Category Archives: murrells inlet

Roseate Spoonbill

A bizarre wading bird of the southern coasts, the Roseate Spoonbill uses its odd bill to strain small food items out of the water. Its bright pink coloring leads many tourists to think they have seen a flamingo.

The adult Roseate Spoonbill is among the most striking North American birds. Nearly three feet tall, adults have long reddish legs, a pink body, and pink wings with deep red highlights. The neck and breast are mostly white, and there are touches of orange on the rump, face, and shoulders. Most unusual is the unfeathered head, which can be yellow or greenish, and the long, spatulate bill, for which the species is named. With a wingspan of about 50 inches, adult spoonbills weigh over three pounds. Immature birds are paler overall, with feathered white heads.

The Roseate Spoonbill is at once beautiful and bizarre. Its rose-colored plumage is striking even from a distance. Viewed more closely, the bald greenish head and unusual spoon-shaped bill of this elegantly plumed bird are apparent. Thanks to conservation efforts, the species has recovered significantly from near-decimation during the plume-hunting era.

Here are a couple of images of a Roseate Spoonbill that I took at Huntington Beach State Park in Murrells Inlet, South Carolina:

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Well, last night was another round of fireworks at the Marshwalk here in Murrells Inlet. A group of eateries along the Marshwalk got together this summer and sponsored firework displays every Monday night, through August.  Here are some shots from last nights edition!

As always, you can click on each photo to get a larger view!


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Live Oak

Live oak or evergreen oak is a general term for a number of unrelated oaks in several different sections of the genus Quercus that happen to share the characteristic of evergreen foliage.
The name live oak comes from the fact that evergreen oaks remain green and “live” throughout winter, when other oaks are dormant, leafless and “dead”-looking. The name is used mainly in North America, where evergreen oaks are widespread in warmer areas, along the Atlantic coast from southeast Virginia and North Carolina to Florida, west along the Gulf Coast to Texas and Louisiana and across the southwest to California and southwest Oregon.
Evergreen oak species are also common in parts of Europe and Asia, and are included in this list for the sake of completeness. These species, although not having “live” in their common names in their countries of origin, are colloquially called live oaks when cultivated in North America.
When the term live oak is used in a specific rather than general sense, it most commonly refers to the southern live oak (Quercus virginiana), the first species so named, and an icon of the Old South, but can often refer to other species regionally.

Live oak was widely used in early American butt shipbuilding. Because of the trees’ short height and low-hanging branches, lumber from live oak was specifically used to make curved structural members of the hull, such as knee braces (single-piece, inverted L-shaped braces that spring inward from the side and support a ship’s deck). In such cuts of lumber, the line of the grain would fall perpendicularly to lines of stress, creating structures of exceptional strength. Live oaks were not generally used for planking because the curved and often convoluted shape of the tree did not lend itself to be milled to planking of any length. Red oak or white oak was generally used for planking on vessels, as those trees tended to grow straight and tall and thus would yield straight trunk sections of length suitable for milling into plank lengths.
Live oak was largely logged out in Europe by the latter half of the 19th century, and was similarly sought after and exported from the United States until iron- and steel-hulled commercial vessel construction became the standard early in the 20th century. Live oak lumber is rarely used for furniture due to warping and twisting while drying.
It continues to be used occasionally when available in shipbuilding, as well as for tool handles for its strength, energy absorption, and density, but modern composites are often substituted with good effect.

The Live Oak shown below is alive and well at Brookgreen Gardens in Murrells Inlet, South Carolina.

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Brookgreen Gardens



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Brookgreen Gardens

Brookgreen Gardens is a sculpture garden and wildlife preserve, located just south of Murrells Inlet, in South Carolina. The 9,100-acre (37 km2) property includes several themed gardens with American figurative sculptures placed in them, the Lowcountry Zoo, and trails through several ecosystems in nature reserves on the property.

Originally, what is now Brookgreen Gardens was four rice plantations. The plantations from south to north were The Oaks, Brookgreen, Springfield, and Laurel Hill. The current gardens and surrounding facilities lie completely on the former Brookgreen Plantation, which was owned by Joshua John Ward, the largest American slaveholder.

