After sandwiches and fruit, we went for a hike among the giant oaks that grace the front lawn of the plantation.
The house sits on a small rise and in front of it stretches the great lawn where the Horrys used to hold horse races between the oaks on Sundays. A fine view it must have been of the proceedings from seats on the front porch.
The house was built in the 1735, with additions in 1757 and the porch and portico in 1790.
Nearest the plantation is the Washington Oak, which has a story behind it. In 1791, President George Washington visited the Horry family when the tree was just about to be cut down. Eliza, mistress of the plantation, complained that the tree blocked the view and thought it should be removed. Washington said the tree should be spared, it was, and still stands today.
The Washington Oak is historic but it's not the most beautiful tree left on the front lawn. Look at these!
An old tree is known as an Angel Oak when its branches become so heavy
that they begin to grow along the ground. I sat on this branch for awhile and soaked in the peace and tried to feel the spirit of this old behemoth. If I closed my eyes and concentrated, I could hear the thunder of the racing horses and smell the hot sand and grass they kicked up so long ago.
A whole ecosystem grows on the branches, including resurrection ferns, moss, lichens, fungi.
I love all the textures in the old bark.
We finished our hike before sundown and came home to a quiet Christmas Eve dinner, a movie, and some FaceTime on the iPad with my family back in Minnesota.