Greetings and welcome. Here are my thoughts and ramblings about my life as a writer, photographer, and artist. Life isn't all sunshine and flowers. I weave my way through as much heartache as joy to discover wondrous hidden treasures bubbling my soul. I cover numerous topics bouncing from one to another like a butterfly going from flower to flower. These explorations are fascinating. I hope you enjoy and find inspiration of your own. Namarie.
Wednesday, January 28, 2015
Travels with Sasha Day 8
hotel is left at 9:30 a.m. for the day’s adventure at Magnolia Gardens and
Plantation. This plantation is known for having the first public gardens in the
U.S. The day is overcast with the temperature at 42 degrees. The wind makes it
feel much colder.
is purchased at a Kangaroo station at $1.89 gallon and Rte. 61 continues on
towards Summerville. The busyness, businesses, and stores eventually give way
to a more rural section and the highway narrows to two lanes (my kind of
driving). The trip from the hotel is only half an hour.
was my favorite place from the 2013 trip. That time was cold, too, but the wind
this time has me donning heavy winter coat and gloves. I don’t want to do every
tour again and choose the general admission, tram ride, and swamp walk. The
tram isn’t until 11, so I wander through the petting zoo until a deer tries to
eat the feathers on my walking stick. “Hey, let go!” It is cool to actually pat
a deer and have her not be afraid.
sit in the front seat of the tram. There’d been a sign stating that people with
bad backs shouldn’t ride the tram, but I am willing to risk it. Patrick, the
driver, gives me a blanket and it is definitely needed. Any attempts at note
taking are a lost cause. I do find out my favorite flower, camellia, is
pronounced with a long e and is actually called camellia japonica (also known
as the rose of winter). Patrick explains it blooms November to April. Blossoms
drop when there’s a frost and new buds will bloom. Unfortunately, there was a
frost last week and most the flowers had dropped. I am very disappointed. I was looking forward to seeing these beautiful flowers.
drive some of the old dikes between what had been rice fields. Duck weed fills
the pond each summer attracting thousands of birds migrating for the winter.
There are a few full-timers here. In a few months, the birds eat most of the
duck weed. Coots, rails, teal, ducks, Canada geese, and more have easy pickings…
when the alligators are dormant and don’t pick them off.
two alligators are seen because it’s an overcast, cold day. Patrick says they
mostly hibernate these winter months, though a few will put in an appearance on
warm, sunny days. He points out troughs where the ‘gators have moved from one
pond to another or from the Ashley River to a pond. We see great blue herons
nesting in trees and I also take photos of white ones.
head out on the trails after the tram ride. I love the little bridges that
cross wet areas and ponds. A path along the river is followed. There are
daffodils in bloom and pansies have been planted. I miss the camellia. The
river is beautiful with huge live oaks bending over the water with long strands
of Spanish moss drooping from the branches.
boat ride area is at a crossroads. There are no boat rides in the winter, but
the trail looks interesting. A great heron is near the shore and as I’m taking
pictures of it, two women coming from the other direction are taking photos of
a great blue heron. We stop and chat. They are both transplants from the north
and love living in South Carolina. They have a membership here and come once a
week to walk. Wow, I’d do that!
tell me the trail past the boats is a long way around – a very long way. I
decide not to go in that direction and continue on the previous path. I take lots
pictures and cross other bridges. The paths wind in and around and along the
river, ponds, and various gardens. It’s easy to get turned around.
my back goes into spasm. Owww! What’s with that? And it’s not the side that I
pulled the other day. Nor did I make any odd movement. I am just walking. I
push on and my back periodically does one of those spasms. An observation tower
is reached, but I am hurting too bad to even think about climbing all those
stairs. I turn back taking another path and by the time I reach the bamboo
garden, it hurts to even walk. I pass many benches pushing myself forward.
make it back to the ticket booth. There is no way I can do the swamp walk. I
have been here four hours. The attendant says I can come back tomorrow to do
the swamp walk and I head back to Charleston. The sun had come out and it is
61 is followed back to the city. I took Rte. 61 to Magnolia and figure it would
be a straight return. However, when Rte. 171 veers to the left and I stay on
61, I see a sign that says 17N and as 61 goes up and over, I see the hotel off
to the left. Uh oh, the directions didn’t say to take 171 on the way back, so
when I get to the next set of lights, I pull in to change directions. The
bridge is re-crossed, but there’s no access to 17N. Crap, a little further to a
set of lights to pull in and turn back around. Hey, this turn comes out on 17
at a set of lights so a left can be taken.
back at the hotel within a few minutes. I hurt, can hardly walk, and am not
feeling so well. I hobble inside and take the elevator to the room. There’s not
water in the taps. The front desk said there’s a plumbing problem and would be
fixed in a couple hours. After a short rest and work on the laptop, it’s time
for happy hour and I head for the lounge for more comfy chairs, gorgeous views,
and a mai tai which doesn’t need water to make.
I have the chicken parmesan with string beans and linguini. I’m stuffed and can’t
eat any more half way through. What a waste. I’m sorry.
can’t wait until morning to import the photos and see how they came out! Some day I want to visit Charleston and the plantations in the spring when more flowers are in bloom. They say March and April are good months... but with the choice between getting out of snowy, cold New Hampshire or waiting until spring is coming...