3x5 Challenge

Within the art community, the latest craze on Facebook is the 3x5 Challenge.  After being nominated, an artist shares three photographs/works of art for five days.  Last week, my friend, Kamran, named me in the challenge.  (Check out his art!  He's amazing!)

Here are the 15 images I shared over the week:

DAY ONE:

Read about the ice storm and see more photos here.

DAY TWO:

L to R: Seabrook, SC / Bohicket Marina, Johns Island, SC / Looking at Johns Island from Wadmalaw Island, SC

DAY THREE:

Angel Oak, Johns Island, SC / Ice House, Botany Bay, Edisto Island, SC / Charlestowne Landing, Charleston, SC

DAY FOUR:

Johns Island, SC / Hampton Plantation, McClellanville, SC / Bulow Landing, Ravenel, SC

DAY FIVE:

Live Oak with infrared filter, Charlestowne Landing, SC / Dixie Plantation, Hollywood, SC / Pisgah Forest, Brevard, NC

I loved this challenge!  It forced me to share a lot of personal images in a short amount of time.  Thankfully, they were met with a warm reception and positive feedback.  I am grateful to all of the supportive people in my life.  Mahalo nui loa. :)

Botany Bay: The Land

(Follow up to Botany Bay: The Beach)

Inland from the water, a driving trail leads visitors in a loop around the woodlands.  The first stop on the map is the 1840s Bleak Hall Ice House.  Botany Bay is the result of a 1930s merger between a Colonial-era plantation, Sea Cloud, and a late 18th century plantation, Bleak Hall.  Though many original structures have not survived, the Ice House remains a well preserved example of the Gothic Revival architecture used throughout the latter estate.  

 

The Gothic-style Botany Bay Ice House with gingerbread detailing.  Click to see full screen.

 

When you step inside the building, you notice a basement where the ice was kept.  The walls are constructed of tabby (see image below) to keep the space cool and sturdy.  During the 1800s, southern ships headed north to collect large ice blocks.  They were insulated with sawdust on the journey to the Carolinas.  Upon arrival at the plantation, the blocks were placed in the cool cellar of the ice house and, again, insulated.   

(Fun Fact: According to SCIWAY, "Legend suggests Sea Cloud received its name through the marriage of a member of the Seabrook family to a member of the McLeod Family.") 

The Botany Bay Ice House.  Click to see image full-screen.

Tabby construction was a combination of oyster shells, lime, sand, and water.  Seen here is a wall from an original structure thought to have been used as a barn.

Tabby construction was a combination of oyster shells, lime, sand, and water.  Seen here is a wall from an original structure thought to have been used as a barn.

After passing the various structures, visitors head, by car, into the dense forest.  Now, it may seem counter-intuitive to drive rather than walk through nature.  While it's well-documented that I enjoy a stroll through the woods, at Botany Bay I'm fine with remaining in my vehicle.  Mind you, I do get out to take the occasional photograph.  In one of the first areas after the Ice House stands a grove of live oaks.  There is quite enough room to pull over, roam a bit,  and snap an picture.  A little further down, however, in a much narrower area, I tried the same thing and ended up walking right into a sticky spiderweb.  

This brings me to why I find driving an acceptable method of exploration:  there are quite a few dangerous critters lurking about the property.  I made the mistake of reading a webpage full of warnings after visiting Botany Bay.  The creatures to look out for are snakes, alligators, poisonous spiders, disease carrying insects, and ticks.  The page included all of the aforementioned and warned that with its remote location and spotty cell service, help does not come quickly to Botany Bay.  So, if you are hell-bent on encountering a snake, I recommend visiting the Edisto Serpentarium located just down 174.  They have anti-venom.

 
 

As evidenced by these images, beautiful sights can be observed through the safety of your car window.  It makes one think about the intense challenges colonists must have faced.  Imagine traveling by boat all the way from Europe and landing upon this dense, primitive landscape.  Even then, it was filled with foreign reptiles, animals, and insects.  I'll never stop marveling at the colonists' perseverance, and the wisdom and ingenuity no doubt possessed by our Native American brothers and sisters.

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Driving path through the woods.

Driving path through the woods.

Botany Bay: The Beach

Botany Bay Plantation is not your typical tourist attraction.  Located on Edisto Island along the Atlantic Ocean, this Wildlife Management area features a maritime forest, historical structures, a picnic pond, salt marshes, and a shell-filled beach.  It also happens to be the filming location of the Gullah village/wedding scene in The Patriot.  

Your first taste of natural beauty comes as you thump down dusty Botany Bay Road.  Sun filters through the dense trees lining each side of the dirt lane.  Spanish moss hauntingly drips down from the branches above, like ghosts inviting you to discover this secret sanctuary.  As you slowly approach the visitor station, you already feel transported to a primitive world.  

 
Botany Bay Road

Botany Bay Road

 

The park volunteer gives you an interpretive driving map that provides informative tidbits about the sites around the Plantation.  Although marked as the last stop on the tour, many people choose to visit the ocean first.  After a short walk on a path through the wetlands, you approach the water's edge.  Aptly referred to as a boneyard beach, this particular sandy strip is littered with uprooted trees and beheaded palms; a result of beach erosion.  

 
Boneyard Beach

Boneyard Beach

 

Nature and man work side-by-side to shape artistic displays.  Weathered roots and branches create ever-changing driftwood sculptures.  An abundance of seashells provide ornamentation for pruned palms.  At high tide, the sparkling blue sea encloses the withering trees.  It makes one imagine that a fantastical Atlantis lies just below the water's surface.

Naturally created driftwood sculptures

Naturally created driftwood sculptures

The sea-shore is a sort of neutral ground, a most advantageous point from which to contemplate this world.
— Henry David Thoreau
 
Nature creating driftwood sculptures.

Nature creating driftwood sculptures.

 

Stay tuned for the next installment where I'll explore Botany Bay's historical structures and woodlands.