Category Archives: South Carolina

Murrells Inlet

Murrells Inlet is my home! Everybody likes to brag about their home, and guess what — Murrells Inlet is legendary!   It’s the place where hushpuppies were invented, where Blackbeard and other pirates of the high seas stashed their ill-gotten booty. It’s the place where local and visitor alike have reported the chance meeting with one of the Inlet’s local ghosts.   History in our community began writing itself long before this area was officially named Murrells Inlet by the post office in 1913. The origin of this name remains a mystery with theories resting in passed-down legends of pirates and fishermen and incomplete records of landowners, plats and maps. 

By the 1700s, scores of pirates had taken to the high seas to intercept cargo vessels and make off with the goods.  The South Carolina coastal waters were especially productive for pirates and the coves and inlets along Murrells Inlet provided great hiding places for those marauders.

Pirates who became local legends include Edward Teach, also known as Blackbeard because of his coal-black beard, and Drunken Jack, who was left behind on an island with a huge stash of stolen rum (and died with a smile on his face).

Our history includes Native American tribes, 16th century Spanish explorers and English colonists.  By the 1800s successful rice plantations were producing almost 47 million pounds of rice and were more successful than the tobacco  and cotton plantations of the Southeast.

People who summered in Murrells Inlet in the 1800s generally traveled by steamboat docking at the Wachesaw River Landing.  The river steamboats were known for excellent food and many of the steamboats’ cooks settled in Murrells Inlet, giving the area a reputation for savory cuisine long ago.

Yep – Murrells Inlet is where I call home! If you have not ever been here, you owe it to yourself to visit at least once. Put us on your “bucket list”!

This image was from the afternoon of 11 October 2013, click it for larger view:

Stormy Inlet


Also posted in Black and White, inlet images, murrells inlet, photography

Featured Photographer – Janine Briggs

Todays Featured Photographer is my friend Janine Briggs.  Here’s Janine telling you a little bit about herself —

I am an amateur photographer and a Massachusetts native, since 2005 my husband Fred and I live in Surfside Beach South Carolina with our golden retriever Ginger. In 2010 we vacationed in Yellow Stone National Park and my passion for wildlife and landscape photography blossomed. I am a member of Carolina Natures Photographers Association of which I have been actively attending meetings, outings and workshops. Through the coaxing of my friends I am now a member of the Seacoast Artist Guild. I am always looking forward to when I can get out and shoot. There are many places of interest in this country, of which, I have only visited a few. My bucket list for places to visit continues to grow as I learn more in the world of photography.
I hope that you all enjoy what I have accomplished.

Thanks, Janine! You can see more of Janine’s work on her Flickr page, at the Charleston Art Shop, at Fine Art America, and on Facebook!

Click on each image for larger view:


IMG_6419_960 IMG_6366_1_960 IMG_4313_960 IMG_0726_960 _MG_6896_H_960

Also posted in art and entertainment, CNPA, Featured Photographer, outdoor, photography, Seacoast Artists Guild

Featured Photographer – Jason Bennett

Today’s Featured Photographer is Jason Bennett. Jason and his wife, Erica, own a small video and photography company called Docent Prodigy in Charleston, SC.  The historic surroundings and southern charm of the area provide an easy and inviting canvas on which to paint a photographer’s vision.  Jason has worked in the TV industry for 15 years and branched out into fine art photography as well as portraiture as a way to expand his skills and express himself in new and exciting ways.

To see more about Jason, you can catch him at these links: 

Here are some images that Jason has shared with us. Click on image for larger view:
Docent Prodigy - Diamonds Sunset Docent Prodigy - IOP Pier Docent Prodigy - Pass Time Docent Prodigy - Pineapple Doecnt Prodigy - Morris Island Lighthouse
Also posted in Black and White, Charleston, Featured Photographer, Folly Beach, lighthouse, Morris Island Lighthouse, Night photography, photography

Featured Photographer – Maria Delaney

WOW! It’s October already! Where has this year gone? Our Featured Photographer today is Maria Delaney! Here’s what Maria has to say about herself —

Sharing my images and some of my once in a lifetime shots with everyone has become one of my passions. I enjoy capturing the intense colors just before the sun peeks out and brightens the beach and marshes as well as the beautiful sunrises.
I am a published and an award winning photographer who calls Pawleys Island, SC home. My photographs depict glorious nature scenes, beach residents, wildlife, and city scenes that are viewed around the world. My husband and I are S.C.U.T.E. volunteers dedicated to sea turtle conservation. A portion of the sale proceeds from turtle images are used to educate people about these endangered species and to support the adoption of an injured sea turtle.

