The back of our woods belongs to bears that hibernate and start poking around for food and adventure during the Spring. I wanted to set up some new trail cameras to catch some of the action. I gathered up my hiking equipment and had a fun yet, grueling two-hour hike through the woods behind our cabin. The trail was once a logging road…I’m guessing back in the 1800s. Now it is overgrown with trees and mountain laurel. It winds through steep rolling hills. I wore my sturdiest boots since snake season had just arrived. The woods are mature, but you can still see signs of an old farm including rusty strands of barbed wire and the remnants of a shed.
We researched and decided on the Visionner 4.0 WiFi 830 Trail Camera, though there are many other excellent trail cameras out there. The camera has a function that captures high-quality images and videos with night vision. The images can download directly to an app on your cellphone if you are within 60 feet of the camera.
The trees in this area are covered in a blanket of moss. It was challenging to find the right tree with the correct thickness to hold the cameras steady. Trail cameras need to wrap securely around the tree trunk with velcro straps. We encountered a small brown snake and an adorable ‘spiny lizard.’
One of the many reasons I like to visit Table Rock State Park is that I can visit the funky mallard duck that swims by each day. But seriously, it’s one of the best places to go and chill during the week or weekend. The visitors center has an adorable shop and lovely sales on hoodies, blankets, hats, and home decor.
Then there’s a dock where you can admire a closer view of Table Rock Mountain. That’s where I met my funky duck friend. Watch him on youtube here. Also, you can rent paddle boats or canoes during the summer months.
This place is magical. If you are visiting South Carolina, stop by to refresh and renew.
At night as I start to fall asleep, I often hear coyotes howling at night. I find the howling sounds comforting as if they are singing a sweet lullaby. So you can imagine how excited I was when I found out the trail camera captured this magnificent beauty.
Coyotes first began making their way into the Southeastern region of the United States in the late 1950’s and had become a common site in South Carolina by the 1990’s. They are now firmly established in every part of the state including the sea islands, Beaufort and Jasper Counties.
Here are some facts about Coyotes
They hide in covered open areas, raised grounds, or in dens during the day. Dens are most commonly seen in parks and forest areas, shrubbery, preserves, golf courses, and other such regions. These are difficult to come by in urban areas.
Legend and Symbolism about the Coyote
In Native American traditions, the coyote is a teacher of adaptability. So, if one thing doesn’t work out, you can pivot. There are always other opportunities out there for you.
Hello Friends, I promised some pictures of the snowstorm from last week. I lost power and internet for two days. Trees are down because of the heavy weight of the snow. Overall, the beauty and serenity of the snow made up for the chaos. Love and Blessings, Debra Roinestad
Hey Friends, The trail camera had captured a bobcat and prey in our backyard. In South Carolina, bobcats typically inhabit areas of dense, thick brush such as bottomland forests in the coastal plain. They are found in many different habitats including swamps, mountainous regions, and forests. Enjoy!
I have a confession to make. I’m apluviophile, a lover of rain.
It’s my favorite time to spend in the woods because everything slows down.
Yes, it can become even super slower here. The wildlife takes cover and all you can hear are the sounds of the leaves on the trees as if a lady is dragging a very heavy and long ballgown across the floor, as she begins to dance to the rhythmic sounds of the rain.
I sit on the red swing and drink a cup of tea or coffee. The cats are staring out the window eager to catch a squirrel taking cover. After the rain has slowed down or completely stopped, I am eager to see the magic of the woods appear before my eyes.
“Rain is grace; rain is the sky descending to the earth; without rain, there would be no life. —John Updike
These are the 3 magical things that happen in the woods on a rainy day.
The musical beats of the rain send calming waves throughout the day. The rain songs are on a lovely loop soundtrack. I guess that’s why many want to dance or sing in the rain…I do!
I even own a rainstick so I can enjoy the sweet and lovely sounds whenever I feel stressed.
A mystical dense fog starts flowing over the four mountains around me, (Coldbranch Mountain, Battered Rock Mountain, Reedy Mountain, and Table Rock Mountain).
According to folklore,Table Rock Mountain received its name from a Cherokee legend in which the flat-topped mountain served as a table from which the Great Spirit ate his meals.
When I look out into the sky and see the mountains surrounded by fog…I can definitely understand!
Magic of Stillness
There is a magic of solitude when it’s raining (even though I have neighbors nearby) and an organic reflection of turning inwards. Sitting in the stillness helps me understand myself more. It’s a reflection of time and a reminder of the beauty that resides in all of us.
In May 2021, I had a black bear visiting me at the cabin and showing off her baby cubs. She was done hibernating for the winter and was looking for something yummy to eat (no, not me…lol). The bear remembered me from last year when I set up some bird feeders. Let me rewind this story and explain.
Last year, I heard a loud thunk on the back of my deck. I quickly turned around and saw the black bear standing acrobatically on all fours on top of the deck. The black bear climbed all the way up and was staring enchantingly at the bird feeder swinging merrily on the deck. Then she stood upright and yanked the bird feeder and started shaking it as if it were a gumball dispenser and had won a prize. She ate half of the seeds and grabbed the bird feeder, then smiled (as if she was saying, thanks, Lady!) and placed it into her powerful jaws, and went right down the pole of the deck to finish the rest of her loot.
After a few more visits from the black bear, I began to feel like the guy from, ‘Grizzly Adams.’ I learned that the bears live far towards the back of the woods from my cabin. Bears only become aggressive if they feel threatened. Overall, bears are usually very peaceful and gentle.
In early 2020, I packed my stuff onto a moving truck and was headed to the woods. My husband was offered a new job opportunity and we decided to move to a cabin in the woods since we are both nature lovers and enjoy hiking. Two years later, I can guarantee that cabin living is worth it!
We have a breathtaking view of Table Rock Mountain here in South Carolina. The wildlife is extremely fascinating! Plus, I have experienced serene sunsets and magical twilights. I’m very excited to share all these adventures with you!
Here are 3 Reasons To Love Cabin Living
Slower Pace Lifestyle
Faster doesn’t always mean better. A slower lifestyle helped me find more mindful moments. I don’t have to be fast anymore! The slow and steady rhythm of nature has helped me heal.
Slow Living Is Healthy Living by Michael Finkelstein, MD
Living in the woods has a way of awakening your senses. Fresh clean air, a crisp cool breeze, and the warm pulsating sun on your face have a way of making you feel alive again. There is a sense of realignment and a restoration of peace. There are many opportunities for meditation and enjoying all the sounds and stillness around you. In the woods, I found the best version of myself. I soon began to discover that nature and the self are one.
“Going inward will awaken. True change starts within. —Unknown
Better Health and Wellness
Studies have shown that living in the woods has many health benefits. There is a healing power of the forest. The frequency in nature vibrates at a higher level and washes away our fears. We begin to develop unity with nature. Also, we foster respect for the elements within nature and truly, ourselves.
Why Forest Bathing Is Good for Your Health by Karin Evans