Another new adventure made possible by a generous gift from the family! We loaded up in niece Sarah and her husband Michael's mini-van and headed up north Rt. 17, past Georgetown and Pawley's Island to Brookgreen Gardens. The day was unusually delightful because of the company of family, especially our grandniece Caroline. She took to Rick like peanut butter to jelly, which thrilled him of course. She and her parents are great fun.
First we had a yummy lunch in the Pavillion Restaurant. I had grilled shrimp and grits topped with she-crab soup in a large martini glass. That was fun and delicious. Afterwards we headed for the zoos, via the Lowcountry Trail through the old plantation ruins, wetlands and fields. Caroline was rolling full steam ahead all the way.
The zoo keeps a collection of native animals, and we followed the keepers as they provided afternoon treats to the animals. They have a very full aviary with many kinds of herons (night heron above) and egrets (cattle egret below) that are habituated to humans, and so come very close during feeding time.
They also have an active family of otters, plus foxes, alligators, bald eagles, vultures, and a selection of typical farm animals.
As we viewed the foxes, we learned something new. The red foxes, like the one above, were sitting on the ground waiting for the snacks to arrive. And then we noticed several grey foxes sitting in the trees like squirrels! From the informative plaques we learned that grey foxes can indeed climb trees. Who knew? In fact, in one of my older animal guides I had read that there was no difference between red and grey foxes, and that they were just different phases of the same animal. Not so!
The gardens are decorated with lights and candles for the holidays. They have evening hours on the weekends called Night of a Thousand Lights that must be beautiful, judging by the extent of the lights arranged imaginatively around the sculptures, and in the ponds, flower beds...
The Oak Allee was my favorite place. These huge live oaks are truly awesome. If I could draw a picture of God, I think it would look like one of these massive trees, with its arms outstretched protectively and powerfully over her beloved people.
Wishing all our readers and fellow adventurers
a happy and blessed New Year.
Rick, Lenore and Kona