When I think of Charleston, I think of plantations. Chad was working, Spunky Monkey thought hanging out at Rocky (even with Chad working) would be more fun than visiting a plantation, so Sweet Pea and I had a day together, visiting Magnolia Plantation
The entrance to the plantation:
Sweet Pea took this while I was waiting in the amazingly hot, SLOW line to buy tickets…
The main house. This is actually the third house that has been on the property. The first burned down after a lightning strike, the second was burned down by Union soldiers during the Civil War. The faithful head slave, after being freed, walked for five days to find his former master who had fled the war to the north. He told him what had happened and that he needed to return right away to claim his property. The owner did, and quickly moved a hunting shack from elsewhere on the property onto the foundation for this house. It didn’t fit, but apparently satisfied the requirements to claim the land. It was the left portion of the house below. The rest was added on later, to fit the original foundation and expand the home.
A lovely porch view, I’d say! As lovely as the surrounding gardens, the oldest (since 1870!) public gardens in the country. The variety of scenery, from duckweed-covered ponds to meadows for grazing ponies, to manicured flowers, bridges and statues, was splendid. We spent hours wandering and talking (and sweating—it was so HOT and HUMID!!!).
We really liked the “Zoo & Nature Center”.
The goat looks pretty impressed…
Then it was off to a Swamp Ride in a pontoon boat. In addition to hearing interesting facts (& some tales?) about the area, we saw this guy…
He was 12 feet or so from the boat, and the tour guide estimated he was about 8-10 feet long, based on the distance between his eyes and the end of his snout. He just watched us go by…wonder what he was thinking….
The swamp we floated through used to be a rice field. The rice was irrigated with the water from the adjacent Ashley River (named after Anthony Ashley Cooper, 1st Earl of Shaftesbury and chief Lord Proprietor of the Carolina Colony) that turns brackish when the tide rises in the nearby Charleston Harbor. In order to know when to turn off the water so the rice didn’t get all the saltwater, a slave would stand at the levy and taste the water with a spoon. As soon as he tasted salt, the water was turned off.
An Anhinga drying its wings on a gator ramp.