History and Nature

Being a ‘northerner,’ rice fields were not something I ever spent much time thinking or learning about. My loss.

At Brookgreen Gardens, they are a large part of the gardens’ history. Brookgreen’s 9,100 acres was originally composed of four rice fields that date back to the 1800’s when rice was a very important cash crop.

On a nice day last week, a couple of us hiked the rice field paths.

We also saw some interesting lichens. I’m definitely not knowledgeable about lichens in South Carolina. I can share that lichens are composed of a fungus, algae, and most likely a yeast that need an undisturbed area, time, and fresh air to thrive.

When I was trying unsuccessfully to identify these lichens, I saw this comment: “Lichens are the Marines of the botanical world. They are the first organisms to go where nothing else dares.” πŸ™‚

We are all captivated by a beautiful flower like this pretty magnolia blossom.

Most times there is also beauty to be found in the surrounding areas ‘if’ we look for it.

I need to remind myself of that periodically.

The first couple of years we came south in the winter, we saw Snowy White Egrets almost everywhere we looked. Now, we see very few. I’m guessing they have moved to other roosting sites.

On our rice field hike, we saw one, but my iPhone camera certainly didn’t do him justice.

Have a great week, and Happy Valentine’s day! ❀️ I’m thinking chocolate, chocolate, chocolate, then again I think that most days. πŸ™‚

About Judy@NewEnglandGardenAndThread

Master Gardener who enjoys gardening, quilting, photography, and traveling.
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57 Responses to History and Nature

  1. So beautiful! As a northerner myself, I’ve never pondered much about rice growing!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Eliza Waters says:

    The rice fields used to sustain huge flocks of blackbirds and bobolinks in winter all throughout the southeast. Many of those farms are no longer growing rice, so bobolinks particularly are in decline. It must have been interesting to learn about those early days of growing it.
    The magnolias and azaleas must be getting ready to bloom en masse. Keep us posted! πŸ™‚
    Have a great week, Judy!

    Liked by 4 people

  3. As a rice lover, I am very much aware of Carolina rice. That last picture is a beauty even if it might not have come out exactly the way you wanted. That splash of white under the trees and in the water is striking.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Murphy’s Law says:

    Your last photo of the egret is really eye catching. I can see this as an oil painting.

    Very interesting about the rice fields. I also have never given any thought to how rice is grown or harvested. I just buy my bag of .Carolina rice and cook according to directions!

    I love the comment about the lichens, not to mention the pictures of them.

    Happy Valentines Day to you and Dennis. I agree, chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate! πŸ€—
    Ginger

    Liked by 4 people

    • I like that egret shot, but sure wish I could have taken it closer or had a ‘camera’ with me. Yes, until visiting here, I never had a clue about how rice was grown. Lichens as Marines made me smile too. I had half a big chocolate cookie with coffee, and I have a few chocolates for later. Forget the fresh flowers on Valentine’s Day and bring on the chocolates. Happy Valentine’s Day to you and Michael, and I hope you had a special dessert too!

      Like

  5. There’s a huge area of California that grows rice and I go every year in the winter to bird in and around them. They’re great birding stop overs here.

    I love Lichen too it’s so neat and different. I’d never heard that saying about it being the Marines of the botanical world. I won’t forget it now.

    Your Egret under the hanging moss is wonderful. I love the reflection it’s so clear!

    Yes, to chocolates!! I hope you have a lovely day and week!

    Liked by 4 people

    • That’s interesting about the rice and the birds. I’ve always found lichens interesting, but the one with what looks like moss just made me smile. Thanks about the Egret shot. If you’d been here with a camera and longer lens, it could have been better. πŸ™‚ Have a good week.

      Liked by 1 person

      • After the harvest and the fields dried out they flood them and then the birds come for winter. It’s part of the Pacific Flyway. The birds help the farmers by eating up the leftover rice and they get food. It’s a cool system. πŸ˜€

        Liked by 2 people

  6. Joyce says:

    Joining the others to heap praise on the egret photo! Such a beautiful composition evoking emotions of loneliness or solitude or peace – whatever your soul happens to need at the moment. The bird and its surroundings captured in reflection is beautiful!
    My traditional Valentine’s Day surprise has already arrived! A nice fat box of chocolate covered nuts awaited me next to the coffee pot along with a sweet note and a cute, funny card from our cats! I don’t need much, but I DO need those things!
    Happy Valentine’s Day, Judy!

    Liked by 4 people

  7. Learning about the rice while out enjoying nature – what a fun day. Your egret under the Spanish Moss is wonderful. Enjoy your chocolate!

