“Do not pray to be sheltered from dangers, be fearless in facing them.”
This week’s challenge is Danger. Now that I have your attention, let me admit that my lens captured the gator above not far from my home here on Kiawah. But he and others like him were definitely lurking in the swamp I visited last week at the Caw Caw Interpretive Center in nearby Ravenel, SC which houses alligators, turkeys, many birds of prey and multiple other interesting creatures.
“One cannot answer for his courage when he has never been in danger.”
Francois de La Rochefoucauld
The center features hundreds of acres, 8 miles of trails and 1,200 feet of boardwalk. It also includes rice fields which were the site of the infamous Stono Slave Rebellion of 1739. Some 60 people were killed and repercussions included slightly improved conditions for slaves as well as stricter laws governing their privileges. There is perhaps nothing more dangerous or more sad than man’s inhumanity to man – nowhere more clearly demonstrated than in the horrors of slavery.
“There is always danger for those who are afraid.”
George Bernard Shaw
A happier danger of the center is getting lost amid the many opportunities to see and shoot the beautiful landscapes and local “residents”. The young owl above was very well hidden in the dense foliage. I suspect we’d never have seen him (or her) if the caretaker of the center hadn’t helped us to spot him.
Far below the canopy, the many reflections of the trees within the waters of the marsh were quite beautiful. One of my favorite captures, shown below, had the added element of a ripple from a fallen leaf.
“Questions can be more dangerous than swords.”
Although not at all dangerous, I’ve included a shot of an adorable little Carolina Anole (aka the red-throated anole). His bright pink throat differentiates him from the female, who has a white flap. He’s an interesting little creature in that he can change color from brown to green. I appreciated his willingness to stop for a moment to have his portrait taken before scurrying off into the understory.
“There is safety in the very heart of danger.”
Vincent Van Gogh
I’ll close this week’s post with a pan of Caw Caw’s swampy waters and beautiful cypress trees which for me did the best job of portraying the ethereal mystery of the place. Somehow during a momentary pause one can imagine the stillness of a primordial world where nothing but the call of birds or the rustle of the leaves disturbs the profound quiet.
“True courage is in facing danger when you are afraid.”
L. Frank Baum