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.
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.
or the rice chimney below
He was right. I took the photo below then decided that discretion was the better part of valor.
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.