:

IMG_9818 IMG_9826
1. Misty poses for me
2. Finally the cats curled up together – paws around each other, and licking each other’s neck. Sweet!

Today was crystal clear after a few days of clouds or mixed clouds and sun. It was a perfect day to go to the Whooping Crane Conservancy down the street. This is an area of woodsy marshland that has been designated to remain pristine in it’s original state. A boardwalk has been built so that one can walk through and be in the midst of it all. On the brochure that describes this conservancy, it says that it’s named for this endangered bird (that I love so much!) that may have lived here at the turn of the century. However, I’ve also read (and I can’t find where…) that people, who thought they were seeing whooping cranes, named it after that bird. However, in reality, they were seeing wood storks.

I made the decision to only use my 100-400 mm lens, which limits the type of photos I can take. My reasoning was that I wanted to be prepared for any wildlife shots, and walked through very silently so critters would not scatter. Not much was there, however. I saw a turtle, which disappeared in the water before I could get the camera ready – and a male Downy woodpecker, which is today’s Photo of the day:

365 photo #19

To give you more of an idea about this conservancy, here are the rest of the pictures I took in slide show form.  WordPress won’t  let me embed this – so here’s the link:


If anyone noticed a random entry which was published for only a few minutes, it was truly there, but I deleted it.  I was continuing to try to embed the video, “Cats in Pots”, but to no avail.  I think WordPress doesn’t allow some of these for security reasons.  My last entry will just have to remain a link.  It’s cute, though, and it’s a video I have watched numerous times.

This time of year remains slow.  I think my brain is also running at “turtle speed”, as well, and there are few revelations about “life” coming from my mind.  I am accomplishing my daily activities in a kind of robot-like way.  One day seems to blend into the next.  Ray and I are really quite content and are enjoying the slower speed, which is giving us the luxury to truly enjoy getting to know our new kitties!  I chalk it up to “winter’s slugdom”.  Maybe I am hibernating, in similar fashion to the bear.  Well – heh … that’s a stretch.

For most of January and part of February, the weather was wet.  Cloudy days seemed to be the norm, and I think it rained on average – at least somewhat – every other day.  Those glorious sunny days seemed to be a rarity.  We don’t have the cold and snow like “up north” – but even the rain can get get old, too.

On one of those rare days, when the temperature climbed into the low 70’s for the first time, Ray and I hot footed it to Pine Island, which we have dubbed “Dolphin Head Beach”.  It’s waterfront property located on Port Royal Sound within our housing area, which has fabulous driftwood, shells, and occasional spottings of aquatic wildlife.  On the edge of the beach are old gnarled trees, weathered by wind, and on the other side is a swampy “low country” style grassland.  It’s a popular area for dog walking, sunning, exercise AND photography, which is why I go there….

Continue reading

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!  🙂

%d bloggers like this: