Me and Charle Towne Landing by Betty White 3/17/2013

17 Mar
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‘Twas another GREAT day in Charles Towne Landing this morning!

It is the Saturday before St. Patrick’s Day, and the Saturday before the first day of spring, and the Saturday for the Native American Plant Sale, and the Saturday for cannon firing, and the Saturday for Krispy Kreme doughnuts in the Visitor’s Center and delightful conversation with volunteer, Charles Williamon who knows almost everything about everything, and the Saturday that starts the spring wedding season!

There were several very busy volunteers in theVisitorCenter, and really a lot of visitors. I was amazed to see such a lot of little children today just having a great time. I so admire the mothers who bring their babies out and introduce them to this incredible part ofCharleston. Some really little ones were out today, being good and learning what is really good fun.

The weather was incredible with the temp starting out in the high 50s and reached the high 70s with a cloudless sky and brilliant sunshine. It was interesting to see how many visitors were dressed for 78 degrees while it was still 58 degrees. But my warm, snuggly jacket had to come off after an hour or so as well as the light gloves.

RAINBOW CHASIN’

I am passionate about rainbow chasin’ in Charles Towne Landing. It is a challenging and rewarding activity which could be called seasonal. Rainbows are visible on the two fountains in CTL when the sun is shining brightly and at 42 degrees in the sky which happens in the morning from about 8 am to 10 am and in the late afternoon after 3 pm. (I’ve not done any serious afternoon rainbow chasin’.) During the winter I delayed my walks until mid-day or later when it was warmer, so there was almost no rainbow chasin’ and especially during rain-filled February.

On Friday, March 8, before Daylight Savings Time resumed on Sunday, the sun rose brilliantly, so I drove over early to rainbow chase on the fountain in the lagoon behind the Legare Waring House.

(I call this #1 Fountain because it was the first one installed in February, 2010. So far as I know, rainbows were first noticed on this fountain in September of 2010 by one of the employees who immediately showed me, and I was hooked.)

On Friday, March 8, the fountain turned on at or about 8 am. The conditions were perfect between 8 am and 9 am. There was enough wind to blow water mist straight up from the center of the fountain, and the sun rays turned the mist all the colors of the rainbow. On this fountain, it looks like a huge bonfire in rainbow colors. I just love this fountain and the colors it produces. When conditions are right, it is incomparable.  Between 8 am and 9 am the color is moving slowly to the left and by 9 am the color is hidden by the Pampas Grass. I usually follow the edge of the lagoon around the Legare Waring Yard to get glimpses of color until around 10 am. This is never as satisfactory as watching from the dyke.

I did come back later that Friday and completed my 10,000 steps while enjoying theAnimalForestand the round-trip walk into the park from my home.

On Saturday, March 9, I walked to CTL early before starting to set my 25 clocks for Daylight Savings Time. My timing was off for the Legare-Waring House fountain, and the color was disappointing. I walked by the lagoon up to the fountain at theVisitorCenter. My timing was perfect for this fountain.

This is #2 Fountain because it was installed in February of 2011. This fountain shoots the water up high and is skinny. These rainbows are very different from #1 Fountain, but very beautiful and colorful. This one produces color on two sides. It forms a bow and looks more like the natural rainbows we see after a rain shower. Stand by the “Caution Alligator” Signs at this lagoon and one can usually see the rainbows easily.

This past week after we have daylight savings time, it was necessary to recheck the time, the light and chase them all over again. This morning the color on #2 Fountain at 10:15 am was awesome, from the south side and directly in front. I had to tear myself away after several moments and move on.

WILD VISITORS

Last week I noticed a pair of Canada Geese swimming on the lagoons near each of the fountains. One day they majestically floated past the fountain and swam up close to the Visitor Center, checked it out well, and moved back in the direction of the lagoon at Lagare Waring House. I watched them launch lumbering from the water like the huge Air Force cargo planes, turn and head easterly, honking loudly and horribly on their way. I have not seen them this week, but I’ve heard the

honking in the sky. I’m hoping they will decide to nest in the park. A pair nested in the park in 2010, and they were such fun to watch with all their little ones. The Park people probably don’t agree with me because they can be quite messy.

A group of woodstorks have been in the park for awhile. These are NOT majestic, beautiful creatures. But they are God’s critters as well. I wonder where they are waiting to go to.

Saw a small alligator this morning in the lagoon just outside the park on the in road. A lady commented that she thought it was a baby from the most recent breeding period.

The turtles have been interesting to watch this winter as they find the perfect sunshiny spots and seem to find the perfect time to get out of the water to enjoy the sun to the maximum.

The lagoons are just full of water and such a relief from the dry weather last fall. I’ve not seen any anhingas recently.

 

ANIMAL FOREST

Visiting the animal forest several times during the past ten days or so has been fun. A bear has been visible most days, and I think I can now tell which one isMemphisand which one isTupelo.Tupelowas interesting yesterday dealing with his special treat: half a coconut. What a challenge that was, and it had his full attention! I’m pretty sure he didn’t turn it loose until the shell had no more white stuff in it.

The pumas have been very visible too. Saw one play with a large ball very briefly last week. He/She was trying to chase it and bat it but in fell into the ditch too soon and he/she wasn’t interested in getting it out. These are really big cats showing capability for having a lot of power.

Saw two of the river otters playing in the water close to the glass. Their energy is just incredible. I wonder if the same one gives in every time.

The bobcats have been showing off and parading saying “Look at me”. I need to recheck these animals and be sure I still have the right names for them.

The new little male skunk has shown himself outside the log a few times. This skunk is a really beautiful creature. I wonder if I’d say that if he were NOT “deodorized”.

Elvis, the male white-tailed deer, has no antlers now.

. He did have quite an impressive set. I wonder what park personnel do with the antlers after he sheds them. Some visitors must have been guilty of feeding the deer because restraining barbed wire has been installed on each side of the habitat at the bridge to prevent visitors from getting close enough to the fence to feed them.

Last week I was shocked to see a calico cat back at the turkey habitat. She seemed to know where she was going. The next day I was back there and saw the cat again. She wanted to get friendly with me, and I was afraid she might be in distress. She jumped up on the board in front of me at the turkey/vulture viewing area, and I was able look at her tag which said “Zoo Cat”.  She followed me out of there and all the way to the bear enclosure. She went into the woods over in that area, and I haven’t seen her again. I told one of the employees at the front desk about it. There is probably an interesting story there.

I’ve said so many times that I’ve never had a bad day in Charles Towne Landing. There’s always the pleasure of seeing one of my many four-legged friends ready for his Beggin’ Strip, or a conversation with a shuttle driver, or meeting a new volunteer, or having a discussion with a Park employee or chatting with a delightful couple from Montreal, Canada, or another first-time visitor from far away, falling in love with Charleston.

I am so fortunate to have this privilege.

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