My Montana

My Montana
My Montana

Saturday, April 12, 2014

My South Carolina Visit to a New Friend Part I: Kayaking on Edisto Island

While working at the Visitor Center at Okefenokee NWR one day, I had a few visits with a very friendly and knowledgeable lady who was interested in finding birds and flowers to photograph.  I advised her to go on the Sunset Tour to get the best chance of finding our big  birds and  pretty landscapes.  I was also planning on going on that tour - one of the perks is that we can join tours that aren't full - and the two of us met there again and  took over the front seats so we could easily photograph anything that came along.

We enjoyed sharing each other's finds and irritated the guide who wanted to not be interrupted by bird sightings while telling his stories, but we did find a lot of birds.  I remember the barred owl and several flights of sandhill cranes.  We also had a gorgeous sunset and a full moon rising so got lots of pictures.

I gave her my card and soon had a message in my inbox, inviting me to come visit her in South Carolina.  When we looked for mutual openings in our calenders, we only had one weekend that was free for the both of us.  That was this past weekend. To encourage me to come, she told me she had two kayaks and would take  me paddling,  to a wonderful birding place and for walks on the beach.

I got in to Edisto Island, SC, just in time to go with Laurel to see the beach along the Atlantic ocean.  The next morning we got up, and after a good breakfast, gathered up our paddling rear and started off.  She stores her kayaks at a kayak rental place on Bay Creek so we just hauled our paddles, life jackets, water, and snacks down to the dock. We had to go on a low or high tide and that meant we had to paddle early in the morning. We got to the dock just before sunrise and were on the water in time to receive the gift of a beautiful sunrise.

First View of Bay Creek. Can you find Laurel adjusting my foot pegs?

Laurel's picture of me enjoying the sunrise

My picture of Laurel enjoying the sunrise
 We  left around low tide and  paddled out towards the Atlantic. Soon we turned into Mud Creek.

The water there was so smooth that we enjoyed taking pictures of each other and our reflections, above the clouds.

Laurel between the clouds
The creek soon got much smaller as it wound though the marsh. .  The curves got tighter, and had more mudflats that held lots of birds. We  got to watch  a clapper rail taking a drink. The creek also had lots of oyster beds, which at low tide, were out of the water.

We saw lots of dunlin

And many greater Yellowlegs

Mud Creek View


Approaching one of many oyster beds and a tight turn
Closeup of oysters

Oysters backlit

Finally the creek was too narrow and shallow to go any further so we turned around and started back. After we came back out of the creek, we paddled around in Bay Creek near where there is an outlet to the Atlantic Ocean, and watched for dolphins.  Soon we were seeing two, then three or more. There was a mother and baby jumping in unison.  I was only able to get this much of one of them. 


As we came back into the developed area, we saw lots of birds sitting on piers taking their midday rest.

Laughing gull with wind-blown feathers. 

Brown pelicans have amazing blue eyes

I wasn't ready to come back but Laurel promised me a low country boil for lunch.  AND another adventure at Botany Bay.We stopped next door to the kayak rental company and got shrimp. I felt like a princess because Laurel didn't let me do anything.  (I often do the cooking when visiting friends.) She got the corn and potatoes cooking then added the sausage and shrimp.  The we feasted until we were stuffed.

I had a very good adventure with a lady who just got more and more fun and interesting as we discovered how much we have in common.  Thus ended our first morning together. But there was to be another adventure in the afternoon. Stay tuned.

On a personal note, I'm leaving on  Sunday, April 13, as this blog comes out. I'll visit Julie and meet her family, then visit my old friend, Hulin in Louisiana. Then its on to a round of parties, adventures, and doctor visits in Texas.  I'll be sharing a lot of these adventures with you and then you can follow me to Montana.  I expect to arrive up there May 7, if enough snow melts for my little Honda to make the last 50 miles.