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.
Never miss a local story.
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.