"Following where my camera leads me!"

"Following where my camera leads me!"

Friday, November 20, 2020

a Long Swamp Hike

 Headed out way into the country today......

A big heavy train rumbles on by.....

down the long lonely highways and by-ways.......I love these old country roads!

.......and into the swamps we go............

The beautiful tupelo/cypress swamp

This area was once Dean Hall rice plantation, built in the 1700s.
The dikes we are walking on were built by slaves about 300 years ago.
The first owner was Alexander Nesbitt, and he named the 3,000 acre place Dean plantation after Dean, Scotland, his hometown.
Benjamin Kittredge bought the old plantation in the early 1900s and had the pretty gardens built and the paths constructed. He opened the gardens up to the public in the early 1930s.
 The original plantation home built by Mr. Nesbitt fell into disrepair over the decades and was discovered sometime in the 1960s and moved--it now functions as the Berkeley county  Chamber of Commerce.

the blackwater swamps have black water from the tannin in the tree bark

There have been quite a few movies filmed here:
The Patriot...........The Notebook.......the North and the South.....Cold Mountain.....the Swamp Thing.

Y'all wanna go for a quick swim? ha ha LOL

The swamp is teeming with life......alligators silently gliding, butterflies, Luna and Sphinx moths, hawks, ducks, owls, turtles, various reptiles and snakes, fish, sandpipers and kingbirds, Southern Leopard frogs, buzzards, swooping bats. In the olden days, there were also more foxes, otters, and bobcats. There are even carnivorous plants, remember the Venus fly-trap plants?--they grow wild here--I think the correct name is "pitcher plant".

These boys were having a ball! Boy Scouts, or a church youth group maybe....we were standing on the bridge they were about to go underneath. I'm friendly so I hollered and waved at them.....they all were laughing and waving back and having a fun time. 

Such pretty colors of gold and green  in the murky, mysterious, sun dappled water

Cypress trees, tall oaks, tea olives, pines, tupelos, crepe myrtles, magnolias, camellias, azaleas all flourish here.

Howdy y'all........I'm over here! LOL

pretty bridge and look at all those Cypress knees! They grow up from the trees root systems.

Here's another nice BIG GATOR! Hello there big boy!!
Aren't you A HANDSOME ONE?! nope, nope, nope---don't you be falling ASLEEP on me.....I'm photographing you!
yep, now that's better!
and on we traipse............
I loved walking on the winding paths through the swamp. The azaleas were once again in bloom and the camellias are just starting. Butterflies were dancing everywhere and bird calls were echoing in the tall tall trees .Shawls of Spanish moss hang quiet and still, waiting for a breeze.

almost 80 degrees.....hot humid sweaty.....lovin every minute of it!

Each year when I spot the first of the brilliant red berries.....I know that Christmas is on the way!

pretty bridges and gazebos are scattered all about the area as well as picnic tables and swings to take a rest in. There are several wedding facilities as well.

Tap tap tap tap...........what is that? Gentle raindrops are falling, a peaceful sound and a peaceful scene.

There's a big camellia garden over here......so pretty! Kittredge's wife Elizabeth brought these back from a trip to Southern China. She loved them and had many different varieties and colors.
Benjamin and Elizabeth are buried together here on the grounds in a quiet and pretty spot marked by a big cross.

In this area there is a nice large fenced playground for the kids, some really pretty smaller gardens, and fun stuff  like THIS:

It was fun to stop at the aviary and talk to the birds, who were loud and talkative!There was an African grey parrot, a cockatoo, and a mccaw parrot I think.

There is a butterfly house too! I've never been in one of those! so I sure enjoyed it.

Love these cute chairs!

Bright and pretty murals!

Plum worn out..............putting my feet up.........time to rest!
So glad y'all came along with us today!


  1. Oh my what a awesome outing that was but the last place I would want to be is in a boat in that swamp!! It was beautiful but yet eerie. Cypress knees is something I am going to have to look up. There were so many beautiful butterflies!! and the white bridge and buildings stood out so much among the darkness surrounding. Thank you so much for sharing.

  2. WoW!!! so many beautiful images, it looks to be a wonderful place for a walk!! i LOVE the notebook, i feel it is the best love story ever made!! ghost is my second favorite!! you fooled me with the alligator!!

    and i just want to mention how great you look when you smile, a real smile, these pictures of you are beautiful!!

  3. Debbi, What an awesome adventure. Yikes those gators are big and scary. I would hate to fall into that water, yuck. I know it's full of things. Good that most old plantations have been turned into tourist places, to be enjoyed by all. Loved your picture by the mural. How pretty. Blessings, xoxo, Susie

  4. What an amazing place!! I'm not a big fan of swamps but yours is,indeed, beautiful! We have a swamp in East Texas.
    So I see you wore two different outfits! You know how I always look at your clothes! Were you a quick change artist or two separate outings?? Inquiring minds want to know!! Hahahaha!!

    1. I just gOt hot and took the flannel one off!! LOL-- i wear layers

  5. Oh that was lovely!! what a beautiful trail and walk through the swamp! Sure were a lot of alligators. Glad they stayed in the water and out of your way. I hope those boys didn't put their hands in the water while in that boat! LOL. Beautiful cypress trees/knees and then the camellias! Oh, I miss mine. I planted a lot of them at our last house. I don't have any here, but not sure they would do as well at this house. I do love them. And it is time for them to bloom...so I need to be on the look out. Our church has several lovely bushes of them, so I will have to check them. Thank you for this lively tour. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

  6. Wow- That is some trail. Glad you found so many pumpkins, too. You do take some great travels around your area. I hope you have a blessed, wonderful Thanksgiving. xo Diana