A Blog about Finding Inspiration

"We have a wonderful world to be inspired by and each new day is like an adventure into the unknown, where things that require a second glance can be captured in time on a canvas for anyone to enjoy forever." (Louise Corke)

Monday, February 8, 2010

Yawkey Wildlife Center March 2 '10

Several Artists had told me about what incredible photo ops the Yawkey Wildlife Center  on Cat Island offered  for artists who wanted to get some reference photos of  primitive barrier islands around the Winyah Bay. I decided to follow through with a call to their visitor information center, and soon found myself on a guided tour .
Invited tour guests are asked to meet at a dock on the banks of the Intercoastal .  The wait provides an interesting place to all of the large ships traversing the waters in an out of the Georgetown Harbor.
  I hadn't realized there was that much large shipping on the Inter-coastal.Waterway.
Eventually a small boat arrived at the dock to taxi us across to the Island.
Once on Cat Island, we were introduced to our Tour Guide and 
loaded into vans.
The tour began immediately as our guide began to explain the various ecosystems and subsystems we were passing through..  Much of it was forested land, but there were also a lot of early colonial archeological sites along the way.
Like this grave-site  of the Hume family (above)
or the rice chimney below
I had hoped to get some really good photographs on this trip. The guide did not have a problem letting us out of the van, but warned us that even this early i the year, the insects were voracious.
He was right.  I took the photo below then decided that discretion was the better part of valor.
The remainder of my pictures were taken from the within the insect proof van.

 We drove down the dikes that separated the former rice fields while the guide explained  what life was like for slave and master alike on a rice plantation.

  He also explained how  dam projects on the Santee River had reduced the out flow of fresh water allowing more sea water to come in with the tides and salinating the soil so it was no longer arable for crops. Today the fields are seeded to help act as a sanctuary for migrating birds.
and the canals act as protected havens for some of the largest alligators in South Carolina.
Everywhere  we saw evidence of a healthy ecosystem where the nature had begun to reclaim the land and wildlife was flourishing

As a final stop we drove to the point on the island where we could look across Winyah Bay at the  Lighthouse on North Island.
I was disappointed that I hadn't been able to get better pictures, but I gain an immense appreciation for the place. I did take a lot of photos, and I am sure some of them will serve me well for jogging my memory of the place. should I wish to paint it.