Sunday, June 12, 2011

Birding with Pam…of South Carolina Low Country Nature Journaling and Art!

…with “South Carolina Low Country” in the title, I bet you already figured out we weren’t birding in Cincinnati! Rick, Matty, his friend, Kedar, and I returned last night from a wonderful week in Hilton Head, SC. The weather was fabulous, the birding was extraordinary, and I met a fellow bird and nature artist, Pam Johnson Brickell! Pam lives in Bluffton, SC very close to Hilton Head and Pinckney Island National Wildlife Reserve. She paints and journals the low country in a beautiful style I love (check out her blog here). Pam also is a contributor in the new journaling book about to be released, “Artist’s Journal Workshop." I also got to meet Pam’s husband, Rob, whom he said came along purely as Pam’s “pack mule,” but I don’t think that was really the case. Rob also is an avid birder and exceptional photographer and writer!

Pam sketching at Ibis Pond on Pinckney Island NWR.
I love meeting blogging friends!!

When we arrived at Ibis Pond on Pinckney Island NWR, the evening sun had just melted into a warm glow. It was the first time I had seen Pinckney in the softer, golden light of approaching dusk, and I liked it. I normally visit Pinckney and Ibis Pond in the morning and early afternoon when the light is intense and harsh, and the ruckus and activity of the birds can almost seem frantic, but as the sun faded on the horizon, so did the hectic pace of Pinckney. The island was changing, and you could feel the birds were ready to end their day…

...the evening sun kisses the feathers of a Black-crowned Night Heron as he surveys his territory at Ibis Pond.

...even though the feel of the island in the evening light was subdued, the red of the Black-crowned Night Heron's eyes was anything but subdued! Here a shaft of gold seems to ignite those gorgeous red eyes!

...as his name implies, the Black-crowned Night Heron hunts at dusk and at night. His large red eyes are sensitive to the light, giving him exceptional night vision. While the other birds are tucking it in for the evening, he's just getting ready to go (hmmmm, he sounds a lot like me...)! While breeding, Black-crowned Night Herons also hunt during the day. I've watched several catch fish in the morning light. They are very patient birds, sitting motionless until a fish swims into striking distance. In the past three years at Pinckney, I've seen day-active Black-crowned Night Herons every time I was there.

A White Ibis flies into the glow of evening at Ibis Pond, reminding us that the park would soon be closing! Yikes... We really had to hustle to make it back to the parking lot (a mile hike) and to the front gate before closing time.

The time went much too fast...unbelievably fast! Two hours on Pinckney is like 15 minutes in the regular world. Pam...I'm so glad we were able to meet and bird. I had so much fun and look forward to the next time we can bird on Ibis Pond!!

23 comments:

texwisgirl said...

your night heron shots are superb! fantastic!

Montanagirl said...

Fantastic Night Heron shots, Kelly!

Elaine said...

Wonderful shots of the Night Heron. I always love it when you go to Pinckney Island, and how great that you got to go with a blogger friend. I suspect you have a few more treasures stashed away to show us. I can't wait!

Laure Ferlita said...

What fun!! So glad the two of you were able to meet up—wish I could have been there! Great shots of the night heron, Kelly.

Debbie said...

great story. and just in case you didn't know.....the night shots of the heron gave me chills. they are magnificant!!!!

Janice K said...

Whenever I see Pickney Island mentioned, I know I will see a great blog. Fantastic pictures. How nice that the two of you could meet since you have such common interests.

I hope there is more to come.

Pam Johnson Brickell said...

Kelly, Ah, it was grand and yes, waaaay to short! I like your line 'Two hours on Pinckney is like 15 minutes in the regular world' - so true!! Your images are fantastic and can't wait to see more - both photos and your paintings from them!

Rob will love the 'pack mule' line. Thank you for your lovely words about both of us. One slight correction... I'm not a co-author, but am thrilled to have six of my journal pages included in Cathy Johnson's book. There are 26 contributing artists. Perhaps one day I can add 'author' onto my cv :)

I love the photo you took of me sketching! And so love the lighting on the black-crowned night heron. Just stunning! You've an impeccable eye!

Hurry up and come back :)

Out on the prairie said...

This is an exciting experience Kelly. it is fun to read of similar interests, but even funner to share.

Bob Bushell said...

Magnificent Night Heron. It's nice to be in touch with good bloggers.

ShySongbird said...

So glad you had such a happy meeting with someone so like minded.

Beautiful photos Kelly, the light really was lovely!

ShySongbird said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dina said...

Beautiful shots of the night heron. Nice light. Must be a nice place.

John (Tucker) said...

Wow I hate to copy what everyone else said, but guess we all agree BRAVO on the night heron. It is truly a perfect picture. Felt like I was there looking at it.

Steve Borichevsky said...

Stunning light!

NicoleB said...

Whoa, the Ibis and Heron are both awesome.
Saw a Bl. cr. Night Heron here on Saturday too, was surprised :)
Glad you had a great time with fellow like minded spirits!

Kerri said...

Oh How FUN! Your captures are wonderful!

Tammie Lee said...

it sounds as though you had a wonderful meeting with these people. how fun to have so much in common, birds and art. I will visit her blog, thank you.
Your photos are gorgeous!

Sondra said...

Great photos!! I havent been to Hilton Head in a long time, last yr went to the Beaufort area and ACE BASIN, a great birding area in the Low Country--I hope to get down there at some point this yr before the F.migration to see the Painted Bunting!

Wanda..... said...

I always love your photos, Kelly.

Giga said...

Piękne zdjęcia ptaków. W takim miejscu 2 godziny to chyba by było dla mnie za mało. Kocham przyrodę. Pozdrawiam

Kelly said...

...thanks, everyone. It was so much fun meeting a blogging friend! Pam and I had a wonderful time, and we really got lucky with the light. If you go to Pinckney you might want to go in the evening for one of your visits...

Roy said...

Fabulous images of the NIght Heron Kelly. The sun really showed its plumage off as well.

Elizabeth Smith said...

So great to see you and Pam getting together! Those photos with the late afternoon sun are just luminous! You are an artists with the camera as well as with paper and paint. I love your work.