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Edisto Part II, Hitting the Water

June 27, 2010

    

To describe our growing up in the lowcountry of South Carolina, I would have to take you to the marsh on a spring day, flush the great blue heron from its silent occupation, scatter marsh hens as we sink to our knees in mud, open you an oyster with a pocketknife and feed it to you from the shell and say, “There. That taste. That’s the taste of my childhood.” I would say, “Breathe deeply,” and you would breathe and remember that smell for the rest of your life, the bold, fecund aroma of the tidal marsh, exquisite and sensual, the smell of the South…….Pat Conroy   

   

    

Yesterday, I told you about alarming my seven-year old by getting naked in a public shower.  And peppered you with pictures of my kids.  Today, I want to share with you the best part of our day.    

We went on an Ecotour.  I found Meg on www.Tripadvisor.com .  Everyone recommended Meg from Botany Bay tours.  I emailed her and lined up a trip.      

  If you have the privilege of spending time in this part of the world, email me and I’ll send you her contact info.  She’s super.  She’s a biologist(really), environmentalist and historian all rolled into one.    

She picked us up at Edisto Marina in I guess a 19 or 20 foot Center console boat.  And off we went cruising along.    

 She gave us loads of interesting information about the area.  Nothing was scripted.  We just chatted about what we were seeing.  She pointed things out to my boys that really caught their interest.  And was happy to answer questions and elaborate on anything they were interested in.  

For instance, the manatee sightings in the area recently.  I didn’t even know we had manatee this far north.  But, Edisto Island and Kiawah both have recorded sightings, a shrimp boat captain was able to even get a photo.   Since the water isn’t clear here, it’s hard to see them.  They don’t roll like the dolphins, so you just see a little bit of their face when they come up for air.   

She showed us beautiful birds and told us a little about their histories and habits.  She shared an interesting story about how the Audubon society came to be.  A couple of ladies from Boston,who didn’t even have the right to vote yet, started hosting teas to stop the demise of the egret population and other birds that were being killed to use on women’s hats.  That was the beginning of the Audubon society.  Funny, Audubon was a man.  The women didn’t really get the credit.  But, they did good work and the egrets comeback is a success story.  We saw many on our trip.  If you’re interested in their story,  check this out.  It’s a great story!   

    

We saw bottle nosed dolphins.  And that’s always exciting.   

I left his arm in the picture so you could see how close we were to him

 

I can never get a really good picture of the dolphins.  I think because I’m just as interested in watching the kid’s reactions.   

   

   

   

A couple of dolphin sightings later, and Sam found his position. Best seat in the house!   

  

   

   

The boys each got a shot at driving the boat.   

   

They got to do a little swimming.  She found us a nice deep place and let them paddle around a little.   

   

Meg showed us the indian oyster mounds. 

  And the oyster beds that purify the waters.  She told us that if you put two tanks full of brackish water, one with oysters in it, one without, by the end of the day, the tank with the oysters would be clear.  I love oysters, not sure if they’ll in some way purify me, or if I’m eating what’s been purified.  Kinda like liver.    

She told us that the grasses here decompose and it’s the reason we don’t have the clear blue waters of the Caribbean.    

We learned that salt drew a big price for a time, and the creek water was pooled and allowed to evaporate. Salt was a big money-maker for the people in this area.   

   

There were two other people on our trip, a grandmother and her 12(almost 13) year old granddaughter.  Before Adam realized a “hot” girl was going to be on the boat, he drank a red Powerade.  He was then oddly mute, (and this child talks as much as his mother) fearful that he had red teeth.  

 This awareness of girls and self conciousness around them is brand spanking new.  Is this what middle school is bringing?  Yikes! 

 Notice how uncomfortable he looks in the above photo, mouth all pinched together and eyes pleading with me to put the camera down. For once, I did. My dad used to embarrass me to death.  I want us to stay friends, so I didn’t torment him. As tempting as it was!    

  

Sometimes, South Carolina can leave me a little flustered.  Our politicians are typically pretty embarrassing.  The stereotypes prove themselves true, all too often.  Our educators are slammed, even though they work so hard and are compared and judged in ways that I’m not sure are all together fair.   And we catch heck in the media over these things more often than I’d like.    

But, the beauty of the place makes me happy that I live here.  It’s a beautiful state with a lot going for it.  And days like these make me glad that I’m raising my boys here!   

Hope you’re enjoying your summer! It’s flying by!   

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11 Comments leave one →
  1. June 27, 2010 10:41 am

    I love your posts. They are infused with life and I always feel uplifted after reading!

  2. June 27, 2010 11:01 am

    I’m sure our politicians are far worse! BEAUTIFUL AREA! I need to remember this for next summer!

  3. June 27, 2010 11:09 am

    I have a houseful of company this week, but I had to pause and read your post.

    This is up there, girl, as one of my favorite posts of yours and your write some beauties.

    Every time I venture up to South Carolina, I fall in love all over again. It is just the essence of the south. You did your state justice with your words and your as always, gorgeous photos.

    And Pat Conroy, oh how I love him! He sings songs of the south, like no other. I think after reading that fabulous quote, I’m going to crack open some of my old Pat Conroys and just breathe him in.

    Lovely post. Just lovely.

  4. June 27, 2010 11:42 am

    LOVE the quote you opened with!

    Fantastic pictures…I take pictures of the kids in the boat too! Their feet, looking out at the water, their expressions – they are some of my favorite pictures.

    Beautiful area!

  5. June 27, 2010 2:38 pm

    That scenery is absolutely breathtaking! I would love nothing more than to take my kids on a boat ride like that. Though there are many things I love about the desert, we have nothing that looks as georgeous as that scenery. By the way, if you think your state gets a bad rap…have you seen Arizona in the news lately? Yikes!

  6. June 27, 2010 6:29 pm

    Oh my goodness. My hubby was up for a job in SC and did not get it. We were so sad, because we want to live here so badly…. Your photos are beautiful, and I am so thankful for your sharing. I always feel more at peace after visiting your blog. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

  7. June 28, 2010 9:39 am

    I am so ridiculously jealous of the summer you are having! I’m literally green with envy. And the pictures are beautiful! So far my summer has consisted of laundry and school. I just keep telling myself one more week, one more week. And then I’ll have more freedom, but sadly probably no more adventures. I may have to invent a few.

  8. June 28, 2010 10:05 pm

    Wow, beautiful pictures! I’m sure that will be such a great memory for you and your kiddos. 🙂

  9. June 29, 2010 1:48 am

    You do such amazing things with your kids LulaLola – you are an incredible mom!

    Now seriously, you have to go out and find some manitees! I really want to see one!

  10. June 29, 2010 4:13 pm

    Great photos! I love Edisto…we visited Hilton Head this summer, but so far Edisto Island is still my favorite beach in SC.

  11. Monica permalink
    June 30, 2010 4:52 pm

    Thanks for the teacher shout out! 🙂

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