Live Oak and Cooper River

Live Oak and Cooper River

This ancient live oak hangs over the Cooper River on the grounds of Mepkin Abbey

I don’t often process images in black and white, but this one seemed well suited to it. This ancient live oak is on the grounds of Mepkin Abbey in Moncks Corner, South Carolina. The abbey is on the grounds of a former plantation and is filled with beautiful old trees, a cemetery, and of course the monastery. The property is on the Cooper River which winds its way through the lowcountry of South Carolina to join the Atlantic Ocean in Charleston.

It’s a fun exercise to follow the roads near Charleston and Savannah looking for ones that parallel rivers. Since the original settlers used the rivers for navigation, that’s the easiest way to locate old plantation locations. My son Matt and I found this place a few years ago in just that way. Matt was so enchanted by the place that he wanted to go back on our recent exploration of the lowcountry.

We had hoped for a partly cloudy day with beautiful blue sky and passing clouds. Instead we found ourselves in a deteriorating weather situation. It became obvious that heavy rain would fall on us while we were at Mepkin Abbey. Fortunately for our photography purposes, the rain and gloom made for some very interesting images. I’m particularly fond of this shot of a live oak that has developed a distinct lean toward the Cooper River. I don’t know if the weight of the tree in the soft soil has caused the lean or if trees sometimes actually lean toward their water source. I suspect the former is the case rather than the latter. In either case, the tree dipping gracefully into Cooper River’s surface dappled by raindrops makes for a beautiful image. There’s more to come from Mepkin Abbey. Enjoy.


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