Tuesday, March 29, 2011

WBW 19-The Night Show

A show was put on Just for ME!...
I went out on the night of the Perigee Moon--hoping for a great shot of it hanging over Goodale Lake about 4 miles from my home in Kershaw County, SC.  Got there in plenty of time, set up to wait - the mosquitos came out, the clouds swept in, and the star of the show, MY Moon, was in hiding...but the show Must Go On, right?
I swatted, cursed a bit... kept hoping the clouds would part and I would see that Moon....

The water was calm and threw up some terrific reflections of the trees ...Soon a few Geese that had been quietly grazing on green shoots along the waters edge were startled into flight by a squadron of dark squaking shapes that filled the sky over me--it was like an invasion it happened so suddenly---hundreds of Double Crested Coromorants coming in to roost for the night!

Phalacrocorax auritus

this video kinda sux ...But I tried--and this was the result...turn up the volume so you can hear them---

My camera has a noisey zoom on it---in the low light dark shapes dotted the trees,  literally hundreds of them---and somehow they made a very orderly "check-in" as each found a suitable branch on a Bald Cypress Tree to bed down on---

The silhouettes were kinda cool--the sound was deafening as they all chattered at once!

Then they grew quiet and still as they waited...and watched

The last bit of Sun crept ever lower, the air cooled almost instantly as the deep blue of twlight settled over the lake-and over the coromorants, and over me!

Even the mosquitos went to bed and so I folded the tripod and went home--with a great feeling inside--I came to see the Moon, what I saw was one of the greatest shows on Earth!!

Visit the World Bird Wednesday for other wonderful adventures in Nature around the World!



Saturday, March 26, 2011

Times are a Changin'

I don't like what I see...

More and more when I travel in the rural areas of my state I see development encroaching on the rural lifestyle.  I see cookie cutter homes with a 2 car garage stuffed to the brim with the overflow of materialism and everyone blends to a gray colorless lifestyle...it gives me reason to enjoy it whilst it's here...the America of old before Wall St took over every one's hearts and minds...
 I love the old structures of many kinds here in the South, soon these too will be gone so I try to savor them while I can...
Although some consider old and dilapidated buildings to be an eye sore (and some are) I find many to hold so much history that it tells me a story relates an image that speaks loudly of times past,  lives lived, better days, change, old ideas and new ones....I need to know more-see more--take a closer look--BACK!

These old farm buildings sit on a hilltop overlooking the  highway serviced by this little winding gravel one lane road--the rustic tones of the tin roof blend in perfect harmony with the golden hues of the broom sedge growing around it...
(Highway 76 in upstate SC, this area is rich in Appalachia culture) 

Hillside Farm Just off Hwy 76 in Oconee County SC
One of the best things people could do for their descendants would be to sharply limit the number of them. Olan Miller

...a barn--that is still in use sits right in the corner of a large field for stock animals.  IT also sits right inside the town limits of the town of Townville, SC--not many towns still have structures such as these INSIDE the city limits--

Expansion means complexity and complexity decay. Northcote Parkinson

I hope it stays that way, but other buildings in the same town were boarded up and soon the bull dozers will come a'callin.

Small towns are the backbone the USA grew up on. The population of Townville is 4,352..with very few of these people living in Town..most live in the area around town.

This rustic barn looks to be no longer in use.  I loved the way it stands protected by the large Cedar trees at the base of this hill facing what once was a hay field now gone to seed with wild flowers.  Behind it lies a golf course another blight on the land brought to us courtesy of the new conservative movement across our country.

The small landholders are the most precious part of a state. Thomas Jefferson

This was side of the road in Oconee County and its a larger family farming operation...more and more HUGE TYSON turkey, chicken, and pork growers are fowling the land with the stench of progress--(inhumane horrid conditions for animals to live in)

Rural life has many outbuildings!
You got silo's of various sizes one is probably for fertilizer, one for crops, one for feed, and one for fuel...but its still land held by a family still making ends meet.

