Spring moment

The island was full of spring: new growth, pine pollen gushing off the trees in clouds, banks of jessamine brightening the forest roads. For a brief island visit, one moment trumped all: a crack off in the forest wetland, a splash and lively swim by a suspected alligator, rushing along with head held above the duck weed covered water. But alligators don’t climb trees, and the black body was of a fox-tail squirrel. That was not a comfortable environment for the large squirrel, probably climbing on a branch that broke under its weight, and tumbling into the cold waters populated by numerous alligators. It was a drama observed in the company of a couple and their three children – we shared the moment’s excitement.

Highlights

I requested a brief report from my friend Will Christenson on his two day bird survey with David McLean and Kathy Greider on Bull Island. It just so happened that their planned survey of the island coincided with the coldest weather of this winter – an Arctic blast that had lows in the teens and highs in the low thirties. (I described their survey as “valiant” – he used the word “idiot”). I was interested in highlights Continue reading

Fortune

All elements had marched together toward this Saturday morning. Outgoing tide low at 11, NE wind 10 knots, and the day warming up to sixty degrees. After a week of days not getting much warmer than the low forties, and an absence of sun until Friday, this day boded well. Despite the cold start still below forty, I arrived at the landing sometime after 7, looking to latch Continue reading

A fine reversal

Sunrise, a light but steady northwest wind, a falling tide pulling the waters out of the marshes toward Bulls Bay and the Atlantic. These were the signs on my early morning run to the landing, all pointing toward a passage out to Bull Island. Kingfisher was launched and we were sailing at 7:45 to Andersonville Creek and Bulls Bay. The NW wind allowed Continue reading

Receiving far more

 

Loaded on Caretta, our group of twenty-seven hardy souls began our cruise south toward the drop on the southern tip of Bull Island. It was a cooler morning than some of our group anticipated. We gave a cold morning benchmark that our captain Chris Crolley and participant Gary Weart had experienced on the pre-dawn boat ride Continue reading

A matter of time

Strong northeast winds energized the sail out to Bull Island following a late start after noon. The following days would find a turn of the winds to the southwest and southern warmth flowing into the Lowcountry. This day was found to be windier, colder, and wetter than anticipated. Once in the Bay, headed to the Northeast Point, I found myself in a thrash Continue reading