Sinister Swamp – WPC Danger

“Do not pray to be sheltered from dangers, be fearless in facing them.”

Rabindranath Tagore



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.”

Evangeline Walton

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

70 thoughts on “Sinister Swamp – WPC Danger

  1. I’d like to wander through that swamp. Clearly you enjoyed yourself. The last three photos are my favorites and they seem to bring out the flavor of the place well. When we used to visit my grandparents on Sea Island at Easter, my father would always take a “Where’s the chameleon?” shot. I know they’re anoles, not chameleons, but that’s what we called them. He would find one that had blended perfectly into a green palm leaf, or maybe a brown section of trunk, step back, and shoot. A few weeks later, back home, we’d have a slide show of our trip; those hidden anole images were always so much fun. I’m lucky to have this memory from your part of the world.

      • About closing comments: for a short time, I was having a lot of spam comments of the inappropriate kind. Going to moderation and keeping a short comment window significantly reduced those kind of comments.

        The contact form also goes through the Akismet spam filter. Haven’t had any spam come through the contact form.

  2. Oh, Tina these are glorious photographs of your day spent at Caw Caw. A great deal to see, admire
    and photograph. Although I love them all the last photograph ‘Forest Pan’ feels ethereal. It showcases
    the woodlands perfectly. It’s the perfect image for a mystery book cover. I enjoyed your take on the
    challenge very much.
    Isadora 😎

  3. WOW…what fantastic shots…loving the aligator face…quite the ‘danger’…but a beautiful capture….gorgeous!!!

  4. Beautiful images….love the first because it so clearly indicates danger😎 And the last because its incredibly expressive…..nature i love it!! So nourishing if a tad dangerous at times.

  5. Love every picture and quote, Tina. 🙂 It’s strange how vulnerable we can feel when we’re in the midst of nature. I’m not sure how I’d react if I’d seen a gator though! You’re really brave!

  6. Forest Pan – sensational! what else can I say, and of course your Van Gogh quote couldn’t be more perfect. As always Travels and Trifles is such a treat to visit and to be inspired by. Have a great week…Andrew

  7. Forest Path and Pan are absolutely stunning, Tina. I always want to capture an owl in nature. There are 2-3 flying in this area. But so far I could not capture one. Great entry for this weeks theme. Smiles. Reinhold

    • Thank you Reinhold. As I mention I’d never have found it if the warden hadn’t helped spot it. Lots of zoom and cropping for this one! Have a great weekend.

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  10. Fears come in all shapes and sizes… I can’t tell you how ,any time those little anoles have made me jump… cute as they are.. love these photos.. particularly of that little guy!

  11. You captured the beauty of this special spot. I’ve been known to be fearless sometimes, but that guy in the first photo would have kept me walking in the middle of that boardwalk to make sure I didn’t meet him up close and personal. I’ve never seen a Carolina Anole so thank you for the introduction. The last photo is truly ethereal. Love the header shot too. 🙂

  12. Really like all of these, but especially Drip Drop. So much detail in one brief moment. Thanks for posting these photos of your area — we see alligators when we visit Hilton Head, but I keep my distance! 🙂

    • Keeping one’s distance from the gators is an absolute must! I saw a mama gator lunge out of the water once and her power and speed were amazing. She was protecting her nest which we had no idea was there. They’re amazing creatures best left alone! >

  13. The Forest Pan ist stunning, my favourite, but as always eaach and every one is very good as are the quotes. Beautiful work, Tina! 🌹

    • I hear you on the primal fear thing! Just when you think they’re quite docile they can move faster than a speeding bullet. Hopefully in the opposite direction! >

  14. Apparently alligator scares me a lot. But then I changed my mind when i see the forest pan. I feel like there’s something mysterious inside it. By the way, beautiful post, Tina 😄

  15. Beautiful series, Tina. Love your pan. Neat that you captured an owl. It took me a while to get over thinking there was a gator at every turn when I moved! 🙂

  16. I love almost any kind of nature walk, but I have to say swamps always seem scary to me! As we see in that first photo, danger always seems to be just below the surface or up in a mossy tree or around a tangled vine!

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