Father's Day Hike

John Grego, 06/15/2008

I had hoped to make this a family trip, but the threat of rain meant I was going solo. With the new version of John Cely's map in hand, I set out from Kingville for the short hike to the "Jim Elder Cypress". Birding started out reasonably well, and I was happy to hear a Swainson's Warbler near a drainage ditch along the old jeep road heading south. The birding shut down though as rain approached. Both the 25-foot cypress (along a small slough) and the Jim Elder Cypress (at the edge of Running Lake Slough) were easily found, though the rainy conditions made it difficult to take a good picture.

I had a "Tales of the Congaree" moment at the Jim Elder Cypress--as I was taking an initial picture, a Barred Owl flew in and perched on a small tree next to the cypress. It hopped from branch to branch and stayed in the vicinity the entire time I was there. Unlike in the "Transmigration" short story, it never started talking to me, but it sure did seem to like that tree.

The trip back was soggy, and my return route had much more undergrowth blocking my path than my approach.

Bird List

  • Red-shouldered Hawk 1
  • Yellow-billed Cuckoo 2
  • Barred Owl 1
  • Chimney Swift 4
  • Red-bellied Woodpecker 5
  • Pileated Woodpecker 2
  • Eastern Wood-Pewee 1
  • Acadian Flycatcher 2
  • Great Crested Flycatcher 1
  • White-eyed Vireo 5
  • Red-eyed Vireo 2
  • American Crow 2
  • Carolina Chickadee 1
  • Tufted Titmouse 7
  • Carolina Wren 4
  • Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 2
  • American Robin 1
  • Northern Parula 6
  • Pine Warbler 4
  • Prothonotary Warbler 1
  • Swainson's Warbler 1
  • Hooded Warbler 2
  • Summer Tanager 2
  • Northern Cardinal 4
  • Indigo Bunting 5

Carolina wild petunia (Ruellia caroliniensis) was plentiful. Lizard's Tail (Saururus cernuus) was abundant too, but my pictures were too bright.


A 25-foot cypress.


Same 25-foot cypress from
another angle.






Three photos of the recently-rediscovered "Jim Elder Cypress", first visited by John Cely and Jim Elder in the 1970's

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Last modified: Jun 15, 2008 by Edward Kujawski (focs@mindspring.com)
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