Thursday, January 18, 2018

A Brief Spell Staying in South Carolina


Red Surprise Lilies at Redcliffe Plantation 

Beech Island South Carolina Residence

Late August thru late October 2017

  Every so often Kenny's work takes him to some location where he will need to live for a 
period of time.  Factory shut downs  are a crane operators busy season.    It means for us packing up the Koog Mobile and taking our show on the road.   I go with him when I can.
Some locations are more appealing than others of course.    I started off not being thrilled with
the idea of this assignment and residence.   It was told to me Augusta, Georgia.  I didn't hate the idea, but once getting down there for a weekend with him to survey the scene I did not like 
one thing about Augusta Georgia.  It is big enough to be intimidating, but certainly not upscale or nice. They may have the Masters Golf Tournament,but that doesn't make it a good place.
I quickly concluded I had not lost anything in Augusta, Ga. My opinion remains the same.

        The address was technically Beech Island, South Carolina.   A couple of attempts solo
and with Kenny to learn to like Augusta and I was done with it. I decided it was time to forget
the Georgia side and focus on the South Carolina side.   I got to looking around and Beech Island itself is a quiet little place and very quaint.  I realized we were blessed to be near Silver Bluff Nature Preserve.   Just a few miles from us!  I got to exploring that area and found that while I did not like Augusta a 13 mile trip from the trailer would put me in Aiken, SC! 
I got busy learning what was around Aiken and quickly grew to love it.  It is a very nice area.
Much prettier and easier to navigate. Nearly all my trips to town from then on were to Aiken.
I only had to return to Augusta once more and that was to do laundry.   I had found a laundromat 4 or 5 miles away in North Augusta.  I could cope with that.   It was a run down area of town, but quiet and family friendly.
 Gardenia blooming at Redcliffe
 Main house at Redcliffe Plantation
Magnolia allee with some massive trees. 
  I had done some looking at the maps and researching the area prior to going there.
I saw that there is some hiking to be done in the vicinity of where we were staying.  I took along the sewing machine, the art supplies, books, games, hiking boots, camera.  Kenny got out and took a walk with me one evening. We drove over to Redcliffe Plantation. It is rather pretty.
It has a magnolia tree allee that I liked.  I am a lover of the south, but I am not a lover of plantation history.   It bothers me a lot.  My forebears wear not slave owners. Many of my kin were subject to the Jim Crow laws also Virginia's racial purity laws.   Two trips to a plantation.. first and last. 

       I tried visiting Boyd's Pond next.    It turned out to be easy and pretty.  It was hot down here for September.  95 to 98 degrees most days and humid.   I had been worried about snakes and alligators. I knew nothing of hiking in areas like this.    I never saw either one. The terrain was flat or barely undulating and easy hiking.  I covered a few miles in no time.  

Flat terrain at Boyd's Pond. It makes a loop around the pond.
One nice spot to sit and check out the view of the pond. It is more the size of a small lake.

Unobstructed view of the pond. 


 A boardwalk bridge takes you across the pond to close the loop.  Swampy area to either side.


View to my left going counter clockwise.  


View to my right . I saw lots of dragon flies and darners. I also saw lots of bladderworts.. carnivorous plants in the pond.  


The tiny yellow dots are the blooming parts of bladderwort plants.  These bloom in the pond behind my folks house in Virginia.  


One of my favorite vistas from around the pond.  


I enjoyed the exercise and the sunshine and fresh air.  I gained lots of confidence hiking in an unfamiliar area since I saw no dangerous creatures.  

  A few days later when it called for slightly cooler temperatures I went to visit Silver Bluff Audubon Preserve.   It was only a few miles from home.   I met Paul .. the guy who works there and is in charge.  A super nice fellow. I got to talk to him and ask questions as to dangerous animals?  He told me fire ants were my most dangerous creature.  He took me round the back of the building to show me a mound of them and make certain I knew what they looked like.  He told me long as I stayed on the trails I'd be fine.  I completed the loop trail there in short order.  It was only 3 miles or so and flat.   
 Headquarters for Silver Bluff
 Butterfly pea along the trail
 a pretty flat trail through a pine woods!
a
 American Beauty Berry blooming on the trail
 I loved this vista so much I painted a picture of it.
 Long leaf pine savannah.  I loved this!  Tons of goldenrod in bloom.
 Blazing Star

I pulled down the road on the return trip and stopped to hike round the stork ponds.  I only saw one other hiker all day and it was here at these ponds.  

Cardinal Climber vine


Stork in one of the ponds feeding. 


 Crane feeding in the pond
Butterfly in the garden near the headquarters building. 

   I had a good day of hiking and was able to get done in about half day. I got back home before it was super hot.   Home for lunch and some quiet time.    

   I enjoyed the change of pace.  It was just me and Kenny during these times.  We are happy together and don't worry about other junk.   We forget all else.    We went out to eat a time or two.   It was easy to shop for us and cook for us.   Easy to clean up after only two persons.  I also enjoyed the fact we had antenna t.v. only.   Lots of old shows like The Rifleman, Gunsmoke,  Rin Tin Tin, Laramie, all the old cowboy shows. Andy Griffith.  Clean stuff.   
We had a nice lady who was working with Kenny lend an entire bag of movies.  My favorite out of the bunch was Spy with Melissa McCarthy and Jason Statham.   I laughed so hard I was breathless.    Good memories with my sweetie.  

   I worked on my art. I sewed blankets for the prayer shawl/blanket ministry.  I prepared lessons for Team Kids for the Sundays it was my turn to teach.   I read good books like the new Dan Brown book Origin.  I also read a good book about Dreams and the Unexplained. It is about people who are made like me.   Fascinating.  I had no way of knowing during the time this was going on that my life would be changing in a matter of months.




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