A hike at Victoria Bluff Preserve

This preserve has five-plus miles of lowcountry hiking trails through longleaf and tall slash pines.

One of the fire-break trails at Victoria Bluff Heritage Preserve/Wildlife Management Area.

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Shell Point Trail, Pickney Island NWR

Tall pines line the interior of Pickney Island National Wildlife Refuge.

The above photo was taken a quarter-mile in where the pines shade the double-track gravel and grass Shell Point trail.

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Eastern Bluebirds perched on Nestbox

Early in the morning, a couple of these Eastern Bluebird were flying around this nest box at Pickney Island National Wildlife Refuge. The Bluebird is an “edge species” that lives between habitats such as prairie and forest, and the birds are drawn to nest boxes.

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Bluffton Birds 3: Male Painted Bunting

Last but not least, here is the Male Painted Bunting, the most colorful of songbirds:

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Bluffton Birds 2: Female Painted Bunting

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Bluffton Birds 1: Carolina Chickadee in the trees

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Tufted Titmouse at Pinckney Island

Tufted Titmouse

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Lost in the Pines

I returned to Victoria Bluff Preserve today. The white sun came through the tall pines in patches.

It was much warmer today. Sparrows and Carolina Wrens pranced and whistled through the brush. I had “my head in the clouds” (as my stepfather says I am prone to do). There, ahead fifty yards, was a big Red-bellied Woodpecker. Off to the right, a beautiful green-yellow Warbler. I was walking along the trail, and the layer of pine needles got so thick it was soft and springy under my feet. I finally turned around–after about two miles or so–and began the hike back. But the trail got narrow, and narrower, and very unfamiliar. This was clearly not the trail I took in. I kept hiking, and soon realized that I had temporarily drifted astray from my course (ie, I was–temporarily–lost).

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Cloudy Day Hike

DISPATCH FROM BLUFFTON, SOUTH CAROLINA — It was chilly and gray, and the wet wind was making it feel colder as I hiked into the hardwoods at Victoria Bluff Heritage Preserve. Ahead the amber leaves of a stout maple tree cast a little burst of color onto the scene.

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