Monday, February 26, 2018

Now you see it Now you don't


I've been hit with spring fever! The daffodils bloomed and some are still coming out, so far no new frosts to kill stuff...I have not had to split firewood, and that is nice.  I've had the windows open been having breakfast on the porch then going out to the "slab" with my dinner...(the slab is my new outdoor space on the cement slab where the old shed used to be) 
Today I tried to detail it, sweep out the leaves piled up around the flower pots etc. with the leaf blower. I seem to have no control over those things! The leaves circle around and land behind me..

Last week when I went down to the "low country" to see the Long tailed Duck, I stopped at a couple other spots along the way back home...I figured I'd make a whole day of it...After the success of the duck I took off from the residential area where that duck was hanging out and made a bee line to Givhan's Ferry State Park. The Edisto River is the big draw there...it is the longest free flowing blackwater river in North America! I have always wanted to Kayak from Collerton State Park down to Givhan's ferry...it's a 23 mile paddle....I haven't even been able to buy a kayak yet...so damn! But it's not off my list, it's just You gotta have someone drop you off or have a car sitting at the end..WAWA... let me stop moaning.  

Givhan's Ferry has a Florida feel with all the saw palmetto trees along the river's edge. 



It was built by the CCC 988 acres of flood plain...there are some remarkable views but the trees make it hard to get a good vantage point...I love trees, I love views so I'm torn in both directions.   

 
Riverfront Hall...

There's 25 campsites with hook ups, and tent sites, and cabin rentals too...there's 2 hiking trails...I did my walk along the river's edge.




Of course you can find birds everywhere you go...I ran into a lot of back-lit birds on this walk...this Carolina Wren came down to rattle at me...



And I spotted this eastern phoebe scanning the water for gnats and bugs...





I would really enjoy camping here once I get that kayak so I can enjoy some of those views...

My next stop was at Santee NWR.  I hiked the Wright's Bluff Nature Trail...another place that really needs to work on access...the trail is so overgrown you can't even see the water...only one boardwalk brings you to the water and this one is overgrown with reeds...


 

I could hear tons of geese, ducks, and swans, but I could not see them...


I did see an Osprey hovering...

 

I picked out a Yellow Throated Warbler up in the canopy...


And a Palm Warbler....

 

On the way out on the highway bridge I caught a glimpse of the waterfowl...

 

I'm thinking Tundra Swans about 30 of them...shovelers, wigeons, gadwalls and others that were just too far away, a nice boardwalk along this stretch of shoreline, just 100 ft would be awesome wouldn't have to cut any trees, it could be put right alongside the water's edge...because this is the most protected area,,,,a narrow leg out of the main body of water where the waterfowl concentrate.  I should have put this in their comment box, but I feel it would be a waste of time...surely they know?  Access is the biggest challenge to Eastern birding.  

This is the current view of this  section...the edge is muddy, and the view is obscured by tangles and scrub trees...I know it would be expensive but I'm sure volunteers would help build it. See the swans out there this would have been a much better vantage point to view the waterfowl.  If people can't see anything they soon stop coming, then what???


I am not saying get a bull dozer in there I'm saying ecologically minded and sound access is important to protection of species and habitat.  So on the way home I saw this really cool mural of Francis Marion, The Swamp Fox..It really shows all the awesomeness of the low country the Black Bear, the Red Fox, the humans on horseback the Cypress Trees and their knees... the Spanish Moss, the Great Egret.. and look really close on the right side just above center....



and then look carefully on that right side....

a Carolina Parakeet...extinct since 1918.
a crop of the image

The cutting of old growth forest is given as the most likely cause of the demise of this bird that used to live as far west as Colorado, as far north as Wisconsin...what a gorgeous bird it was...Our Ancestors....what were they thinking?? Maybe if they had  known about this bird they would have thought twice about how it could have continued to live alongside them.


I'm falling behind on posting so I will catch up this week..

PEACE
Every day is a new Adventure.

15 comments:

  1. Hello, looks like a great outing and place for birding. Are there any gators there? The daffies are pretty. Great sightings of the warblers, wren and Osprey. You are far ahead of us, weather wise. It is still winter here in Maryland. The mural is beautiful. I hope you have a great day and a happy new week ahead!

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    1. Hi Eileen! Gators are always possible...they def live in Santee, and I didn't see any warning signs at Givhan's but they are pretty much everywhere in the low country.

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  2. I am with you, I love views and I love trees, but if I have to make a choice the trees will win every time. As for the Carolina Parakeet, habitat loss was certainly a factor, but I think it’s fate was sealed by farmers ruthlessly shooting it as it invaded their crop fields. It is hard to contemplate how we have modified and degraded the natural order of things. Recently I was able to hold in my hand skins of Ivory-billed Woodpecker, Carolina Parakeet, Passenger Pigeon and Eskimo Curlew. We exterminated them all. All I lacked was a bison skull!

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    1. Hi Daviid, exactly the trees must stay but with proper planning a little photo blind or boardwalk would do no harm...Oh the Ivory Billed is another species gone extinct that lived here in my area. I always have hope!

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  3. Your daffodils are so pretty. What a great place but yes you should have left a suggestion about the board walk idea. The pictures are wonderful but oh the Carolina wren, Eastern Phoebe and the Osprey are just gorgeous. Great mural and yes I spotted the parakeet.
    I got a great camera strap from my daughter need to get a picture to add to the blog.

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    1. Thank you Jo...my new favorite daffodil is Tete'a'Tete. They are a smaller flower but multiple flowers out of one bulb, and they come up first, and the stems are strong they don't fall over! They stay only about a week, but they sure add that first burst of color. I just read about your strap...mine cuts into my neck, and pulls my hair!! OUCH

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    2. Yes that's how my strap was too. I think this one was only about $10 or so dollars from Amazon

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  4. Sometimes people need a nudge, a suggestion from you about the boardwalk might help :)

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    1. Yes and later I thought Photo Blind, even cheaper and easier to build...I saw a really good one built from old Wood Pallets! A scout troop could do that.

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  5. Its always good to see the flowers. Changes in farming practices and the use of pesticides have been to blame for the reduction in population of some species here.
    Another great place to visit.

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    1. Hi Dave, yes our modern day species are up against the Capitalists and I'm afraid right now they are losing. We really must get the "right" to care and understand what is at stake.

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  6. That landscape (the real one and the mural) all really look familiar -- I love that part of Florida. It is too bad (or would be from our standpoint) that the boardwalks aren't better maintained. (But then again, the state they are in keeps wimps and amateurs like us from getting in the way of real pros like you -- so maybe that's what your State has in mind ???) Anyway, beautiful scenery and fabulous birds... what could be better? (Also I love your two outdoor eating spaces. I assume you're gonna' leave that slab ... I love the idea of having a picnic area away from the house.

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    1. Hi Sally SC and FL are not that much different. I want to do another Florida trip who knows what Winter holds I know staying home is expensive, my heating bills were way too high...so I figure FL or AZ is the place to be in winter!

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    2. I've heard a lot of people here in our Rv campground/resort say that it is less expensive to live here in the winter than it would be to stay home -- and that's talking about with the rent they charge here. If you do decide on Fl (and I bet AZ is the same) you may want to check out the State Parks before the season starts to see if they take reservations. It gets really hectic and busy from January through March.

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    3. Our local tv station recently did a report on the electric rates in SC they are the highest in the nation! Way above national average,,,,and in winter seems the double the rate! I would like stay in Dec, Jan and to mid Feb. Thanks for the tip on the State Parks.

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