Archer and Anna Hyatt Huntington first visited the property in 1929. Because they were captivated by the beauty of it, they purchased nearly 9,100 acres of forest, swamp, rice fields and beachfront. They intended to establish a winter home on the Atlantic, but Anna saw the potential of the property and they quickly began to develop her vision of making it the showcase for her sculptures. Archer, stepson of philanthropist Collis Huntington, and Anna have donated property and contributed much to U.S. arts and culture in a number of states.

Brookgreen Gardens was opened in 1932. About 1444 works of American figurative sculpture are displayed at the Archer and Anna Hyatt Huntington Sculpture Garden. Many of the works are creations of sculptress Anna Hyatt Huntington, but other artists are also featured. Walkways and garden paths link the sculptures in their distinctive garden, fountain, or landscape settings, with vistas of the scenery surrounding them.

Strolling through Brookgreen is a wonderful experience and you will see different things on each visit. Yesterday I took a brief walk through some of the gardens and came away with some images that are shared below.  

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So yesterday afternoon I took a little stroll along the Marshwalk here in Murrells Inlet.  Not only is the Marshwalk in such a beautiful location, but if you pay attention and really look at your surroundings, you are likely to see all kinds of stuff.

Here are a few things that caught my attention yesterday as I walked along.

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Inlet Crab House and Raw Bar

The Inlet Crab house and Raw Bar is he only Captain owned and family operated restaurant in Murrells Inlet. Established in 1992 by the Mayes family the Inlet Crab House is located on Business Hwy 17 in the heart of Murrells Inlet directly across from Inlet Apothecary.  Check out their menu online at


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Murrells Inlet Marshwalk

The spectacular Murrells Inlet Marshwalk takes a night out at the beach to a whole new level. Located just around the corner from Garden City and Surfside Beaches, the Marshwalk combines some of the area’s greatest views with truly spectacular dining for every taste. Take a walk and enjoy the wildlife and scenery, or stop in on one of the many decks and patios featuring live music. A quick look at the many menus found along the way will reveal that savory Lowcountry cuisine, fresh seafood, the finest steaks and a range of mouth-watering delicacies prepared by some of the region’s award-winning chefs are all bountiful here. Bring the family, and plan a day of fun and relaxation in this village known for its charm and Southern hospitality.


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Great Egrets

This long-legged, S-necked white bird is found throughout the Americas and around much of the world. It is typically the largest white egret occurring anywhere in its range (only the white-colored form of the great blue heron is larger).

Great egrets are found near water, salt or fresh, and feed in wetlands, streams, ponds, tidal flats, and other areas. They snare prey by walking slowly or standing still for long periods, waiting for an animal to come within range of their long necks and blade-like bills. The deathblow is delivered with a quick thrust of the sharp bill, and the prey is swallowed whole. Fish are a dietary staple, but great egrets use similar techniques to eat amphibians, reptiles, mice, and other small animals.

These birds nest in trees, near water and gather in groups called colonies, which may include other heron or egret species. They are monogamous, and both parents incubate their three to four eggs. Young egrets are aggressive towards one another in the nest, and stronger siblings often kill their weaker kin so that not all survive to fledge in two to three weeks.

The great egret is the symbol of the National Audubon Society and represents a conservation success story. The snowy white bird’s beautiful plumage made it far too popular in 19th-century North America. Great egrets were decimated by plume hunters who supplied purveyors of the latest ladies’ fashions. Their populations plunged by some 95 percent. Today the outlook is much brighter. The birds have enjoyed legal protection over the last century, and their numbers have increased substantially.

This image was captured at Huntington Beach State Park in Murrells Inlet, South Carolina. Enjoy!

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Garden City Beach

Garden City Beach is Horry County’s southernmost beach community. It is located seven miles south of Myrtle Beach and lies partly in Horry County and partly in Georgetown County.

Garden City Beach is an unincorporated coastal community nestled between the Atlantic Ocean on its east and the creeks and tributaries of Murrells Inlet on its west. Garden City Beach takes pride in being recognized as a family beach offering fun filled family activities such as the Sun Fun Kids Fair and Annual Christmas Tree Lighting. There is also a new 1,250 foot long creek walk for fishing, crabbing, birding, walking , and biking.

Below is a view of Garden City Beach as seen from across Murrells Inlet from Belin Memorial United Methodist Church.

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