Today I posted my first Newsletter in two weeks.  I’ve been traveling!

First to Severna Park, Maryland, where we celebrated my son Tom’s Thanksgiving Day birthday, mostly outside.  Although we all were fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and boosted, it seemed the prudent thing to do since several of us had traveled from distant locations.

Friday we visited granddaughter Lauren and boy friend Aren’s apartment in the College Park area north of Baltimore.  The kids are both recent college grads working at first jobs in their fields of study.  They work from home and neither has met their colleagues in person.  Lauren is on the left and Aren on the right in the shadowed picture.  The photo on the left is of Lake Artemisia and the viewing areas and hiking trails just a stone’s throw from their apartment. The day was very windy and cold!  The photo of the Wood Turtle posted in my newsletter today was taken as he crossed this trail.

Sunday I checked into this beach front condo on Isle of Palms.  My unit is on the second floor, the second on the left where the two blue chairs are on the deck.  The sunrise photo was taken on Monday at about 7:15 AM.

These four photos were all taken on Wednesday’s Bulls Island adventure.  In the first my daughter is slurping a very fresh oyster harvested on the spot by our tour guide Chris Crowley.  On the right we are relaxing with lunch on Bulls Island’s Bone Yard of dead Live Oak Trees.  The Brown Pelican is a mature breeding male scouting about in Bulls Bay.  Finally here is one of over a dozen alligators we found lounging in the sun on the island.  Where was I at this moment?  Sitting high above on a trailer waiting for the big guy to run for cover in the bay.. incidentally Chris told us that alligators can run at a speed of 35 mph when challenged!

Bulls Island is a privately owned Category 1 protected nature reserve.  That means that no one lives there and there are no roads or development.

Sunday afternoon Nan drove us northward and west toward the undeveloped side of the Cooper River.  This glorious place is within the Mepkin  Monastery  Gardens.  The place was so peaceful that we took time to just lie down in the grass and gaze at the sky through the moss covered branches of dormant Live Oak trees.  All for free!

Click on the “Essay” item on the Menu in this website to learn more about Coastal Conservation League and the Nature Conservancy’s work in making these and other pristine natural areas open and free for the general public’s enjoyment.

Thank you for visiting