Tuesday, June 7, 2011

June's paddle - ACE Basin Wildlife Refuge

On Sunday my buddy Karen and I went down to the Edisto River and met up with the paddle group. It was a one way paddle, so we left our car one place and rode with new friends Chris and Casey (mother and daughter).

Karen has this "thing" about alligators. I've paddled with them enough to know that they leave us alone, but she would rather not think about them in the water.... BOTH of us are just super careful. I've heard about scary encounters where an alligator felt threatened and reacted, so I'm always on the lookout. Thankfully we didn't see any on this paddle.

Above is the land belonging to the gorgeous house right by the boat landing. We were paddling around the water waiting for everyone to get in and trying not to block other boaters. Below is the Edisto River that we started on, which is very wide and NOT shaded at all. It was an easy paddle as we went with the current. I started off at the front paddling with a couple ladies I met who are also involved with scouts, and Karen was WAAAAYYY back there with Chris and Casey somewhere- oops, guess I wasn't a very good buddy. ;-)

My favorite thing about the paddles, besides the new friends, is all of the wildlife you get to experience. Above are spider lillies which are becoming endangered in a few places in our state. Here in the midlands they are starting to map where they are so folks can watch what they are doing around them. Below is pickeral weed which has a lovely purple spire and grows ALL OVER the lowcountry banks.

About 4 miles in we turned on to Penny Creek and the water became narrower and a little more shaded- I actually prefer these types of side places because there is so much more to see.... if you look. One thing I'm beginning to notice is how people really don't see what is around them, so I'm constantly on the lookout. In this oak (above) for instance, the first thing you notice is more spanish moss, but if you look closer you can see a couple nests. These nests (below) held a momma night heron and her babies. You could hear her chirping at them to be quiet. There were several nests in the same tree. Sadly, these pics look a lot clearer on facebook instead of blogger.

Dragonflies and grasshoppers of various colors were everywhere. This one kept landing on my pfd once I was out of my kayak so I managed a pretty good shot.

I LOVE all of the colors of the kayaks -next time I'll make sure the paddles and bags are out of the way.

About 10 minutes behind me was Karen. After loading all of the kayaks we drove back to the first landing for our car and then stopped by this plantation (Prospect Hill) to take pictures of the gorgeous Oak Allee. These old places are such a staple of the old south, and an absolute reminder of that time period. They are in secluded places and generally WAY off the beaten path. I don't know anything about this house except that it was built in 1848.

A lovely little paddle, fairly easy, and not too hot. 6 miles or so total from the Edisto (Willtown landing) to Penny Creek landing.

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