Clapper rail swimming

Clapper rails (known locally as marsh hens) are elusive, so seeing this one swimming in the open was a treat.

Peregrine falcon feeding on a bird

Peregrines are considered the fastest animal on the planet, flying around 65-70mph. When they go into a stoop (dive) they can attain speeds of over 200 mph!!

Does it matter?

When I worked at DNR as a biologist, there was a research program on the sustainability of a horseshoe crab harvest for the medical industry. It was determined that if the horseshoe crabs were returned to their spawning area within 24 hours, they would continue to nest. The crabs were tagged so if they died, they could be identified as being part of the harvest. Fast forward to today where the spawning horseshoe crabs can be kept indefinitely- it’s a no brainer that removal of a long-lived, spawning animal isn’t sustainable. No eggs-no next generation. After crashing the population in Cape Romain, Charles River Labs wants to expand harvest to the ACE Basin. Why? Because they make an estimated $15,000/quart. Will this overt destruction due to greed ever stop?

Uncovered salt marsh

While it may look like a beach, the amount of shells indicates this is an old salt marsh that was covered by blowing sand from a retreating barrier island. The animals in the marsh, like oysters, clams and whelks were killed by the sedimentation and are now being uncovered as the island continues to retreat toward the mainland. Interlude Beach, SC in between Townsend and Frampton Inlets.

Coquina tabby

In the foreground is a large piece of coquina tabby. Tabby is a concrete-like substance that forms with the proper mix of shells, water, sand and lime- the knowledge came from West Africa with enslaved people. A hurricane in the late 1800’s wiped out the structures on Edingsville Beach and pieces of them still turn up on the beach.