By Melissa Billey | Piedmont Technical College
Imagine . . . walking through the beautiful lush forests of South Carolina. You feel the warm and cool temperature change on your face as you pass in and out of the shadows of the beautiful pines and hardwoods. A bird calls out from a nearby tree alerting its fellow avian relations that your presence has been sensed, but there is no need to be alarmed. Continuing your journey deeper into the denser areas, you find a log and take your seat among the many varieties of plants.
Sitting there, enjoying your bottled water and relaxing in the calm of nature, a deer peeks around the corner of a brush thicket. She has noticed you but is still curious enough at the moment to not run. As you gaze at her beautiful dark eyes, another small similar figure slowly passes her and comes into your view. The beautiful doe has allowed her young fawn to venture out into your area of sight. Both are beautiful standing against the greens and browns of the woods with the light streaming down through the branches and leaves. They stand there frozen for the moment, making sure you are not a threat of any kind. There is just enough time to bring your camera up and capture the beauty that South Carolina holds hidden in an off beaten path. The doe and fawn go back to enjoying the foliage surrounding them as you continue to watch and photograph the amazing sight of the two together. Then, another head emerges from the thicket. It is a second fawn who is a little shyer than its sibling.
As you continue to photograph the trio enjoying the day, you hear a small rustling in the dried leaves and twigs behind you. A squirrel quickly juts across the path and scurries up a nearby tree as it is being chased by a second squirrel. Siblings . . . maybe, friends . . .perhaps, amusing to watch. Absolutely! Another few clicks of the shutter, and another beautiful photo is captured for the South Carolina Wildlife magazine. The readers are going to love these photos. This will bring them out hiking and enjoying the South Carolina parks and preserves. As you say farewell to your newly found friends and stand to continue your journey, you watch the three deer trail off until they are out of sight. Beautiful, you think to yourself.
Continuing forward, a sign up ahead states that a nearby body of water is off to your left. All paths should be explored, so you head that way looking for more picturesque areas that are just waiting on you and your camera. Along the path, you notice the color variations in the fallen leaves from last Autumn. You stop and photograph the amazing hues that come together in nature. As you focus your camera, you find a small caterpillar slowly making its way across the leaves. The leaves are beautiful by themselves, but this is an addition to the photo composition that a photographer isn’t about to pass up…macro lens time.
Switching lenses, you follow a path to the water. As you crest the hill, your eyes follow the lines of the trees down to the bank connecting the sky to the beautiful, glistening water. As you watch the sun bounce off of the large mirror spread out in front of you, you cannot help but notice the beautiful white clouds reflecting on the water’s surface. You can’t help but to lose your breath at the sight of the mirrored natural pool laying in front of you. The placid calmness of the water is interrupted as you dip your finger into the mirrored glass and watch the circle of ripples float out into the untouched areas of the lake. You do it again, this time photographing the consequences of touching the surface as the circles, one after another, float out into the distance. Beautiful, you think to yourself.
Resting for a moment and enjoying the sights and sounds of the bank area, you bid the frogs and crickets goodbye and continue forward. Again, the splendor of everything surrounding you meshes together like a beautiful well-crafted oil painting. That is an idea for next time, you must remember to bring not only your camera but a canvas and paints. With all of the inspiration wrapped up in this area, there is no doubt that you will be able to create a beautiful landscape scene on a canvas with all of the majestic visions surrounding you. You take in a deep breath of the clean crisp air. Mmmm, you can’t enjoy air like that just anywhere. This is serene. Beautiful, you think to yourself.
You round the bend toward the main gate of the park. Stone pillars constructed from pieces of granite surround the park’s wooden sign. Beautiful pavilions housing picnic tables are being enjoyed. A young family having a picnic is just enjoying the day and the peacefulness of the area. Hopefully the children will get to see the deer when they take a walk later today.
Turning to look at the view one more time, you think to yourself, “Beautiful. Absolutely beautiful.”
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed on South Carolina Wild are solely those of the authors, and do not reflect official policies, positions, or endorsements of activity or products by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.