Mountain homes such as this one are still around but slowly being replaced as the well-to-do people consume the moutains as they have the beaches--I'll take a place like this over a gated and landscaped community any day!  A drive through the most beautiful landscapes more and more are becoming scared by the McMansions that are cropping up in the high country of our state--

For greed, all nature is too little...[Marcus Seneca]

 Before the Trees are leveled and the hillside sold I wanted to stop and pay homage to this beautiful old homestead---Im sure with a view like one across the way from the spot it wont be long before its sold for millions--

It requires a strong constitution to withstand repeated attacks of prosperity~ J. Brasford

Back when Cotton was King in the Pee Dee regions of SC the cotton fields stretched all the way to the coast where tea and rice plantations flourished... after the Civil War the nation was having growing pains and WWI was about to suck the rest of the life outta the people so the cotton fields were plowed over and planted with Tobacco to aide a society dealing with war an addiction helped to cover up the pain....then along came the tractor and that changed everything....
Share cropping was a way of life for dirt poor families who had passed the knowledge of farming from one generation to the next...if you've read the Grapes of Wrath then you know the tractors plowed right up to the "dooryard" as Steinbeck called it and the croppers had to move--Some of the old buildings they lived in remain here in the Deep South-- Life is not taken so seriously as it is in the cities, towns, and burbs....

Grapes of Wrath
Time is the only critic without ambition. John Steinbeck

... better get out there and see it before its all gone...


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

WBW 18--Santee SP

About a week ago I had to get out ...needed some fresh air..but it was hard to find..took a drive to Santee State Park, located on the west side of Lake Marion in the PeeDee region of South Carolina the lake is famous for bass fishing and Ospreys!  It was so hazy...and the water was so still...the light was flat and hard to get a decent photo of anything...but life is not always in Kodachrome! HOW about Monochrome?...so this is what I came back with on that outting--

The Lake
These ring billed gulls made several attempts at grabbing something in the water...they have webbed feet so I can't imagine what they hoped to grab/snag!
a thin line of double crested coromorants made a sweep over the lake looking for food...
A couple of gulls took a slow ride on a log drifting with the easy current...

the Laughing Gulls are getting the famous black head for breeding season...

while I was parking the car I spotted an Osprey with a 3 lb bass in his talons he was being swamped by other Ospreys who hoped he would drop his catch... but like I said I was parking the car...got this fly by later and the sky straight up was blue...but the haze continued to hover over the lake...
The Dogwood blossoms are peeking through the Spanish Moss that seems to thrive in this part of the state.  ITS Spring ~Full Blown~

To Visit others who are contributing to World Bird Wednesday
Click this Icon



Monday, March 21, 2011

The Old Stone Church-c1784

Instead of reposting this, I wanted to share it for Taphophile Tragics.

I seem to be falling farther and father behind with blogging...posting my own adventures and reading YOURS..but one does what they can and goes forward.  I am still about 2 weeks behind--so this trip was on March 12th. 
I think I mentioned the SC National Heritage Corridor in my last post and this is one of the historic spots one can visit off that corridor.  Its located between the towns of Pendleton and Clemson SC. 

The Old Stone Chruch building began in 1784-and it was as much a fortress as it was a place of worship since this was still a time of fighting between settlers and the Natives who already lived there. 

I love this stone work

John Rusk (check out the history of Texas the Rusk family was very influential in the history) who is buried here was one of the founding fathers of this chruch and this community.  The cemetery hosts the graves of many Revolutionary Vets, War of 1812 Vets, Civil War Vets, with the oldest grave being 1795.  I didnt find that one but I found many others--
This Chruch was used by the Hopewell Presbyterians until they moved to Pendleton and built a new more Antebellum style chruch. 

Rev war Vet
Civil war vet
1824 and 1837

These two stones are the markers of a German Immigrant Joseph and Elizabeth Whitner who fought for the Independence of the budding USA-and were members of this frontier church and community.

The cemetery has many big old Eastern Red Cedar trees standing throughout---I found this old grave to be interesting the story goes like this...

Eliza Huger (pronounced Hugee)

...according to a long told story, Eliza Huger, a member of a prominent Charleston family, moved to New Orleans. Even by the standards of that city, her actions were considered scandalous. The story tells that Eliza's brother shot her and her lover, while they were entwined in unholy acts (left to your imagination, and probably NOTHING by todays standards). Burial within the cemetery was allowed only on the condition that an enclosure be constructed around the site. Her grave lies within high stone walls at the Old Stone Church Clemson SC--Inscription reads:
                                          A Brother's Sorrow
This marble to the memory
of his Sister
Beneath it are the remains
of Eliza Huger
whose Spirit returned to

