Monday, December 30, 2019

Ravenel Bridge Walk A Christmas Gift Itself!

A Christmas afternoon walk on the Ravenel Bridge was a treat in many ways. The Holy Day was a great day to check out the Holy City and the Cooper River from this perspective. The weather was beautiful, a sunny day with temperatures in the low 60s. Many people had the same idea in mind but it was not too crowded along the bridge's walking lane.

We took our cameras and monopods, including Alesia’s new monopod that was wrapped under the tree for her.

We started on the Charleston side and walked up the pedestrian/bicycle lane to the long span’s center. There was so much to see and photograph- I was struck by so many possibilities. The outing proved good for bird sightings, something I didn’t expect. Here are my favorite shots on a blessed, sacred day that became even more special.

The USS Yorktown aircraft carrier is a popular place to visit. It's on the Mount Pleasant side of the Cooper River. On the other side is the harbor. 

Opened in 2005, the Ravenel Bridge has a total length of 2.7 miles. The sign above at the bridge's center recognized one of the old bridges this one replaced. The model below of the John F. Grace Bridge, which opened in 1929, was made from parts from that span. 

A large car carrying ship from the Seoul, Korea-based Eukor line is docked at Charleston's Columbus Street port terminal. When it departs, it will be filled with BMW SUVs and maybe Volvo sedans too. Both car companies have huge manufacturing plants in South Carolina. 

The steeples of two of Charleston’s oldest churches- St. Philip’s (left) and St. Michael’s. A huge, high crane is in the foreground. With so much new building going on in the city, especially hotels and apartments, these cranes have become a common skyline site in recent years. 

The busy scene up the Cooper River in North Charleston 

Remnants of a past river structure.

I looked and looked and finally saw what I thought might be Magnolia Cemetery. The two grave markers are (somewhat) clearly the Charleston Light Dragoons obelisk and the Receiving Tomb where caskets and their occupants could be kept while their gravesites were prepared. 

This is a view of the Ravenel Bridge from the back of Magnolia Cemetery. I took this in November during my CNPA photography club sunrise photo event. See more of my pictures from that outing here

This Christmas Day excursion turned out to be good for birding. It started with seeing this European Starling shortly after getting on the bridge walkway. 

We would see several other types of birds on or near the water below. I was shooting down from a distance so I was happy for my Canon camera’s “superzoom” lens and the monopod to keep it as steady as possible. 

 Above: Great Egret (left) and Tri-colored Heron 

Great Blue Heron 

 Hooded Mergansers: a group of them have these names, according to brace, flush, paddling, raft and team. Quite a collection of collective names! 

Male (big white patch) and female “Hoodies” as fans like me call the striking wading bird that annually winters in our area from northern places. 

Next: a Great Egret and a Cormorant.

I definitely will do this walk again. It was a great exercise (need to burn calories after all the holiday feasts and goodies!) and also a better than expected photography adventure! 

Happy New Year!!! 

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