Angry seas and stalwart trees
Updated: Feb 4, 2022
Battleship grey and swollen with malevolent intent, the ocean, abetted by the fierce arctic wind, sent wave after wave crashing against a defenseless beach. What had seemed so beautiful and playful yesterday had become ugly and dangerous today.
To my right a deserted pier reached out perilously into the ocean in a token show of defiance and to my left a small copse of live oaks, boughs bent but not broken stood guard as they had for centuries. Like Tolkien’s Ents this band of brothers was prepared for waaar! These barrier islands and low lying coastal communities survive with one eye always on the weather. It is no wonder that they call the region the graveyard of the Atlantic.
Then Finley licked my face, his signal for ‘I’m hungry’ and feeling rather peckish myself, we retired to the camper for a spot of lunch.
Our journey down the coast of North Carolina has certainly been an adventure punctuated by the whims of the barometer. Ice, snow, wind and rain along with cloudless days of glorious sun have been our companions. I’m not sure what it is about the ocean, a fire or the night sky that captures my attention, holding me rapt and feeding my daydreams. It is something elemental, visceral even, that connects with the soul.
Almost one month in and we have now left North Carolina for her southern sister. Our first night we stayed at a small farm, or as Finley would have it, Zootopia for dogs. It was a blast.
Finley met his first herd of Alpacas, made some goats feint and chased Cherokee the horse, Tilly the pony and Eddie the grumpy donkey. I had to keep him away from the Silky and Polish chickens and their Guinea Fowl bodyguards else mayhem would ensue. Yes indeed, South Carolina certainly knows how to make a good canine impression.
Our hosts at the Herd it Here farm, the lovely Sheryl and hubby Bill kindly gave me a tour and allowed me to help feed the animals and explained their goals for the farm. They currently are slowly increasing the size of the Alpaca herd and the fiber from their thick, dense coats are used to make lovely, soft scarfs, socks mitts, etc. I gladly purchased a couple pair of socks to keep my feet warm in the cold winter weather. They would love to expand the reach of the farm by providing learning opportunities for children, what a great field trip that would be.
After dinner the soft afterglow of sunset gave way to a crystal clear, star filled night. I sat outside sipping wine and smiling. Cherokee plodded over to see if I had a spare carrot (sorry boy) and Finley conked out in bed but even in his dreams was running non stop. All was right with the world.
We are now in the Charleston area staying at the primitive yet beautiful Santee Coastal Reserve amid moss laden live oaks and marshlands teeming with avian life, cypress swamps and the odd alligator or so I’ve been told. There is an eerie quietness here, a stillness we have not felt on our travels to date. Then I realized what was amiss. Bugs…… or the complete lack of them. One great benefit of the cold temps is that our friends the mosquito have shut up shop and moved on leaving behind blessed silence.............................................................Ahhh!!!