Low Country Bottom Dwellers

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Hunting crabs is one of my favorite things to do.  And, yesterday I caught 4 Jimmies while I waited for Matthew to catch bait to fish.  They were some of the biggest crabs I have ever caught.  And, although they were delicious, they were a bit gritty.  I suppose that shouldn't be surprising with the low country pluff mud.  

Take a look at this handsome Jimmy!


Local Hunter and Gatherer Attacked by Pete, the Pelican!

Monday, August 24, 2015

Looking back on my experience with "Pete" the pelican yesterday makes me laugh.  But, during the apparent pelican attack, I can't say it was a laughing matter.

It was a beautiful morning and a perfect morning for hunting and gathering.  My husband, Matthew dropped me, my aunt Deedee, and her friend Mary Lewis off at Sandy Point.   Little did I know that as we gathered over 100 sand dollars, that I would be the one in fact hunted.  We walked over 6 miles, and when I came upon a lone pelican about 3 miles in, there wasn't a sole in sight.  Deedee and Mary Lewis had gotten a bit ahead of me.  I thought as I walked up to Pete, that this would be a good opportunity to get a close picture of a pelican.  Perhaps I would paint him later.  Bad idea.  

This is Pete.

Pete turned on me.  It felt like pay back for bothering all my outdoor buds.  He came after me.  I backed up and went on my way.  As I continued picking up sand dollars up at the high tide line, squatting like a 2 year old with new knees, out of no where Pete was in my face, his beak going right for my shells.  I dropped over 6 sand dollars trying to get up to get away.  In the "flight or fight" scenario, it's obvious I am a flight kind of girl.  I ran.  Panting, trying to meet up with Deedee and Mary Lewis, I tried to get away.  And I thought I was successful, until  I see Pete begin to fly after me.  Low to the ground with a wing span wider than Michael Jordan's basketball arms, I started hyperventilating.  WTF?!  I ran to the ocean, smacking the salt water with my feet hoping that the ocean splashing would deter Pete more.  Oh wait, there's a sand dollar.  I picked up the beauty, continuing to pant, and looking over my shoulder.  Pete remained at the attack location. 

I finally made it to Deedee and Mary Lewis, explaining the recent course of events.  Seconds later, Pete is in the air again after me; after us.  I found a palm on the ground and picked it up.  Flight obviously didn't work, so now I decide it's time to fight.  Deedee is a fight girl first and foremost, and picks up an old fire extinguisher that was left on the beach from the ocean, and we started yelling "NO" at Pete.  I didn't want to hurt Pete, I just wanted some peace again.  

Finally after throwing a clam, that reeked of low tide, Pete was no longer interested in what I had to offer.  It was obvious that Pete was not protecting a nest - we had covered at least 2 miles.  Pete was after food.  Sandy Point is frequented by boaters all over the Charleston area, and it's obvious that some dumb** visitors thought it was a good idea to feed the pelicans.  It is never a good idea to feed live animals.  Never.  And, not just because locals will call you a tourist either to your face, or silently behind your back.  It always back fires.  Thankfully it was only a pelican and not some alligator displaced on the ocean.  And, even though he may have deserved it, Pete left us alone unscathed.  Finally.  So, no pelican's were injured as a result. 

We laughed about it all day, obviously even naming the lone attacker.  And, thankfully last night I did not have nightmares of pelicans attacking me.  But I can say, I will never look at pelicans the same ever again.

Here are some other, more calming photos of our otherwise enjoyable and peaceful hunting and gathering adventure:

Peek - a - boo.

I love when you find a sand dollar showing it's true texture.

Don't feed pelicans, and have a great day!


Low Country Lifestyle = Natural Outdoor Living & Constant Wildlife

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Matthew and I are frequently saying, "if you want something, say it out loud."  Something can mean all sorts of things, like finding your keys, for example.  If you are searching for your keys for more than 10 seconds, it becomes highly annoying.  Try saying it out loud, or asking your significant other or roommate, out loud, if they have seen them.  90% of the time you will find them immediately.  Living in Charleston, and working on Kiawah Island isn't necessarily something that I thought I wanted.  But, living outdoors with barrier islands, hammocks, wildlife, and salt water, has been a passionate dream of mine.  It's a dream I live and love.  And one that is alive and always joyfully surprising.  Say it out loud!

