|A Century Old Bridge and Azaleas, Magnolia Gardens, Charleston, SC © Doug Hickok|
(click for larger view)
|Row of Bald Cypress Trees and Cypress Knees, Magnolia Gardens, Charleston, SC © Doug Hickok|
|Coleus Plant, Magnolia Gardens, Charleston, SC © Doug Hickok|
This past November was uncommonly warm for the Lowcountry. On a recent stroll at Magnolia Gardens, we discovered evidence of the Indian Summer-like weather... azaleas in bloom! This was unusual. These showy ornamental shrubs typically flower in the springtime here in Charleston. But they were apparently fooled into blossoming a second time by the string of 70 degree temperature days.
Magnolia Gardens and Plantation is one of four old southern plantations near Charleston open to visitors. It features a sprawling informal English-style garden centered around a natural Cypress swamp. Bald cypress trees thrive in the humid wetlands of the coastal plain, their vast network of shallow roots often growing above water to form what are called "cypress knees".
Some of the larger types of wildlife seen in this and nearby habitats are American alligators, North American river otters, Great Blue Herons, Snowy Egrets, Anhingas, Wood Ducks and Short Spectacled Photographers.
(We were able to enjoy the afternoon at the gardens because our friends,
Sean and Kristin, were married here... Congratulations!)