Little Blue Heron and a Bit of a Rant....

by Russell Smith December. 13, 2019 245 views

The observation points(op) are numbered at Old Santee Canal Park. Well op 13 is one that when I have time to walk back to it that I visit. I have seen Green Wing Teals a few times now. The last time I had them in beautiful light and a darker background . The iso was low and right as I went to press the shutter I had a sneeze come out of no where. Needless to say the ducks flew away and I had taken a photo of the sky as a result of the sneeze. It is also the location that I keep seeing the Kingfisher. I have an image in my mind for this bird.

I have flushed the kingfisher several times as I walk to the end of this op. From where this log is. Well I heard the kingfisher and I saw it in the distance so in hopes of it using this log as a perch again I focused on it and began to wait. After all there was nothing exciting happening around this location. And I waited and waited.....

I saw a Little Blue Heron land on another log about 50-75 meters from me so I turned the camera towards it.

This would have been a much better shot if I had taken it about 4 or 5 hours later in the day. The shadows on the front part of the bird would have had light on it. Anyway this was a subject to watch as I listened to the Kingfisher chatter about 300m from me.

It preened for about 30min before it decided to scratch its head giving it a bad hairday look.

After about an hour of waiting with no luck on the kingfisher front I decided to wander into the park a bit more.

It had been a while since I have wandered down a trail called the nature trail and well this is a small unimproved path that wanders through the edge of the swamp and hardwood forest for about 1/2 a mile. I have said it several times if there is water in the Southern States if you assume there is an Alligator you are most likely correct. Now a gator is most dangerous if it has been fed by stupid humans or if it is a mom guarding her nest of eggs. Now a bit of a exception to the rule is if they are hungry and see a small dog that is close enough to the waterline for them to go after. Why do I mention this. Well I had a couple pass me that had a dog on one of the retractable leashes and the dogs leash was extended to its max length. They were moving faster than me so I moved to the side and let them pass. I moved forward less than two meters and a sparkly area on what should have been mud caught my eye. Less than 5-10 meters (33 feet or less) from the edge of the trail there was a small (to me) gator 5-6 feet long laying there in the water which was maybe 1 inch deep. Thankfully it was cooler so it would be less active and hungry.

I asked loud enough for them to hear if they saw the Alligator they just walked past. No was the answer so I asked if they wanted to see it and they said yes. I suggested they make the leash on the dog short (the length it was at was long enough the dog could have reached the alligator). They took a cell phone shot or two and walked on. I suggested keeping the leash shorter to protect them and their dog whether they did or not I do not know as I did not pay attention. However I did see a few more smaller (3-5 footers) laying in the sun near the water and the trail in this part of the park. Like I said thankfully it was cooler so the gators were not that active. 99% of the time they would have retreated into the woods or water rather quickly but it is that 1% that people should be aware of.

Anywho before I go even more into a rant if you are in an area where potential dangerous animals are pay attention and show them the distance respect that they command. I would say use common sense but well unfortunately it should be called uncommon sense.

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There are 9 comments , add yours!
Nancy Andrea D 10 months, 1 week ago

Interesting read ... kind of scary, too. I think I am not very brave ....

10 months, 1 week ago Edited
Antonio Gil 10 months, 2 weeks ago

So cool to live in a area where you can be so close to wild animals. Love the photos Russel.

10 months, 2 weeks ago Edited
Russell Smith Replied to Antonio Gil 10 months, 1 week ago

I think I would go mad if I could not get out into nature and see wild animals of some kind. I think it is a requirement built into my dna.

10 months, 1 week ago Edited
Lynn F Medley 10 months, 2 weeks ago

I know someone that won’t go back to Sea Pines because of an incident with their dog,, no one was harmed but definitely scared,, but yes when we walk in wildlife’s homes we need to be aware,,

10 months, 2 weeks ago Edited
Russell Smith Replied to Lynn F Medley 10 months, 1 week ago

Luckily no one was harmed :) .

10 months, 1 week ago Edited
Camellia Staab 10 months, 2 weeks ago

Another nice series. You are going to know that area like the back of your hand if you don't already smile

10 months, 2 weeks ago Edited
Russell Smith Replied to Camellia Staab 10 months, 2 weeks ago

That is my goal. I know it fairly well but I am still discovering new spots and things. You would think after a year I would know after all it is only about 200ish acres in size

10 months, 2 weeks ago Edited
Buster Bruce 10 months, 2 weeks ago

Thanks for such a great post Russell

10 months, 2 weeks ago Edited
Russell Smith Replied to Buster Bruce 10 months, 2 weeks ago

Thank you.

10 months, 2 weeks ago Edited