If you were lucky enough to be in one of our luxury beach house rentals SC yesterday, you joined the many folks who came from near and far to experience the Great American Eclipse.

Well, by all accounts it was a tremendous success and lived up to the hype.  The crowds were manageable and well behaved, and even the weather cooperated in dramatic fashion.

It had been a bit cloudy earlier but a spot around the sun cleared just in time.  The corona was really beautiful, and the many folks on the beach cheered when it appeared.  It never got completely dark, but was more like a 360 degree sunset all around the horizon.   The air got much cooler and it was really quite an amazing thing to experience in the middle of the afternoon.  Folks who had rented one of our SC vacation rentals just stayed on the porches and decks of their Charleston beach house and took in the celestial show from there.

It really was an extraordinary event experienced by people all across the nation.  The whole thing felt extra special, since those in a beach house Charleston were among the very last ones in the United States to see it.

Here is one of my favorite photos of the eclipse as seen from the Holy City by Charleston’s own photographer Jack Alterman.

Donate to a good post-eclipse cause near our luxury beach house rentals SC

As I covered in earlier blogs, you needed special glasses to view the sun during the eclipse.  Now the question remains, what to do with all those glasses?

They have a life expectancy of three years.  The next eclipse won’t be visible in South Carolina for seven years.  So, it’s a chance to do something with them.

Why not consider donating them to a good cause?  The group Astronomers Without Borders is collecting eclipse glasses and will be distributing them, free of charge, to kids and folks in other parts of the world.  Sections of South America and Asia will experience an eclipse in 2019, and AWB will supply glasses for it.

Here’s more about the program.

Find out more at Astronomers Without Borders’ Facebook page.

Or, you can find out more on their website.

You can also snail mail your glasses to:

Explore Scientific

1010 S. 48th Street

Springdale, AR 72762

 

Keeping informed like a local near our luxury beach house rentals SC

If you’re here staying in one of our beach rentals Charleston, namely our Isle of Palms vacation rentals, it helps to know what’s going on locally.

The Island Eye News is a local paper that comes out every two weeks.  It is the source for island info and covers the barrier islands north of Charleston  –  i.e. IOP, Sullivan’s, Dewees and Goat Islands.

Here is a link to their website where you can read issues online:  http://islandeyenews.com/

One of the more popular of island visitors is the loggerhead turtle, who comes ashore to nest and pay eggs.  Currently we are in the midst of turtle nesting season,

In the latest issue of the Island Eye News, IOP resident and loggerhead turtle expert Mary Pringle penned an article about the important role sea turtles play in our world, namely our ocean and beaches. It’s so good I decided to paste it in here.

Loggerhead near our luxury beach house rentals SC

Loggerhead near our luxury beach house rentals SC

The role of sea turtles near our luxury beach house rentals SC

How sea turtles help our ocean and beach

By Mary Pringle  –  August 18, 2017

We may not realize it, but the presence of sea turtles in our world is important to our marine ecosystem in many ways. They have played an important role for over 100 million years in maintaining the health of the ocean and even benefit animal and plant life on our beaches. As the ocean has become less healthy due to pollution from plastics and other debris, our turtles are still helping to maintain the very important ecosystems that are so vitally linked together.

For example, green sea turtles who are vegetarians as adults graze on seagrass beds on the ocean floor which would become overgrown without this regular harvesting. Currents would be obstructed and slime mold, algae and fungi would take over. This would bring about harmful impacts on reef fish that people eat and other plant species.

Another species of Atlantic sea turtle, the hawksbill, specializes in eating sponges found in coral reefs.  We never have hawksbill turtles in South Carolina because they are found farther south in the Caribbean Sea. They are adapted with beaklike mouths to get into crevices to reach these sponges which compete with the corals growing there and give the corals a healthier space to colonize and grow. This makes for a healthier and more diverse reef.

Leatherback sea turtles pass by our coast early in the season on their northward migration after nesting. These are the huge black turtles that often get hit by ship propellers offshore. In April of this year we reported five of them on our two islands. Four of these died as victims of propellers and one was entangled in a crab trap rope behind Sullivan’s Island and freed by the Fire & Rescue Squad. They feed on jellyfish and can consume as much as 440 lbs. (the weight of an African lion) in jellyfish in one day.  This is another example of the balance of nature. Without these turtles, populations of jellyfish would spiral out of control.

More about loggerheads…

Our beloved loggerhead turtles who nest here are called “loggerheads” because their heads are the largest in proportion to their bodies. These strong jaws supported by large muscles are able to crush the heavy shells of blue crabs, whelks, lobsters and other crustaceans. These turtles move along the ocean floor creating paths which benefit other species by aeration, compaction, and feeding opportunities that are beneficial.  Our loggerheads also feast on jellyfish.

Even though we hate to think of it, turtle eggs laid on our beaches help other animals to survive when they are eaten.  Think of the 266,293 plus loggerhead eggs that have been laid in South Carolina this season. Most of these will not produce adult turtles, but they will enable other species on land to eat and survive. Leatherbacks feed on jellyfish near the Arctic Circle but then lay eggs in the Caribbean nourishing other creatures there.

When we conduct nest inventories, we always deposit the unhatched eggs and eggshells back into the sand on the dunes on the Isle of Palms.  This is very beneficial to the sea oats and other dune vegetation in sandy soil that has very few other nutrients. Unfortunately on Sullivan’s Island we must follow the instructions of the SC Department of Natural resources and take the leftover contents of the nests off the beach in order to keep coyotes from digging them up.  

Coyotes are new here and we do not want to teach them the rewards of following the scent of sea turtles and digging up nests –even nests where the hatchlings have already hatched and gone into the water.  Sometimes in a very dry summer, the roots of dune plants will invade the egg chamber and penetrate the eggs in search of moisture.  Fortunately this summer has brought plenty of rain and this doesn’t seem to be happening right now.

So these benefits that the ocean and the beach receive from sea turtles are important in keeping the natural balance in the ocean and on the beach. These ideas were inspired by an article published by Oceana, a worldwide nonprofit organization founded in 2001 which works to protect the world’s oceans.

So keep an eye peeled for those loggerhead nests.  And remember, when you are looking for rental homes South Carolina, either Isle of Palms luxury rentals or Folly Beach house rentals Charleston SC, to call EP.  We’ll hook you up with the perfect luxury house on Isle of Palms.

All best,
Lowcountry Lisa
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger

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