Charles Towne Sepia Scenes

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Paid a visit to Charles Town Landing State Historic Site the last time we had days off. I was very impressed with their elegantly modern and informative visitor center. The exhibits took you through life as one who arrived and subsequently settled Charles Towne for brevity that they were there; they moved to the present-day location of Charleston a few years later.

I was especially taken by the fancy wood panelling–you don’t often see that in interpretive exhibits–and it beautifully contrasted the very modern lobby from which you enter.

Directly outside the entrance were some intriguing hibiscus. As you entered the visitor center and to the left was a panel with the flower featured–apparently it’s the subject of many questions! While they labeled it the Star Hibiscus, it also goes by the common name of Scarlet Hibiscus (Hibiscus coccineus).

There were not many animals visible in the zoo, the majority were probably hiding from the heat, but there was an aviary full of rehabilitated but unreleasable birds. There is a boardwalk within the enclosure that allows you to get a bit closer.

We also found a little bit of wildlife, although, these fellows were extremely habituated. When you walk to the edge of the pond on the property [do be aware that there are alligators!], a dozen turtles will greet you and beg…hopefully they are being fed something ‘turtle-healthy’ and not cheetos!

Sunflower Sepia Scenes

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Sunflowers are native to North and Central America, domesticated maybe 4,000 years ago, commercialized in Russia, come as annuals and perennials, and range from a couple inches to around a dozen feet. The giant flower is actually many flowerettes comprising a ‘head’ or ‘ composite flower’.  Amazing flowers!!

Sources: Wikipedia Sunflowers, National Sunflower Association

Sepia in the Smokies

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We drove past the Smokies this past week on our way home. Didn’t have time to stop much, but I thought we could make it into the Cataloochie Valley to see the Elk. Couldn’t remember the road, so we stopped at a little picnic area instead and walked by the powerplant and Pigeon River. Lovely place to stretch out the interstate stiffness!

Sepia Scenes!

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This is a little piece of Spanish moss, the beard-like plant that grows off trees in the southeastern United States. 

The plant, despite the name, is not a moss and closely related to the pineapple.  It is said that the plant does no harm to its host tree, although the sheer amount of Spanish moss that can accumulate onto one tree is astonishing and should certainly have some impact on leaf density and available sunlight to lower branches.  It is neither soft nor hard, but grabbing a large clump and rubbing it on your face isn’t recommended…chiggers occasionally inhabit the ‘moss’.

This plant propagates through a few means. Fragmentation of established plants spreads small pieces to other trees and limbs.  The plant also produces a small flower whose seeds are wind-dispersed. Like other bromeliads [air plants], Spanish moss has no true root system and does not need soil to survive. Instead, the plant extracts nutrients from the air and through its host plant [through material shed from the host]. Spanish moss prefers to grow on oaks, but can be found on other swamp loving trees, like Cypress and Tupelo.

Check out Spanish Moss and Ball Moss from the University of Florida