Saturday, March 16, 2013

Sunrise at Magnolia Cemetery

Many thanks to Magnolia Cemetery's Beverly Donald, superintendent, and Jamie Parks, grounds manager, for today's early morning access for our Carolina Nature Photographers Association (CNPA) group.
Jamie opened the gates at 6 a.m., allowing early birds to come in and get set up for the sunrise, which would come at around 7:30.
I've been to the beautiful and historic cemetery (founded in 1849) many, many times but never at dark like this. The normal open hours are daily 8 a.m.-6 p.m. It was neat to walk around and take pictures in the dark!
I have never photographed the bridge across the front lagoon quite like this.
No, I didn't see a ghost.  I just look like I did!
Didn't see or here any ghosts, thank goodness. Any apparitions in these photos are most likely dust spots on my lens.
Glad Donnie Smith mentioned that he was bringing a flashlight. I'm glad I brought one. Would have been stumbling around all over the place otherwise!
It was neat to photograph the cemetery in different lighting conditions like this-- no light, that is.
The Smith Pyramid (below), one of the cemetery's iconic sites.
One of the many obelisk monuments at Magnolia Cemetery, which was founded in the mid-1800s amid America's Victorian rural cemetery movement.
The cemetery offices are in this old plantation house that dates to the 1790s.
Check out this amazing ancient live oak tree that graces the grounds.
Fellow Charleston CNPA photographers await the sunrise.
Raymond at the ready!
Alas, the sun started to rise from the east, over the salt marsh adjoining the back of the cemetery. This is the Lowndes family plot.
 We were fortunate to have a beautiful sunrise to enjoy and capture on (digital) film.
The sun just starting to come up. Temperatures were mild, in the mid-50s, and winds were calm.
The handless girl atop the T.A. Coffin vault sees the sunrise every day from her spot.
A huge container ship moves up the Cooper River toward the harbor and then the Atlantic Ocean.
The ship will go under the nearby Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge
First morning light bathes Magnolia Cemetery.
Sunlight, glorious sunlight!
Lagoon on the left, Smith Pyramid on the right, the rising sun dead ahead!
Meantime, at the front lagoon...
The birds of Magnolia Cemetery soon started their day. The ponds, marsh and food sources they bring attract quite an array of birds and ducks to the cemetery setting, such as this Red-tailed Hawk.
A Downy Woodpecker was busy drilling for a meal.
A Tricolored Heron and Snowy Egret hanging out.
A Mallard pair glides along the front lagoon.
The male Mallard. I never noticed before the green spot on the bill tip.
It was a truly blessed day at Magnolia Cemetery. Thanks again to Beverly and Jamie for this special CNPA outing!
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