    Liked by 4 people

  8. Nancy says:

    Isn’t amazing when we learn about the area we visit as we stroll along. And now Carolina Rice is one of them.
    When we were in Seattle this past December we found lichen… its so interesting and beautiful.
    The Egret is a beauty!
    Happy Valentine’s Day!

    Liked by 4 people

  9. germac4 says:

    Very interesting post, Judy. The Magnolia is absolutely beautiful, and I love the comment about the Lichens, I’d better read up on them.
    Yes, Valentine’s day (and Easter) are big chocolate times for me too. Enjoy the day.

    Liked by 4 people

  10. I am still around although mostly on my WordPress blog. I wished everyone a stress-free Valentine’s day.

    Liked by 4 people

  11. Dan Antion says:

    That looks like a very interesting hike, Judy. I love hikes through areas where you can learn something. I think the egret photo is very nice – I love the reflection.

    Liked by 4 people

  12. I’ve never thought about rice being grown in the United States but I suppose given the right conditions it makes sense. I made Linzer cookies with heart cut outs for Mr ET for V Day!

    Liked by 3 people

  13. Anywhere with water is likely to attract birds. I know Carolina has lots of rice and I found a heritage California rice at Aldi of all places. The rice growing area you showed here is certainly different from those in Asia. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 3 people

  14. I knew we grew rice in California — I didn’t know we grew it on the east coast. Really interesting and great pictures.

    Liked by 3 people

  15. I have come to the mindset as well that I need to start looking for the beauty in the areas around me. I’ve decided that as a birthday present to myself (the husband has jumped on the bandwagon to help now) that I am going to buy a camera and get out there and get snapping this year.
    I love that photo of the egret and lichen is cool!

    Liked by 4 people

  16. How interesting about rice fields. I don’t think I knew that rice was grown in the U.S. Lichen, though, I do know about! It grows on tree trunks where I live. It’s really beautiful, and seems so prehistoric.

    Liked by 3 people

  17. What a wonderful post! I know nothing about your rice fields but love the wooden artefacts. White egrets only appeared here in the UK few years ago but already they are quite common and oh so beautiful and graceful.
    Couldn’t agree more about your feelings for chocolate – Jude and I are exactly the same. Yum!

    Liked by 3 people

  18. Very interesting. I’m not sure (other than Carolina rice) if there are a lot of rice production in the states these days but it’s very interesting.

    Liked by 4 people

  19. Oddment says:

    That egret photo is wonderful! Ditto the close-up of the lichens, which are such weird things, aren’t they? Jeff the Chef, above, has the exact right word for their look: prehistoric. The magnolia is lovely, and you make a good point about looking for beauty; we desperately need it these days. And chocolate! Yes, there is beauty to be had there too!

    Liked by 4 people

    • If you’re scrolling around the web today, look up resurrection fern. I find them fascinating like the lichens. They grow on most of the live oaks at Brookgreen, and are lush and green when they’ve had rain, turn brown when they don’t, and green right back up the next time it rains. Chocolate cures many ailments or so I tell myself. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oddment says:

        Of course I had to look it up right away! How fascinating! What wonders you are seeing. And I totally agree that chocolate cures many ailments; I’m almost sure that’s a scientific fact.

        Liked by 2 people

  20. Tina Schell says:

    Lovely images Judy – your egret is framed so perfectly by those branches! If you want to see loads of egrets and gorgeous blue herons you need to come south to Magnolia Gardens. There are hundreds of nesting birds very accessible. Well worth the trip I promise!

    Liked by 4 people

  21. Judy, I am a ‘southerner’, but rice isn’t a crop that made its way into Florida and is something I know nothing about. I first learned about rice crops in the south from a ranger talk on Cumberland Island, GA a couple of years ago. Thanks for inspiring me to want to know more. It makes sense that the low country in the Carolina’s and parts of Georgia would provide perfect conditions for growing rice. Thanks for sharing your walk.

    Liked by 4 people

  22. Ally Bean says:

    I love a pretty magnolia blossom. I instantly associate them with the South, but the moss is a close second. I know that I’ve seen rice growing but don’t know much about it. Being a midwesterner crops like corn and soybeans are what I understand [sort of]. I love to eat rice, I should know more about it.

    Liked by 3 people

  23. Lavinia Ross says:

    Lichens are certainly intrepid souls! There is a book you might like called “The Forest of Lilliput”
    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/4282687-forests-of-lilliput-the-realm-of-mosses-and-lichens

    Liked by 3 people

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