Rhett's Bluff Doe

Same Doe
Fishing Egret
Tangled Sook (threw her back, too small)

Bass Creek Dolphin

Perched Pelican


Jimmy - caught him with a fishing rod by pleasant accident


Marsh and Hammock

Bass Pond Alligator

Bass Creek Sunset
I hope everyone had the happiest July 4th!  

Sand Dollar Sunday

Friday, June 19, 2015

It may not be shocking to know that hunting and gathering sand dollars never gets old for me.  Each one I find feels like a gift from the sea.  Enjoy!  You can almost feel the heat from these pictures.

I love how this sand dollar is perched.

Same sand dollar from above, just a different angle.

Theory here is that the wind blew the dry sand away after washing up.

Kiener Whelk

New cut on east end of Kiawah Island.

HELLO to you too!


I love how you can almost see how the ocean left the sand dollar in it's tracks.

I like being on the sand dollars level.

Thank you!

Can you see how the sand dollar repaired itself from an animal of some kind.  So curious!


Never gets old.

Until next time...

Happy hunting and gathering,

Kiawah Island's Sandy Point

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Sandy Point has been Kiawah Island's best worst kept secret for a handful of years now.  That doesn't take away from the beauty and somewhat secluded island feel.  It just depends on when you visit.  

Growing up on Wrightsville Beach, I was lucky enough to share a boat with my twin sister and brothers.  And, having a destination in mind for our boat day was the priority.  Once you being these explorations, it remains in your blood.  I get a #saltgiddy feeling embarking on a boat heading to a barrier island or hammock.  Sandy Point is at the far east end of Kiawah Island, and it is miles long.  It didn't take long for people to discover this beautiful end, flocking from Folly Beach and other areas of Charleston.  It's separated by the Stono River and Inlet on the east, and Penny Creek on the west.  You can even see the old logging roads if you make your way up Penny Creek a bit.  But, I came for the shells.

People not only know about Sandy Point, they know sand dollars like this spit of island as much as anyone.  So, you better time low tide well, or be prepared for a long trek.  I prefer the latter.  There is something special, and such a rarity these days, to find a place where you feel so secluded that you almost believe you're alone on your very own private island.

Here are some of my favorite finds from the short visit:

Sand dollars, key shells (lettered olives), and baby's ears.

The tiny sand dollars were found at the high tide line.

Sandy Point, and Folly Beach in the distance.
Happy hunting and gathering!  And, Happy Memorial Day!

Ancient Secret Beach in South Carolina

Thursday, March 5, 2015

It's not so secret, but ancient is definitely a way to describe this beautiful, untouched beach just south of Kiawah Island.  I haven't been to visit this magical place before because I thought the only way to get to Botany Bay was in a boat.  I was wrong.  You can visit by driving through the old plantation, and walking about a quarter mile.  You are not allowed to take any of the shells home with you, which I must say was the biggest challenge.  If you do, you can be charged a maximum fine of $470.  Check out the majestic beauty of Botany Bay.

Dirt road leading to the ancient beach.

167 Loggerhead nests?!  I hope that is a true number.

Many of the trees are not uprooted, but I do find beauty in it all.

Because of the no shell regulation, people decorate Botany Bay with the shells they find.

This looks photoshopped.  Amazing oaks waiting their inevitable demise.  They can't survive in salt water, unfortunately.

Now - you all know this was hard for me.  This ancient Channeled Whelk was tempting me.  Look at that texture!!

This lovely line of mostly "Knobbies" (Knobbed Whelks) were waiting for me to snap this photo.

Littered with beauty.

Sand Dollars were flipped up onto the shelly bank.

Botany Bay is a dense forest of oaks and palms, and then it abruptly ends.
I recommend visiting when you are in the area.  It's also an easy day trip from Charleston.  Stop at Flowers Seafood Co. on the way back home too!  Here are some additional sites with more information on Botany Bay:

South Carolina Department of Natural Resources
South Carolina Information Highway - and some great pictures
Yelp Botany Bay

If you visit Botany Bay, I would love for you to share your pictures with me!


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