Four of my photos, Breach, Frolicking, Lunch Time, and Volcano were selected and are being immortalized on the cruise ship, The Royal Princess.
I am a member of the Carolina’s Nature Photographers Association and am on the Board of Directors for Seacoast Artist Guild and the Seacoast Mall Gallery Director at Murrells Inlet.

Here are a few images Maria has chosen to share with us:

Click on image for larger view.

Volcano Pink Glory Lunch Time Frolicking Breach


Also posted in art and entertainment, CNPA, Featured Photographer, outdoor, pelican, photography, Seacoast Artists Guild

Featured Photographer – Kenny McKeithan

My Featured Photographer today is Kenny McKeithan!

Kenny’s interest in photography began when his parents bought him his first box camera while he was still a kid. He taught himself photography in those early years, and when he was old enough, began working in local camera shops, learning all he could about the many different aspects of photography. Kenny is an award-winning photographer whose portfolio includes fashion and glamour images, portraits, and aviation images. His favorite work is wildlife and nature photography. He is an instructor at the Charleston Center for Photography, a Regional Co-Coordinator for the Carolinas’ Nature Photographers Association, and leads photography workshops throughout the southeast.

Kenny’s work can be seen at his website and on his
FaceBook page:

Here are some images that Kenny has shared with us.
Click on image for larger view:

ACE Basin Forest Abstract IMG_2964-4-Edit-Edit Strike View from the Summit KMP_4245

Also posted in Charleston, CNPA, Featured Photographer, outdoor, photography

Featured Photographer – Donna Allen Fiocca

Over the next month or so I will be featuring other photographers for you. Some are strictly hobbyists who simply enjoy creating photographic images and sharing them with others. Some will be seasoned professionals whom I have asked to showcase some of their work here for your pleasure. If it applies, I will include links to websites or other venues where you can see more of an artists work. I hope you will enjoy these “features” and if you have the chance, let the artists know you saw their work here and enjoyed it!

FIRST FEATURED PHOTOGRAPHER (drum roll please)……….



Donna is a dedicated hobbyist who loves trying new and different techniques. Although a yankee by birth, she has found her true home in South Carolina and you can see that love reflected in her photography. Donna is an active member of the Carolinas’ Nature Photographers Association where her images have often won praise and awards.  

Here are some of her favorite images. Click on image for larger view:

FioccaD_Atalya FioccaD_FlightOfTheBubmleBee FioccaD_MiddletonHouse FioccaD_MooreFarmsPond FioccaD_PawleysIslandBeach

Also posted in CNPA, photography

Shrimp Boats

The commercial fishery in South Carolina is dominated by shrimp boats (trawlers), which may range in length from 17 to 85 feet. The larger boats are the most recognizable and account for most of the shrimp caught in the fishery. Trawling is allowed only in the ocean, except for limited periods during fall when trawlers may work in the lower areas of Winyah and North Santee Bays. Most shrimpers work within three or four miles of the beach.

The commercial shrimp trawling fishery has three basic seasons. The first is the so-called roe shrimp season in May or June.This season is opened when management biologists determine that an adequate supply of eggs has been spawned. The roe shrimp season is usually less than a month in duration and landings are dependent upon the severity of the previous winter. Following mild winters, heads-off landings are often 400 to 600 thousand pounds. Following severe winters, landings of roe shrimp are usually less than 50 thousand pounds and often zero.

The second season is for brown shrimp. This fishery usually begins in June and ends in August, although significant quantities of brown shrimp have been landed in October when stock abundance was very high. Good years for brown shrimp have landings of 1.3 to 2.0 million pounds (heads off).

The fall white shrimp season is typically the largest except in years following severe winters. These shrimp are the offspring of the spring spawn. Landings of young white shrimp by the commercial fleet usually begin in August and peak in September and October. The season usually lasts through December and into January in some years.

You can learn more about the South Carolina shrimping industry when you follow this link!

Shown below is an image I captured of the Miss Nichole, ready to go get some more shrimp!

Click on image for larger view:

shrimp boat

Also posted in Georgetown, outdoor, Shrimp Boats

Belin Memorial United Methodist Church

Belin Memorial United Methodist Church, named for the Reverend James L. Belin, Methodist Minister and benefactor to the entire Waccamaw Neck, was built in 1925 with materials salvaged from the dismantling of the Oatland Methodist Church near Pawleys Island. Mrs. W.L. Oliver was instrumental in having the building literally moved piece by piece to the present site. The work was done during the ministry of the Reverend W.T. Bedenbaugh who lived at Cedar Hill parsonage. The church sanctuary was first renovated in 1955 during the ministry of the Reverend J. H. Armburst. In 1967, an education and administration building was completed during  the pastorate of the Reverend Needham Williamson. In 1977, the sanctuary was moved approximately 75 ft. to the center of the Cedar Hill location and more than doubled in size. This ambitious project was completed in  the spring of 1978 during the pastorate of the Reverend Wesley Farr.

