Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Winter Evening Walk in James Island County Park -- January 28, 2012

            My regular readers are well aware of my affinity for James Island County Park.  What I appreciate the most in this park are the trails through the woods and along the marsh edge.  The wooded landscape and views remind me of the areas that used to exist in my childhood neighborhood, also on James Island.  The expansive marsh and creek views still exist in the old neighborhood, but more and more of the wooded areas are being lost to home construction.   So the park, which is just a mile from my front door, provides me with a quick escape from suburbia, into my cure-all for everything -- Nature!  One of my favorite times to visit the park is late afternoon -- early evening post-Christmas season.   This is often the time that most other visitors are leaving the park and thus,  it is also a tranquil time when the deer may show to feed in the grassy areas!

           On Saturday, January 28, 2012, I hoped for deer, as I always do.  This afternoon, the deer remained reclusive.  I did however enjoy fabulous evening light for a short time for shooting this Great Blue Heron.

Great Blue Heron -- James Island County Park, Charleston, SC  -- January 28, 2012

Great Blue Heron -- James Island County Park, Charleston, SC -- January 28, 2012

              I went out to the fishing dock hoping for a nice sunset to contemplate.  With no clouds in the sky, the kind of sunset I wanted was not in the cards.  However, the lavender-colored sky reflected nicely in the still water.   I was drinking in the beauty and tranquility of the scene when a pair of bottle-nosed dolphin popped up!  What a wonderful moment!  I do not recall ever seeing them in this small creek before!

Bottle-Nosed Dolphin, James Island County Park, Charleston, SC -- January 28, 2012
            Like me, a Great Blue Heron hoped that they would commence their strand-feeding activity for which our local dolphin are known.  (The preceding link will take you to my good friend Judy Fairchild's Dewees Island Blog in which she describes the activity in detail with some of my pictures from Lighthouse Inlet Heritage Preserve on Folly Beach.)  Shorebirds, Gulls, and Wading Birds often hang out on the mud banks hoping to catch some of the fish that the dolphin push ashore.  The great bird rightly chose to follow the dolphin down the creek.  

Great Blue Heron following Bottle-Nosed Dolphin -- James Island County Park, Charleston, SC  -- January 28, 2012

Right at the bend, in the fading light, the dolphin rocketed themselves onto the mudbank at the heron's feet.  I cannot say that any of the critters were successful in catching a fish but I thoroughly enjoyed seeing it!   Finally, in the last little bit of light, I was able to shoot this delightful butt-bobbing Spotted Sandpiper.

Spotted Sandpiper -- James Island County Park, Charleston, SC -- January 28, 2012

Though the deer and the stunning sunset were not forthcoming this time, I could not have been happier with my evening foray into Nature.  Playful dolphin, birds who ignore me and go about their business,  beautiful light, the tranquility of a cool winter evening in the woods and along the marsh -- no, this visit into nature was perfection for me on this day!  

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