My weekend was nearly booked, and my school-teacher wife had papers to grade, so akayaking trip was out. I opted instead for an early morning ride through the Sea Islands on Saturday, making a stop or two before and after walking one of the back trails at Hunting Island State Park.
There was much to see. Warblers have arrived in large numbers. I saw several pine and palm warblers, and I also saw and photographed two of their cousins that were firsts for me -- a common yellowthroat and a black-throated blue warbler, both migrating through.
This transition between seasons is always an interesting time to be outside observing. I wrote a few weeks ago about reddish egrets at Harbor Island, which arrived a bit early this year. Reader and frequent Untamed Lowcountry contributor Karen Marts reports that American redstarts -- another warbler -- have appeared at Jarvis Creek Park on Hilton Head Island.
Plant life is also in transition. The edges of trails along Hunting Island's southern tip (and perhaps elsewhere; I only explored a small section of the island) is brimming with tall, leggy bushes called bladderpods. I wish I could say I ID'd the plant on my own, but I needed help from Chris Marsh of the Low Country Institute because, frankly, I hadn't a clue about these bushes that dripped with what looked like two-pea pods. Chris informed me they are of the Sesbania genus, which comprises several species. One has yellow flowers, another red flowers.
I've been late to bed lately and nearly decided to sleep in on Saturday. The trip was a good reminder that I'm seldom sorry for trading sleep for a walk through nature.