Charles Towne Sepia Scenes

Visit Sepia Scenes, a great blog meme for the ‘Sepia Inclined’!

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!

Hunting Island State Park

Took another trip down to this state park (Official Site), about a 2 hour drive from Charleston, to see what it was like in the summer months.

The marsh grass, Spartina, was much greener than before, but we didn’t see any alligators about like we thought we would around the park.

 

While the Spartina grass is native here, it has been introduced in California and is unfortunately doing too well for the natives’ own good.

On the opposite side of the island from the marsh you will find the beach. It stretches for four miles, with the northern half being covered in snags claimed by the sea and erosion.

We did see a few more wild creatures than the time before. The fiddler crabs were more colorful, almost resembling bird droppings, and as territorial as ever. The little fellow in the photo below spent a lot of energy trying to get the attention of the larger crab in order to spar.

 

Here are a couple other animals spotted around the park, including a Red-bellied woodpecker, a barrier island subspecies of raccoon [though I don’t think the white mask indicates that], an over-heated grackle, and a cute chickadee.

I’m sure if you spent some time, and not just a couple hours, on Hunting Island, you’d see quite the list of creatures! While the island is busy, there are many little quiet spots tucked away for both wildlife and crowd-shy visitors.

As for the lighthouse, they currently charge $2 to climb the 150+ stairs [you have to be over a certain height–not small kid-friendly]. The view was beautiful, though the day cloudy and a little drizzly, so not any great photos from the top. The staircase is nicely detailed and there are signs to read as you climb.  This is the only lighthouse open to the public in South Carolina.

Lighthouse grounds

View from a Lighthouse Window

We went to the Pier to watch the fishermen, but there was more crabbing going on, and anyone with a line in the water was losing their bait to the crabs. Attached to the Pier is the Nature Center–definitely worth the visit!