Me and Charles Towne Landing by Betty P. White – 8/31/2012

2 Sep
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My 10,000 steps in Charles Towne Landing this morning, as always, provided me with time to think, to meditate, to marvel at the beauty of this wet, low-country treasure and to move and to give my body all the advantages of brisk exercise.

The rain has moved on and left the lagoons full of green water and a couple of them noisily draining thru the overflow pipes, plus high tide made the place an unusually water-filled oasis this morning.

There are ALWAYS wonderful surprises and unexpected events happening while there. Pan, my favorite 4-legged friend, suddenly appeared and eagerly accepted the usual gift from me (with the permission of his master): a bacon-flavored Beggin’ Strip. Pan is a large apricot poodle and is always perfectly behaved. I had not seen him in a few weeks.

While approaching the lagoon by the Legare-Waring House, I really got excited because I thought I heard the #1 fountain running. This fountain has been removed for repairs and has been gone now for many weeks. The sun was out, and I thought I could finally rainbow chase again at this fountain. But, I was hearing something that wasn’t there. The fountain was still gone. I told me, “OK, I’ll go up to #2 fountain in the Visitor Center Lagoon and rainbow chase there.” Rainbow chasing has been pretty disappointing for a few weeks.  My consolation prize, tho’, was sighting a Great Blue Heron perched by the lagoon and watched his flight, close up.

When did the rains return? I mean before the floods came this week. Within the last ten days or so I began noticing the resurrection of the Resurrection fern (Pleopeltis polypodioides). This fern is an epiphyte, or air plant, grows on the limbs of the huge live oaks in CTL, and looked dead during the drought. But it has revived beautifully. Earlier this week I found a tree with some of the fern growing down on the trunk so I could get a close-up look. It is a beautiful green fern and fascinating, per Wikipedia’s article.

In August, 2011, I took advantage of John Hiatt’s (Education/Interpreter) special Sunday afternoon FERGY tour, and he took us into the wedding garden and showed us the Resurrection Fern and told us about it on our walk down to the Legare- Waring House. Most of this fern grows so high up in the trees it is hard to get close enough to really see it.  I’ve been walking almost daily in CTL since May, 2010. And I finally really saw Resurrection Fern, because I could get very close and touch it. I’ve watched it intermittently on Maggy the Skunk’s log. Apparently it doesn’t have to grow on a living tree.

After a pleasant walk down to Albemarle Point and by the ship, I made my way along the lagoon from the Legare-Waring House up to theVisitorCenterto chase rainbows on the #2 fountain. Shock! Shock!  This fountain was there, but it wasn’t on. This fountain comes on at 8 am; my pedometer said it was 8:45 am. I immediately knew the reason: A community-wide power failure happened Wednesday night from about 8:15 pm to 9 pm. The clock which turns on the fountain had not been reset. While all this whirled around in my head, the fountain came on. And, because there was no wind to blow the water around from the fountain, there WAS a rainbow, but very anemic and really not good conditions for chasing rainbows today.   I went into theVisitorCenterand talked with Jason Sellers, the Assistant Park Manager, and the very nice new ranger named Matt. Jason will have the clock set properly. And he is expecting his firstchild – a girl around the first of October – absolutely the very best month to be born in.

It has been a long time since I’ve seen Maggie the Skunk awake, and this morning seemed like the perfect time for a visit. I asked Jason if he could check on whether I could get there in time to watch them pull her out of her log and feed her, etc. She is nocturnal, and returns to the inside of her log immediately upon eating and stays there during the day.   Matt told me that she is not doing well; she has pneumonia, and they moved her to a special care area while she recovers. So I wish Maggie a very speedy recovery.

I checked to see if a large alligator that was hanging out in the lagoon behind theVisitorCenteryesterday was back. He/she wasn’t. That was the first time I’ve seen an alligator in several weeks. I was wondering where they were.

Of course, the approximately two hours that I am there during the morning is only a fragment of time there.  My fragment of time there has never disappointed.

Posted by: Category: Betty's Insight

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