Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Charleston Currents - May 2013


The birds and the bees ... and conservanciesBy LEIGH SABINE, contributing editor
Special to Charleston Currents

MAY 20, 2013 -- This spring has brought us continuous encounters with birds and butterflies with the added attraction of an in-school bee hive installation.
Nature-walking throughout this month is a great way to quiet the hubbub of the daily routine and hush idle chatter as your children sneak up and observe closely their winged friends before they take flight.
Our recent journeys have provided us with a clear record of the best Lowcountry spots for viewing birds and butterflies. The lists that follow enable you and your family to head straight to the action and plan a great weekend walk. Don't forget your camera! [If you find that your favorite bird or butterfly observation spot has been left off the list, please email Pluff Mud Kidsand we will check it out!]
For Bird Observation
The Audubon Swamp: Named for John James Audubon, the painter and naturalist, this 60-acre swamp land is located just inside the gates of Magnolia Plantation and is a 30-minute drive from Mount Pleasant. This lush habitat is a mix of cypress and tupelo trees, marshy bogs, boardwalks and native foliage. We love this swamp for the cool shade it provides in late spring and summer and for the opportunity to view varieties of birds up close . You will see egrets and herons nesting side by side, crows, woodpeckers, warblers and our favorite little Carolina chickadees. This is a wonderful, manageable short hike for children of all ages and stroller friendly too!
Brookgreen Garden Aviary: This aviary is our top pick for zooming in close with birds in a natural setting. Children delight in spending time inside an actual bird cage! The knowledgeable staff feed the birds and give child-friendly information while you study the birds, take pictures and linger a while in this very special habitat.
Caw Caw Interpretive Center: With more than miles of trails to choose from, every time you visit this site is a brand new experience. You can see rare species of birds here such as kites and eagles while absorbing the history of the tea and rice crops that were once grown here.
The Pitt Street Bridge in the Old Village, Mount Pleasant: Walking, picnicking or kayaking this area is best in the early morning sun or on a cool spring evening for bird watching as it is a natural habitat teaming with pelicans, songbirds and other marsh birds. Stand at the end of the bridge to view more protected land directly across the water on Sullivan's Island, courtesy of the efforts of the Mount Pleasant Land Conservancy.
Observation Tower at Palmetto County Park: Kids love this bird's eye view complete with a viewfinder! The sweeping marsh and Intracoastal waterway are a bird watcher's paradise and you will enjoy a cool breeze at the top.
The Birds of Prey Center: Your best bet for viewing birds in flight. The flight shows are daily at 11:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. Allow at least two to three hours here to cover all the site and take the informative tour at 10:30 a.m. or 2 p.m. with the incredible staff here who are happy to patiently answer your children's questions.
For Bee Study
Check out our friends over at The Bee Cause who are working hard to install working bee hives in 1,000 schools! Read more on Pluff Mud Kids blog post.
For Butterfly Observation
Marsh View Trail and Butterfly Garden: This property represents another Mount Pleasant Land Conservancy effort to protect and preserve our environment through a community based garden project and marsh trail.
EdVenture's Blooming Butterflies: This 2,500 square foot butterfly house is located within the interactive children's museum in Columbia. You can devote an entire day to include time for the butterfly garden, making it well worth the trek from Charleston.
Cannon Park: This lovely green space and garden area in the heart of downtown Charleston is a picture perfect spot for seeing butterflies land on their favorite types of specially planted flowers provided by the Charleston Parks Conservancy.

Writer Leigh Sabine of Mount Pleasant offers a monthly look at fun activities for Lowcountry kids. It's based on her great blog, PluffMudKids. Check it out.

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations on your article! It is well written and very informative, I look forward to reading more features written by you.