Another nice location for photographs is Botany Bay near Charleston, South Carolina, and another place with a pretty cool name. Botany Bay Plantation Heritage Preserve/Wildlife Management Area is its official name, and it is a state preserve on Edisto Island. Botany Bay Plantation was formed in the 1930s from the merger of the Colonial-era Sea Cloud Plantation and Bleak Hall Plantation.
Botany Bay Plantation is open from one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset. My experience was this is not to be taken literally. The first morning I was there, the gate was open well before sunrise, and the second morning, the gate was not opened until about fifteen minutes prior to sunrise, so try to be patient; this is yet another virtue I am trying to improve. The area is closed on Tuesdays to general public access.
The entrance road is lined with old oak trees creating a canopy for about two miles. Entering into the preserve, there is a small kiosk where you sign in. After a short drive, there is a parking area for the beach. Nearby, there were several fields of sunflowers which was a great bonus for me, because I have been trying to find some for years with very little luck.
Botany Bay Beach, or the boneyard, is reached after a half mile walk on a wide, raised trail through the salt marshes from the parking lot to the beach. The beach is about two miles in length and fairly unique. Dead trees overhang the water, and there is a fair amount of wildlife. On the morning I was there, the beach was deserted, and I didn't see anyone else except a volunteer worker.
When I returned in the evening, there were several cars (five to seven) in the parking area, but most people were leaving.
Although the sunrise was a little disappointing, there were a lot of other things to take pictures of, and I played around with some long exposure photography.
There are no facilities on the preserve, and it’s a good idea to bring along some insect repellent and drinking water.
Visitors are also reminded that it is “unlawful to feed or harass alligators.” This was not an issue for me, although it did raise some questions in my mind on the walk out to the beach in the early morning darkness.
I hope you found this interesting. Please feel free to leave any thoughts, questions or comments that you might have.