Sunday, September 30, 2012

More Charleston Photos

The area from Charleston and south is known as the Low Country in SC. It is at, or below, level, and is dotted with much vacant and marshy land. There are homes built high on stilts or piers in order to prevent flooding, but there are also homes that lay directly on slabs on the ground. In light of the high water table, I can't imagine building so close to the earth. On the other hand, I'm not sure how secure any home would be,  constructed on sand and water!
There are many plantations sprinkled throughout the Low Country, most are private...not open to the public, and they're located in remote areas, down long dirt roads, and are not visible from the main roads.  However, there are public ones, some of which,like Drayton Hall, are preserved to show their architecture, their history and their long endurance. Drayton, Middleton, and Magnolia Plantations are located on the same road,and can all be seen,for a price.  They were owned by families who were related. Drayton Hall  is the only one of the three that was left exactly as it looked at the time of the Civil War.  
We arrived at the plantations too late in the day to warrant the price of the admission, and the historian at the gate house advised us to wait and come earlier on another day. So,we drove through the entry area at Magnolia Plantation instead, without having to pay to see the interior areas of the property.  On that drive,  we were able to see the group of slave cabins (I believe there where 9 of them). The slaves who worked in the house lived in these tiny cabins. They had it better than the field hands and animal keeper lived in 'other buildings' on the properties.
This is the main house at Magnolia Plantation. It is house #3 since it was built, not the one there during the Civil War.
This house is at Grove Plantation. Can you imagine sittingon the upper porch, fanning yourself and drinking a cold beverage,while you look out over your rice crops and the Ashley River? It is now being used as offices for an environmental group. Sadly,it is not open for viewing,except for the downstairs area (information rooms for environment) 

These are the hands of a skilled basket weaver. The Gullah people are descendants of the slaves, and have kept some of the language and arts of their 'people'. This woman allowed me only to photograph her busy and talented hands. but not her face.
This is Lily, a Gullah woman,originally from Mt. Pleasant (N.Charleston) She lives now, and has her roadside booth, on Edisto Island. She was very nice and answered my hundreds of questions regarding her craft, the language, the food of the Gullahs, etc. I could have stayed all day! She has taught her grandchildren the art of weaving these lovely sea grass and pine needle baskets, and she tries,too, to preserve the language,by speaking to them in the words used by people who came before her. However, she fears that the young people will lose this part of their heritage, as they consider it to be 'low class' to speak in such a way. It saddens her...and think that old traditions and languages are fading away.

My happy husband at the ocean...Edisto Island. It's been two years since we saw the sea that we used to view EVERY  day when we lived on NY's Long Island. The smell of salt air, the sound of the waves, the fine, white sand, and the sight of the same sea we knew 900 miles north, brought both of us a peace in our hearts.

No...this is not Jaws! Not a shark at is a camera shy dolphin. It was the best I could do to capture any of them in the playful pod. Everytime I'd take aim with the lens, they'd pop up outside of the range of lens! My arms got so tired of holding the camera at the ready,waiting for them to resurface!
Watch for a few more photos tomorrow. I hope you aren't bored!


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