swampy adventures & local kumquat I.D.

This unseasonably gorgeous weekend, Paul and I discovered the Francis Marion National Forest. We did the South Tibwin trail, about an hour from Charleston up 17 north. It’s not as photogenic as CawCaw County Park, but the walking sure is good. It’s a bird sanctuary, and there were bird-watching blinds in key areas along the trail–but we saw nary a critter–save one crow, one hawk, & one li’l ol’ measly regular tweety-type bird. Grassy marshlands abounded, but alas, no grassy marshland birds abounded. How odd. Perhaps they were all downtown at SouthEastern Wildlife Expo. DSC04875

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oooh, pretty!! I cannot resist old paint and rust in a split-complementary color scheme!

Hidden Ponds Nursery (HWY 17 North of Mt. Pleasant) is like a veritable amusement park for green-thumbed dorks. Consequently, I had a blast; it was like Disneyland. There were thematic elements…

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charming still lifes…

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amusing bits of spooky…

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and kumquats!

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And I purchased this handsome li’l specimen to add to my expanding family of flora.

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golden ingot ivy, pretty, eh?

There are other trails in the Francis Marion National Forest that we’d like to try in the future, hopefully they’ll be a bit more photogenic. I took more pictures on the way home than I did at the destination, once again proving that it’s the journey that matters. I’m still trying to find the ever-elusive perfect shot of a cypress swamp from just the right angle with the right light and perfect arrangement of brackish waters & cypress root-knees. I would also like to see some wildlife, but Paul crashes through the forest with the musicality of a buffalo, surely scaring the bejesus out of every nearby critter, including myself. The paleface tenderfoot runs strong in that one, for sure.

In summation, I guess the biggest takeaway of the day is that I now know what a kumquat looks like, and I could pick one out of a citrus line-up if I had to. So yay, education & stuff!

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