South Carolina

 

Ok guys, it’s been a while but I’m excited to be able to share with you some of the adventures I’ve had over the past several months.  

So lets start with South Carolina!

On Memorial Day weekend, my brother Jasper and I flew to Charleston, South Carolina to visit our uncle Dave and aunt Jody.  It had been ages since we had gotten to spend any time with them, so we jumped at the opportunity to come stay for a week.   

Jasper was flying standby, and barely made the two flights on the way over.  I still don’t know how he made the flight from Atlanta to Charleston….  He was about 14 names down the list of passengers on standby, and when I boarded the plan we both figured he’d be coming in on a later flight and we’d have to figure all that out.  But as I’m getting myself situated in my seat, who should come waltzing down the isle but Mister Dimples himself!

I still can’t believe he made that flight... 

When we arrived in Charleston it was pouring rain.  Charleston was under a hurricane warning that eventually got downgraded to a tropical depression, but never the less the amount of liquid coming out of the sky for the first day of our stay was pretty impressive.  Uncle Dave had to move some stuff around in our itinerary to account for the rain, but we were able to go up north for half a day to do some hiking in the Santee Coastal Reserve.  

Here are some of the pics from that hike.  The thing that sticks out most in my mind is how bad the deer flies were.

Miserable...

Gator

Barn Swallows

Brown Water Snake

Jasper keeping track of all the birds...

Eastern Wood Peewee

For Day #2 Uncle Dave and Cousin Andrew treated us to some Bass fishing at a couple of their secret ponds.  It’s been a long time since Jasper and I did any Bass fishing, but you wouldn’t know it considering the day we had.  

We pulled up to the pond, and within a half hour Jasper must have already caught 10 Bream.  I caught a couple too, and then started getting into the Bass.  I had caught five or six decent sized Bass when suddenly I hooked one that I could tell right away could have eaten the others...

After a bit we got a little bored with fishing, so Jasper and I began walking the bank looking in the long grass for snakes.  One of the things we were most excited about for the trip was the opportunity to catch different species of snakes that we just don’t have out in Oregon.  Jasper and I were poking around in the reeds when suddenly Jasper exclaims “Snake!”  I come hurrying over and as I approach he hands me our modified snake hook (a garden hoe) and says “It’s one of the venomous ones you wanted!”  I took the hook and peered through the clumps of grass and sure enough there is a beautiful Cottonmouth coiled up under some overhanging shrubs, hoping we wouldn’t notice him.  I made a move at him with the snake hook and he darted into the long grass;  it was waist deep, but there was no way I was going to let a Cottonmouth get away from me that easy, so I darted in after it.  Somehow I managed to pin it’s head down, and after a few tense seconds I was able to grab him behind the head and lift him up out of the reeds.

My heart was pumping so fast...

Day 3 was another good snake day.  We went to Congaree National Park to walk the boardwalks that weave through the swamps.  On that hike alone we caught: a Black Rat snake,  a Brown Water snake, a Yellow Rat snake, and a Pine snake. 

Jasper with a Common Water Snake

Brown Water Snake 

Pine Snake

Five-Lined Skink

On Day 4 we spent the day at the coast.  We went to Kiawa in the morning where we got to see several life birds, as well as some bottle nosed dolphins.  Later in the afternoon we took a boat tour to fort Sumpter.

Uncle Dave getting the shot.

Skimmers

Massive Oak

Fort Sumpter shot on film.

#MERICA if you like that sort of thing...

Day 5 we spent the morning in a place called Bonneau Ferry.  On our first sojourn out of the car Jasper spotted the other venomous snake species I was hoping to catch,  a Copperhead.

Copperhead

We saw many more cool birds that morning, then went back to Charleston to pick up some shore birds.  We ate dinner down at the harbor and got to see a pretty epic sunset.

Here come the Pellicans

On our last full day of the trip we went up north again to Bideler and walked the boardwalk system they have there at the park.  We saw several snakes from the boardwalk including 3 brown water snakes sunning themselves right on the boardwalk.  

 The next day we said our goodbyes and jumped back on airplanes headed west.  This time Jasper wasn’t so lucky with his standbys and ended up coming in much later then I did on a different sequences of flights.  On the flight back I watched The Lives of Others for the first time, and it’s now one of my top 3 favorite movies.  Highly recommend it if you haven’t seen it.

Church Street. Shot on 35mm

Love accidental double exposures

Anyway, if you made it through this saga I hope you enjoyed it! Thanks for taking the time to read.

 

Much more to come!  

 

Nate