Graveyards and praise houses and marsh tacky. . .oh my!


Sunday seems to be our day to bike, although here in the South you’re really supposed to have your bottom in a church pew.  I figure I’ll just praise the Lord by marveling at the blue skies, warm temperatures, and balmy breezes!  We’ve been exploring St. Helena Island, and our first ride took us down Eddings Point Rd.  Along the way we discovered:

a graveyard with random graves scattered about, nestled under wonderful old trees, truly a serene resting place.

Some graves were very simple.  Sometimes just a concrete covering, some with just a simple stone.

Travelling on, past the point where “state maintenance ends” what did we discover but a farm/preserve with a wide variety of animals, including miniature horses (who got shy and moved away from the camera) and this ostrich who definitely moved TOWARD the camera, probably wanting to spit on me!

And of course, it wouldn’t be the Low Country, and especially Beaufort, if we didn’t discover yet another beautiful view of shrimp boats:

Pedalling onward we found that icon of Southern paganism, the bottle tree.  Now in our backyard we have a REAL bottle tree, a loquat who met its maker, and we put our empty wine bottles of various colors on its bare naked branch stumps to ward off all the evil spirits.  You’ll see these icons throughout Beaufort and other places in the South, I guess.

Different colors of bottles keep away different spirits, don’cha know!  I’ll post a photo of my own bottle tree some other time!

This past Sunday we biked out through Coffin Point.  We discovered one of the three remaining Praise Houses on the island.  The short history is that these small cabins were found on plantations as “pray’s houses” for slaves.  This one has been preserved.

Photo taken through the glass window to interior.

Following another sign that said “Horse Island/ViewPoint” our bikes took us out to Horse Island.  Down we went on hard-packed sandy roads, forgetting to heed the “no trespassing” signs, until we came to a gate.  Is that a horse I see?  Sure enough, one of the elusive marsh tackies, a native wild horse, was approaching.  He came around the gate onto the marsh and posed patiently for this photo:

After our ride was over we were so hungry we went to our favorite restaurant, Sweetgrass, on Dataw Island.  We gobbled shrimp burgers and beers, probably negating all the calories we had burned in our ride!

Ain’t Life grand??!!

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