Goats, Plantations and Swamp Flowers

Yesterday, Erica and I visited Magnolia Plantation which lies a few miles north of Charleston, SC.  Originally it covered 3000 acres but its area is now around 500 acres. The grounds around the plantation are a wonderful mix of very old gardens, wild areas, meadows and miles of paths with the Ashley River meandering along one side. Magnolia is one of the few plantations that are still owned by the heirs of the original family that build it over 200 years ago. I believe it is the 13th generation of the Dratyon family.

The current plantation house is the third one erected and is somewhat smaller than the original one. The first one burned. The second was destroyed in the Civil War. The majority of the furnishings are all antiques and from the early 1800s. There was also a room that displayed a lot of old photos, maps and documents detailing the history of the plantation and its owners.

Erica and I spent several hours touring the lush forests, swamps and planted gardens. We decided to visit a small petting zoo that contained farm type animals; goats, peacocks, roosters, chickens, pigs and turkeys to name a few. At the gate we were greeted by a very precocious chicken that Erica dubbed Henrietta. She was obviously looking for food, but we pretended she was there to welcome us to the zoo.

After entering, we walked around a bit. I turned and saw one of the goats coming up to Erica. Erica had an expression of excitement as she thought a friendly, cute goat was coming to say hello. But, before she could blink an eye, the goat grabbed out of her hand our map to the plantation, the ticket to get into the plantation house and my receipt for the entrance fees. I tried to grab them from the goat, but he was too quick. After laughing for some time, we made our way to the plantation tour where Erica had to explain that a goat ate our ticket. Apparently, they believed her as we were not the first to meet the same fate!

Rain started to come down after lunch, but we decided to tour the Audubon Swamp to view the lovely cypress trees and vibrant yellow flowers blooming all over the swamp. It was quite nice to walk in the rain with the umbrella. A peaceful feeling enveloped us during the 1 ½ mile walk. It was very relaxing and a wonderful end to a fantastic day.

Michael