Monday, March 18, 2013

Sunday At The "Bone Yard."

So, what do you know about Botany Bay Plantation? Please do yourself a favor with some online research.

The picture is a hint of what to expect. Bring your camera.

It's about an hour from here,  down US17 south, but make sure you get good directions.

Especially details on where to turn.

A rutted dirt washboard road is the final leg of your journey, beneath a canopy of magnificent oaks interspersed with loblolly pine and Cabbage Palmetto.

I was lucky to ride with a lady who has been there many times.

Dee was the genial guide for my Photo Group's  "Day At The Beach."

The  "Wildlife Management Area" covers more than 4,000 acres and was opened to the public in 2008 by DNR, the state's Department of Natural Resources..

About a dozen members of the photography group planned mainly to check out the beach area.

The Bone Yard of fallen trees.

We had seen a few shots as part of Show & Tell at meetings
but being there, looking at thousands and thousands of shells, was an added bonus.

Signs - and a very nice Volunteer - warned us that no shells could be taken away. There was a fine posted as $470.

Not sure if that would be PER shell or the act itself.

People obviously felt free to pick up large shells and hang them on trees. Or line them up on a fallen palmetto or arrange small patterns.

We had timed the tides so we would have several hours of the beach becoming wider as the tide retreated and isolated trees became prominent.

If we stuck around the whole day, there also was the  prospect of a fiery sunset.

Tidal pools were scattered about so we could reflect on our photos.

My small camera always looks silly perched on top of a much larger tripod but I joined the bunch.

Some very expensive cameras showed up in very talented and capable hands.

Be sure to click on the link to see the array of photos posted by the members.

I quickly learned that my inexpensive digital Point & Shoot was no match.

Some were able to place dark filters in front of their lens and take long exposures on the bright beach.

With a slow shutter speed of 10-20 seconds, it transforms the surf and moving eddies of water into feathery, magical whimsy with an aura not seen with our eyes.

Wow. I thought, as I looked at the pictures on the back of their cameras.

I concentrated on what my camera COULD do.

Back-lighting emphasizes the texture of the sand, the tree trunks and the assorted conch shells.

My camera could zoom into offshore water action and freeze a moment of surging foamy tide.

We only saw one flight of pelicans fly over but tracking fast moving objects is another thing my highly portable/take it anywhere camera does not do well. Sigh.

Usually on the weekends, I skip my daily exercise on the treadmill. This was more of a forced march.

It was about a half mile hike from the parking area to the beach.

Then you walk up the beach to the left to see the upright trees and the bleached "bones" of the ones  that had fallen through erosion.

The Volunteer said the salty sandy air is abrasive and strips the bark and the sun completes the bleaching process.

After the surf erodes the sand around the tree's root system, wind and tide knock it down.

Hence the nickname of these smooth, light colored remains.

The attached remnants of roots make for scenic compositions as we all found.

Everywhere you looked was a great shot.

And, over there, another. And, look back as you beach comb.

The light is different from looking forward.

Photographers come in close to capture something that caught their eye. Or stop and shift angles to see something new.

Botany Bay was a full day adventure.

We had scattered up and down the beach, walking miles.

It was getting late and had become cloudy. Gray and gloomy pretty much was hiding the sun.

One member remembered where she had seen a perfect circle formed in the roots of a toppled tree.

Well, she had a pretty good idea where it was and eventually we found it.

Each of us took a creative look through the opening.

Even my small camera captured the scene and I was pleased.

(Click on the photos for more detail.)

Thanks for walking the beach with me and my camera.

Today I skipped the treadmill.

I may be close to a week ahead on my exercise.

Check out Botany Bay. And see what pictures the others posted.

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At Thu Mar 21, 09:15:00 PM , Blogger Joan Perry; Sidewalk Curator said...

I love Botany Bay. The seashell artists sure do make for some fun photo ops. I need to get back there.


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