Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Thanks, Canada!!

  I’d like to thank my Canadian friends for our weather this week, a huge humidity-clearing high pressure front pouring out autumn all over South Carolina.  Couldn’t be a more welcome— ahem— breath of fresh air!  As soon as it arrived, we got out and about to take advantage.  

  To start, here’s an early morning at the salt marsh.

We found a whole flock of wood storks feeding.  If you have sharp eyes, you might spot the four roseate spoonbills crashing the party. 
More spoonbills and an egret.  Also, a lot of oyster beds.

  Aren’t spoonbills gorgeous?  Their legs are red and their bodies pink because they eat shrimp. Shrimp eat algae, algae make their own red and yellow pigments, spoonbills eat shrimp, and voila! pink birds.

   A group of roseate spoonbills is called a bowl.  I don’t know why.
  You can see here how they get the second half of their name.  The spoon-shaped bills have touch receptors inside.  They swing their heads side to side, back and forth through the water, and when they feel vibrations of living things inside, they quickly snap the spoons together.  Because of this, they can feed at night and in murky water.  

  (This is not my photo.  It’s from the St. Louis zoo website.)


  A number of people live permanently on boats in Winyah Bay and Georgetown Harbor.  Sailboats are anchored offshore and other boats have permanent moorings on the Harbor Walk, a dock that runs along the water behind the stores on our main street . Conveniently, there are three (three!) ice cream shops on the Harbor Walk and I will admit, of a beautiful evening  we occasionally imbibe.  

  Ships’ cats throughout history have had a job to do — taking care of any vermin that come aboard.  While we enjoyed our ice cream (caramel pecan sea salt, if you must know) I think this guy was getting shipshape for the night watch.  One hopes that is not his unfortunate predecessor behind him!  

  While we were eating our ice cream his owner came strolling down the dock with a doggy bag (kitty bag?) from a restaurant in his hand.  As soon as the captain was in sight, the cat began “talking” and calling to him.  It was the cutest thing!  
  We have several more days of this beautiful Canadian air to enjoy and we have plans for every day of it.  

Saturday, September 19, 2020


“As women achieve power, the barriers will fall. As society sees what women can do, as women see what women can do, there will be more women out there doing things, and we’ll all be better off for it.”

– Ruth Bader Ginsburg

  Vote.  VOTE. VOTE. Not only for President but for Congress.  Not only for national but for state and local leaders where people, women people, get their start in politics.  Vote for school board and dog catcher and coroner.  Educate yourself.  Read both sides.  Use your best judgment and  


   Moved to do more?  Here are some addresses for organizations that are doing postcard campaigns to remind people to vote.  You add a personal message and drop them in the mail.  Most provide postage so you won’t even have to spend a cent. There are more at local and state levels also.





“Fight for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you."

"To make life a little better for people less fortunate than you. That's what I think a meaningful life is. One lives not just for oneself, but for one's community."


Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Water Tower, Clock Tower

   When I was a kid in the ‘50 and ‘60s, my family traveled for a couple weeks every summer to see another part of our big country.  After hours of rolling along through endless countryside of grain fields and distant farms, the appearance of a silhouette of a water tower on the horizon was exciting. Slowly the name of another small American town would materialize painted on its side.

  The next item of interest to appear would be a sign announcing the town’s population which someone would read out loud, suggesting the possibility of a stop for gas, maybe an ice cold pop to share with your sister, or a even a delicious bakery treat.  

  At the very least, it meant buildings and people to break up the monotony of the miles, an opportunity to ponder what life might be like living in this little town.   

  The small town we live in now has just such a water tower. It has looked old and rusty for years and we thought it was probably not even used to hold water anymore.  We liked it though, especially because of the fading words painted on one side: “Georgetown A Character City”. Georgetown does have its share of characters!  

  One day in July something started happening to the water tower.  Trucks appeared with lots of equipment and soon a busy crew surrounded the legs with scaffolding and plastic wrapping that hid all from view.  Machinery whined and whirred with metal-on-metal sounds inside the plastic. Rusty dust billowed.  Were they cutting it up to dismantle it or what?  And then ...

  ...then one day they unwrapped it and revealed a whole new look!  Fancy new letters and a logo of the old town clock tower!  
  The real clock tower is on the waterfront and stands over an open air market, in use since 1788.  Behind it were the docks where rice, indigo,
and cotton crops from the plantations were loaded onto ships.  Beneath the tower was the slave market where enslaved people were brought up from Charleston and sold to the planters for work on their plantations. 
  The pictured Old Market Building was built in 1842 and the clock tower was added in 1845.  The photo was taken in 1899.

  In February of 1865, federal troops occupied the town and in this building Confederate officers signed surrender papers, handing Georgetown over to the Union army.  

Today, the Old Market Building is part of our town’s rice museum. The same tree still grows on the left, and behind the building is a harbor with a few working shrimp boats, a lot of sailboats and yachts, and the Harbor Walk which connects several waterfront parks.