In 1991, during the ministry of the Reverend W. Robert Morris, the Belin Church family approved plans for the construction of a new sanctuary to be designed to mirror the older structure. The first worship service was held in the new sanctuary on September 6, 1992, by the Reverend Harold P. Lewis, newly appointed pastor of Belin. On May 2, 1993, a Belin church conference voted to donate the original Belin sanctuary to the Joseph B. Bethea United Methodist Church located off Highway 501, west of Myrtle Beach. The indebtedness on the new sanctuary was quickly and gracefully paid off, and the church was dedicated on March 29, 1998, by Bishop J. Lawrence

Almost immediately, the Belin family of faith determined to build a state-of-the-art Family Life Center, and it was completed and consecrated on December 12, 1999, under the leadership of the Reverend Harold P. Lewis.
Belin Memorial United Methodist Church is now a congregation of more than 2,000 members with an ongoing vision for both the present and the future.

Shown below is the present day (September 2013) Belin Memorial UMC Sanctuary as it appears at night.

Click on image for larger view:

Belin Memorial UMC

Also posted in Belin, murrells inlet, Night photography, outdoor, photography, UMC

Bulls Island

Bulls Island, at 5000 acres, is the largest of four barrier islands found within the Cape Romain NWR. The island consists of maritime forest, fresh and brackish water impoundments, salt marsh and sandy beaches. Live oaks, Sabal palmettos, cedar, loblolly pines and magnolias are the dominant trees found on the island. Bulls Island is home for deer, alligators, raccoons, and black fox squirrels, but the bird life is what Bulls Island is known for throughout the world. Over 293 species of birds have been recorded on the refuge with most being found on or near Bulls. During the fall and winter seasons, black ducks, canvasback, scaup and wigeon can be found in the impoundments. Yellowlegs, dunlins and sanderlings are viewed on the mud flats and beaches. Waders such as blue herons and American and snowy egrets are plentiful. Warblers, woodpeckers and raptors abound in the lush forest on Bulls Island.

Since the early settlements, Bulls Island has been the scene of much historical activity. Bulls Bay and the creeks behind Bulls Island were reputed hideouts for pirates plundering ships along the coast. The remains of the “Old Fort” are believed to have been a martello or lookout tower built in the
early 1700’s. During the Revolutionary War, British warships used the islandto replenish supplies.

For 240 years, 36 parties claimed ownership of Bulls Island. In 1925, New York banker and broker Gayer Dominick purchased the island. An avid outdoorsman, Dominick built a large vacation home and developed the island into a hunting preserve. In 1936, Dominick conveyed the island to the U.S. Government and Bulls Island became part of the Cape Romain NWR.

Perhaps the most photographed location on Bulls Island is Boneyard Beach. Here, hundreds of oaks, cedars and pines are strewn along a three mile stretch of beach on the northeast corner of the island; all the result of an ever-changing beach in constant battle with the in-coming surf. Boneyard Beach gets its name from all the downed trees that have been bleached by the sun and salt water.

Below is an image I captured at the Boneyard Beach on Bulls Island at sunrise. Hope you enjoy it!

Click on image for larger view:


Boneyard Beach

Also posted in art and entertainment, outdoor, photography

Huntington Beach State Park

The 2500 acres of Huntington Beach State Park hold a rich bounty of Grand Strand treasures. The park is only fifteen miles from downtown Myrtle Beach but is a world away from the hustle and bustle of the beaches to its north. Some do visit Huntington Beach State Park just to enjoy the beautiful and uncrowded beach. You can also camp, tour Atalaya, fish, and explore nature. You have a chance to see alligators or view some of the few hundred bird species that have been sighted in Huntington Beach park.

The park’s Education Center contains an exhibit hall, featuring a touch tank, several aquariums, a number of live animal exhibits (including a baby alligator), and a variety of interactive exhibits. The Education Center also contains a classroom with a number of compound and dissecting microscopes and audio-visual equipment, a Wet Lab with a dozen aquariums and variety of living and preserved marine organisms, and a new Eco Lab with a plankton farm and biotope aquariums representing the different wetland habitats of the park.

You can learn more about this South Carolina State Park at this link.

Here is last nights sunset as seen from the causeway at HBSP and also a shot from last night of a diverse group of feeding birds (Wood Storks, Egrets and a Spoonbill).

Click on image for larger view.


Group Feeding

Also posted in art and entertainment, bird, causeway, huntington beach, murrells inlet, photography