sprouting vibrant pink blossoms lining the entrance ways to historic plantations. Live oak trees arching over the roadways dangling Spanish Moss from the branches and spring green lawns carpeting the acres of each estate. This was what I was planning to photograph. Landscapes full of pink Azalea bushes, manicured lawns spilling into ponds with white bridges arching over the water. It did not happen. The azaleas blooms were long gone. Yes, the Live Oak trees were there and the perfectly manicured lawns were bright green but without the azaleas in bloom, it was just not the same. The landscape was…just green.
What I did find was a lot of wildlife. The place was teaming with nesting herons, mating egrets, sleepy owls, sassy swans and lots and lots of alligators. One early morning as I was taking in the sunrise over the Ashley River, an armada of alligators were swimming up the waterway headed for one of the many small islands and inlets in the river. Several would leave the group as a spot seemed right. Many continued into the channels leading to the Magnolia Plantation. During my visit to the Plantation, all day I spotted alligators sunbathing, swimming, watching the tourists and even eyeing barking dogs. As I was hiking to a heron nesting area, I stopped to rest putting my backpack and tripod on the walkway next to a pond. As I stood up, I noticed a gator maybe ten feet away just watching me. Way too close!
I took several side trips around the greater Charleston area. One place outside of town is where I photographed the black and white images of trees in the lake. This was a very special place and I particularly like these images. I have several shots of reflections of the landscape around the plantation. I think these are a different way to present the landscape. I never got to the historic downtown Charleston. I just ran out of time. Maybe next year I will go again for azaleas in bloom and historic Charleston.
Enjoy the photos.