Magnolia Plantation and Gardens
Trip Start Dec 24, 2010
159Trip End Jun 01, 2011
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Same Site Yet a most different Day...
We bought a combo-ticket which entitled us to go on three tours via vehicle, visit the mansion and then to visit the marvelous Audobon Swamp.
The first trip was a tour of the perimeter of the plantation. It was owned by the Drayton family in 1676. whose heirs still own and manage the remaining five hundred acre plantation. The wealth was acquired by raising "Carolina Gold", which is rice. The original rice was brought over and planted by a slave from West Africa, for his family's use
The photos show four cabins which were constructed at different times in history, from the mid-eighteen hundreds until 1969. They are duplexes. One side of each has been restored to it's original condition to give you an idea of how they lived then
We also toured the mansion. This is the third house built on the same foundation, with some additions. The first was destroyed by a lightning fire in 1810. It was rebuilt and later destroyed by General Sherman's troops during the Civil War. The family had a hunting lodge, some fourteen miles upriver from the plantation. That house was dis-assembled and floated down the Ashley and re-assembled on that same foundation. Four rooms were later added by a daughter who inherited the plantation.
The current home is nice, but not impressive. The furniture and accessories are beautiful and quite old, but vestiges of the hunting lodge still remain which affects it's beauty
The swamp tour was the most peaceful. We saw numerous birds, including the anhinga, a new one to us. It's of the chicken family, yet resembles other duck-like birds. It has a pointed beak and chicken-like claws as opposed to webbed-feet. It feeds on fish and small aquatic life. We also saw more alligators here than anywhere, including one that was about eighteen feet in length. How do you tell the length of a gator? If you measure the distance from his eyes to the end of his nose and convert that number into feet, you'll have the length. The trick is to sneak up on him and do the measuring. The math is a snap after that!
The green on top of virtually all of the water here is duck grass. It's high in protein and good for the migrating waterfowl that frequent the area each year. It looks so much like grass, that it said that many a hunting dog has run out on it, only to find that it's actually water
Our last effort was at the Audobon Swamp. John James Audobon, a French-American artist, spent much of his time here, drawing many species of birds for his collection. He was close to the Drayton family and thus the swamp was named in his honor. It's a collection of raised wooden walkways and trails. We saw numerous birds and an egret rookery. Several egrets were nesting there, so I have several picture of them too. i did catch site of a small family of ducklings with their mom. We also saw an ibis for the first time in many weeks. The ibis is also a favorite. They have long curved orange beaks and feed from the bottom of the water on shrimp etc.
It was a long day and we're both tuckered. Lynnie's abed and I'm writing at nearly ten PM. It was a great day today with the temperature in the low eighties and a brisk breeze. Lots of things moving due to the wind, including a front from the northwest. We'll stay two more nights to let the weather stabilize and then s-l-o-w-l-y move north. Our next target is Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, less than a hundred miles north.
Tomorrow we have no set plans, waiting for mother nature to guide our activities. More later, friends...