Today Minna and I have settled in at Edisto Island Beach State Park—a palmetto-lined beach famed for its sea shelling, long soft-sandy beach, maritime forest and proximity to Toogoodoo Creek.
Only an hour from Charleston SC, the park is divided: Section I—campsites deep in the maritime forest of live oaks, with some of the South Carolina’s tallest palmetto trees and a front-row view of miles of pristine marshland. Section II is comprised of beachfront campsites protected from ocean winds by a huge long dune.
Boasting a beach covered with shells of every description
The property is divided beachfront to maritime forest by one of the nation’s largest preserved estuaries where heron, pelican, egrets, too many small marsh birds to name, and a large population of feral cats call home.
It has been raining off and on today but as I speak the sun pokes through and says “toodoogoo” an indian word that I have not yet found the exact meaning of but is the fascinating name of a nearby creek, sounding strangely aboriginal to me.
On this rainy day, sorting out some of the subjects I have saved for blogging on this adventure seems to be a productive task. Some time back I discovered Thomas Wentworth Higginson.
Higginson is the writer I would emulate if I should try emulate one. He sounds more like John Muir than John Muir. Though perhaps much more of a stuff shirt. None-the-less I enjoy reading his work and offer it to you today in hopes of brightening your spirits as much of the eastern part of America is being pummeled by winter storms. Snow up to 22 inches in Washington DC and scouring rain in the south. I am so glad I made it to the warmer Charleston weather before the storm.
An excerpt from TW Higginson’s OUTDOOR PAPERS, 1894
Thomas Wentworth Higginson
THE inconstant April mornings drop showers or sunbeams
over the glistening lake, while far beneath
its surface a murky mass disengages itself from the
muddy bottom, and rises slowly through the waves. The
tasselled alder-branches droop above it ; the last year’s
blackbird’s nest swings over it in the grape-vine ; the
newly-opened Hepaticas and Epigaeas on the neighboring
bank peer down modestly to look for it ; the water-skater
(Gerris) pauses on the surface near it, casting on the
shallow bottom the odd shadow of his feet, like three
pairs of boxing-gloves ; the Notonecta, or water-boatman,
rows round and round it, sometimes on his breast, sometimes
on his back ; queer caddis-worms trail their selfmade
homesteads of leaves or twigs beside it ; the Dytiscus,
dorbug of the water, blunders clumsily against it ;
the tadpole wriggles his stupid way to it, and rests upon
it, meditating of future frogdom ; the passing wild-duck
dives and nibbles at it ; the mink and muskrat brush it
with their soft fur ; the spotted turtle slides over it ; the
slow larvae of gauzy dragon-flies cling sleepily to its sides
and await their change : all these fair or uncouth creatures
feel, through the dim waves, the blessed longing of
spring ; and yet not one of them dreams that within that
murky mass there lies a treasure too white and beautiful
to be yet intrusted to the waves, and that for many a day
the bud must yearn toward the surface, before, aspiring
above it, as mortals to heaven, it meets the sunshine with
the answering beauty of the Water-Lily.