I couldnt read the dates on this marker, I can see October 9, but that huge crack has oblierated the year.... I tired online searches and came up with ZIP.  Legend says the cemetery allowed her burial only if the high stone wall was put around so as not to contaminate the surrounding ground near her
"soiled body"...and legend says the stone wall has been replaced many times as it keeps falling apart, and lightening has hit the marker and fractured it!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Brasstown Falls Hike

I know 3 blogs in 3 days--and IM working but I want to get caught up while I have some time this morning-  SO last week I drove back upstate to Greer to work in my sisters cutting room...here's a photo of it so you can see what Im doing (for the inquiring minds out there)

See what I do is sometimes I cut fat quarters then fold 'em up add the label and put in bins that will go to the quilt shows to be sold---othertimes I dont have to cut them they send them to me at home already cut and I fold them here..but they have fallen behind so I went up and cut about 1400 of these 18 x 21 inch fat quarter's Needless to say I was exhausted!! But they have a nice cutting room with lots of great natural light, carpeted floor, cable tv, and satellite radio--SO what more could I want?  Well I'd love to have this quilting machine at my house!!

SO anyways once the work was done I headed out on Saturday Morning (12th of March) to complete another waterfall hike.  I had to drive about an 1.15 hrs to get to the location but on the way I had to stop a few times to take photos!  Im the Queen of the U-Turn!
The SC National Heritage Corridor runs through this area in the western and upper sections of our state.  Highway 11 the Cherokee Scenic Highway combines with the corridor and makes for an excellent drive that stretches from Charleston following the Savannah River to Gafney a Mountain town...Ive driven the entire northern section now Ive got to drive the GA border section.  The highway goes through 17 counties of the state and covers 240 miles!  BUT on this trip my main reason for heading up to the Sumter National Forest was to hike to Brasstown Falls! We had terrific rains on the Thrusday before (10th of March) so the water was Excellent!
The Brasstown Creek creates these wonderful cascades 4 of them and then a Veil and a Sluice --for over 120 feet of falling water in 5 sections with the upper section standing alone a 40 ft cascade.  This is on pages 42-46 of my Waterfall Hikes of SC by Thomas E King an ongoing photography/hiking project for me. 

he said call me Swamper-

The upper section of the falls is this 40 ft cascade called  the Little Brasstown its a beautiful spot to sit and play the banjo--lol I ran into other hikers and adventurers as I normally do where ever I go...before you know it Im part of a group--

Sorry  bout the curse word at the end--it wasnt me-- another hiker who sunk into the mud while trying to cross the creek--lol

Little Brasstown Falls

In order to get to the little brasstown you have to cross the creek...It was kinda muddy on the bottom and so along with these ladies we built our very own log crossing--I didnt get any names but they were fun ladies to share a part of my hike with....

The upper section of the falls is beautiful and swift--its a part of 3 sucessive cascades that fall about 50 feet altogether with a flat table and pool area between each...

Upper cascade


 Then the creek heads down to drop over the middle section another cascade.. The trail here gets steeper and is filled with the roots! In some cases these make good steps and in some cases they trip you and they create obstacles!  The ground was slick due to the recent rain  this hikes starts out as Easy then goes to Difficult as the creek tumbles on down...two more cascade to go....

Here is the Middle Cascade -

Then the creek drops to make the thrid Lower cascade--

rainbows i think
NOW the trail is really getting steep and slippery and I catch up with the fly fishermen who have staked out their catch, Im tempted to speak to them about catch n release but they are big burly and southern so I decided to say a "native blessing" of thanks over the fish and go on...but asa I arrive  they left! lol

can you spot the fisherman?
SO i got to enjoy the lower cascade alone--it was quite beautiful.

The "trail" to the last 2 falls is quite steep and hard!  I slipped and got a nice bruise for my trouble --in some spots I had to grab exposed roots to use for pulls ups!! There is no developed trail to these waterfalls....you just pick the route you see as best..

BUT it was Worth it...here is the brink of the veil I have to hike around and then down for a better view..

I finally made it down to face the veil head on...the mist from this 35 foot falls was very refreshing...and I got some spots on my lens--what a special place--

After enjoying the veil for a while I head DOWN yet another steep rooted climb to the sluice and final section of the Brasstown Falls...you can see the veil just at the top of this shot..the pool under the sluice is swim at your own risk..but its not deep--I can see a large log has been jammed in the sluice--

I know this is a long post....thank you for sticking to the end...this is such a special place I can barely do it justice...