Archive for April, 2015

No, No, No: At Edisto

April 29, 2015

Sugar and I are at the ACE Basin Wildlife Refuge on Edisto Island, and we’ve seen our first alligator. We strolled on and looked at other waterways, and trees, and birds, and such, and we’re headed back in the direction we came from, when we see that the tour group of school children led by the park ranger have spotted the alligator.

Amazingly, there were no screams. These must be local kids.

Some of the children had cameras and iPads, and were taking photos excitedly, but if I were that age, I think I might have been doing some squealing.

Alligators are not uncommon around here. Even in some of the resort areas in the gated communities on the golf courses, you’ll hear or see about alligators sunning on the greens or lounging in the retention ponds or water hazards. Sometimes they snap up small dogs or other small animals. Recently (last year maybe?) an older man was retrieving his ball from the water, and when he reached into the water, an alligator removed the man’s hand.

Alligators were here first.

Our alligator grew tired of the attention from the children and slid away until all we could see was the top of his head.


So onward past him to another area.


Here’s another canal, and you can see a bridge crossing it at the far end. We walk to your right along the right side of this canal. There’s another area of the former rice fields that is just out of sight on your right. Guess what’s down in the wetland…

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The bridge that you saw in an earlier photo crossing the canal? Here it is – it leads back to the house.


Good grief. What’s he spotted now? I hope it’s just a pretty leaf floating on the water.


Slow Go on Edisto

April 28, 2015

Sugar and I are at the ACE Basin Wildlife Refuge on Edisto Island.

SugarSpotter just spotted an alligator, maybe 40 feet away. Thirty feet? I don’t know. But sufficiently far away enough, down in the wetlands in a former rice field.

I couldn’t find his head clearly, until I loaded the images on the computer, enlarged them, and applied a little Paint magic.

The area that we’re standing on, I believe now, is referred to as part of the dike. It’s wide and flat and solid ground, enough to drive a vehicle on. Y’all already saw how far apart the rice trunk gates are.




This gator didn’t move. After a sufficient number of photos, we walked on towards the wetlands.


Using the zoom feature on the camera, I shoot a heron on the far side, fishing along the bank.

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One of the best parts of today was this:


Slow Edisto

April 27, 2015

We’re on Edisto Island at the Ernest F. Hollingsworth ACE Basin National Wildlife Refuge. And we’ve spotted a rice trunk.


There’s an excellent resource here about the history of rice planting in the area. The resource mentions the rice trunks, which is essentially a device to control the flow and height of water in the field, which is so important in rice production. From what I can gather, there are four basic components in the topography: fields, canals, trunks, and dikes.

In the photo below, you can see the control gates on the left and right. There’s a storyboard coming up later with illustrations as to how this system works.



The gate on the left…


And on the right… (Sugar is added for scale and local color.)

Then the wetlands beyond. Sugar is off to the right in the photo below, and he was starting to do the “impatient dance”, like a child that needs to interrupt. He kept calling me, but I kept taking photos, because today was a photo-experiment-day, taking photos with both the digital camera and the iPhone. Then he said a word that got my attention…



The word was “Gator”.

Oh, no, you did not…

Mo’ Edisto

April 26, 2015

The lane to the Ernest F. Hollings Wildlife Refuge is sandy, shady, and direct. And long. It’s a long, long lane. We wondered if we were on a wild goose chase, pardon the pun.

The lane ended in a parking place with a large two-story house in sight. An activity bus disgorged school children on an outing, and the park ranger couldn’t let us in the house because he was the only one on duty and had to lock it to give the tour for the kids. Not to worry. There were wonderful trails to explore.

There was a little outbuilding without identification, which was on the way to big house.


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Then we saw the rice trunk!

But what’s a rice trunk…

O Edisto

April 25, 2015

A trip to the ACE Basin was in order. 

The ACE Basin? Where the Ashepoo, the Combahee, and the Edisto Rivers make a lush and fertile place. 


I’m posting from the iPhone. I’ve already written this post TWICE, but the photos failed to load. I suppose standing on one foot in a different location might make this post successful. 

Really, people? Some days I’m just figuring out things as I go. If this post works, then I’ll do some more mini posts. 

Love Handles ~ Love in ten lines

April 20, 2015

“Grief is just love with nowhere to go”

Love Handles ~Love in ten lines.

Lawton People! Here’s Your 2015 Reunion Letter!

April 19, 2015


The Lawton and Allied Families Association

135 Lamont Drive

Decatur, GA 30030

April 12, 2015

Dear Cousins,

We had a great time in Robertville last year – and we’re well along the way to restoring the wall

around the Lawton-Seabrook Cemetery at Edisto Island. I’ve been reminded again how important

Edisto is to our common heritage. We’ll meet at Edisto Island on June 12th and 13th.

The Edisto Island Presbyterian Church will be our meeting point for the reunion. It’s near oth the

Historical society offices and the Lawton-Seabrook Cemetery.

On Friday night we’ll gather at the church to renew our friendships and to discuss the plan to restore

the cemetery wall. The current owners of the land around it have cleaned it up magnificently. By

that time we hope to have a complete plan and perhaps to be along the way toward repair of the


On Saturday, Tim Drake will tell us about Victorian Era Funeral customs. Some of us may have seen

these customs growing up without realizing their origin. I’m sure it will be interesting. In the

afternoon, we’ll travel to the Lawton-Seabrook cemetery to see it – and hopefully the ongoing

restoration work. Tim is on staff at Clemson and is deeply involved in our state’s history and historical


Here are two other important matters before us:

We need to have a good and effective Email list to keep our membership informed. I expect that

90% of our mailing list has an email address. Please help us by sending me an email at:, giving me your name and current address. It’s a huge help! We also have a

google spreadsheet that you can use to sign up. Instructions are on the registration form.

Third, we need some help. Mary Catherine Plowden has served faithfully as our Treasurer since

  1. Now it’s time for someone else to take this responsibility. About 95% of the work is in May and

June around reunion time. Please let me know if you can help out. It would be great to announce

the name of the new treasurer at the meeting – rather than beating the bushes for volunteers.

Finally, note that the attachments to this letter have some information on accommodations on

Edisto Island. It’s a resort area, so you should book a room early. But our contact can get

you a “weekend” booking without having to pay for a whole week.

I look forward to meeting each of you in June. Let me know what we can do to make your time

enjoyable. Send me an email –

Your cousin and friend,


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Want to Help A Kitten? Donate Here!

April 19, 2015

Donate Button with Credit Cards


Help! I don’t want to even admit how many cats I’m taking care of right now. ‘Cause y’all might still be holding on to one last hope that I’M NOT CRAZY, and that would kill the deal.

I have hungry babies and would appreciate your donation, however large or small…

Kitteny Goodness sake 

April 10, 2015


O Kitten, My Kitten

April 10, 2015