Water, Wind, Earth And Fire

Would you like to play a little game? (Fire)

The subjects are images taken at the recent Fairegarden clan beach vacation at Isle Of Palms, just outside of Charleston, South Carolina. (Fire)

Some of the images can suggest more than one of the elements of Water, Wind, Earth and Fire, like this view of the Atlantic Ocean that never ceases to delight and amaze as the sandy path is traversed from street to surf. This one might qualify for all four, in fact.

There was a haze in the air during our stay, sometimes as thick as dense fog, sometimes chokingly dense with the smell of smoke from fires burning in Florida and Georgia. The early morning sunrise was dulled by it, that haze, but the scene still sings of serene peacefulness of the pier reaching out into the sea with pelicans skimming the foam for fishes.

Along the road to the grocery, a Mecca trip taken several times daily in order to feed thirteen hungry folks three squares a day, plus snacks and beverages, there were tall posts built for the native shore birds, Osprey, to construct huge nests for baby-raising. Pulling over to try some zoom shots of these precious wind surfers, it was noticed that the adult supervisor of the fledgling group had left the nest to try to distract the trespassing human with the Canon. (Wind)

Unsure whether it best to run for the car in case of a swooping attack or keep clicking, an off center capture was made of the magnificent wing span. Then we ran. Like the wind.

More docile flyers were seen back at the shoreline. Such fashionable and slimming black stockings and head gear were much admired by onlookers. (Water, Wind)

Back at the ranch, er beach house, there were feathered friends enjoying a little rest and relaxation as well. Bird Daniels (rhymes with Jack Daniels), left, has been a participant in the yearly clan beach get together before, in 2008. The post about that trip and the rest since blogging began, with a good shot of B. Daniels can be seen at the end of this post. His new cohort is named Jewel, and was hoped to be of the female Cockatiel persuasion. Her cheeks have now colored much more brightly so Jewel is probably a boy bird. Oh well, they get along and keep each other company. Jewel was sounding the alarm at top volume when B.D. ventured from the dining table into the kitchen. Their wings are clipped so there is no flying, but they can hop around and get into mischief, sometimes. Owner Chickenpoet, our oldest offspring, came running at the racket and was horrified to see only one bird sitting on top of the cage. She was greatly relieved to find the wanderer scavenging on the tiled floor and promptly put him in time out with the cage lid on. (Earth)

Beautiful fountains and sculptures of sea creatures adorned several of the fancier oceanfront houses that were passed on the walk to the water. (Water)

An excursion into Charleston to the Aquarium there by some family members resulted in the sighting of the strangest shark ever. Is this a type of shark, was it just fed a beach ball or is it a case of genetic mutation, we wondered. (Water)

Speaking of the gene pool, G.G. and grandson LTB spent some time sifting for tiny shells at the water’s edge. I can vouch that this also qualifies as Fire, since sitting in water magnifies the rays of the sun on tender lily-white skin, even with heavy coatings of sunscreen, UVA and UVB protection. The white SPF beach hoody did protect upper body parts well. A set of leggings of the same fabric might be on the shopping list for next year.

Our rental house must always have a pool, for the younger set do enjoy some non sandy watery fun. LTB is now a proficient swimmer and was entertaining us with dives representing the letters of the alphabet, among other things. This is the letter F, can’t you tell?

And so another Fairegarden family beach vacation comes to an end. We had a few days of perfect attendance, something I treasure. The kids are growing so fast, and we seem to be aging at the same rate, too. It is good to have a photographic record to compare each year to the next. Thanks for reading about it, as this may only be of interest to those who participated, back row from left: MA, son of Chickenpoet, Gardoctor, Aunt Lynn, The Financier, Mr. Semi, LTB, son of Semi. Front row from left: GA, son of Chickenpoet, Mr. Chickenpoet, Chickenpoet, Frances (G.G.), Semi, Mrs. Brokenbeat, Brokenbeat.

Links to other vacation stories:
2009-Sea Creatures
2012-Negative Ions
2012-The Shark Tale
2012-Agave Americana
2013-Garden Dreaming


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21 Responses to Water, Wind, Earth And Fire

  1. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    What fun to get the entire family together. In this day and age it is special to be able to get everyone together. I enjoy seeing how the Grands have grown. The letter F was presented very well. What a treasure having a good family portrait.

    Dear Lisa, thanks so much. It gets harder every year to get the scheduling just so for everyone’s busy lives. We do all realize the importance of this special time. The beach is a bonus. Glad you liked the letter F! We had trouble guessing what it was, not knowing it was even a letter. HA Gardoctor finally got it.

  2. Carol says:

    I’d like to see you run like the wind away from that bird…

    Dear Carol, at one time, track was my sport. Just so you know…

  3. Valerie says:

    What a lovely family Frances. It is wonderful that the whole family gets together for the week at the beach. What a lovely tradition. V

    Thanks Valerie, we think so, too. Some years past, everyone could not make it, and it was not the same, knowing we were missing parts of a whole.

  4. Is the atlantic warm enough for swimming in S. Carolina? I bet it is.

    Those Osprey are magnificent.

    Life’s a beach!

    Dear Rob, the water is quite warm in South Carolina in mid-June. One day it was like bathwater, even. Highly recommend it!

  5. Some of my favorite vacations were on Kiawah Island near Charleston, so much fun that my children have gone back there as adults with their own families. What great memories!


    Dear Eileen, Kiawah is a favorite with us, as well. How wonderful that your kids are able to continue making memories there.

  6. Racquel says:

    It’s nice that you are able to round everyone up for a vacation. 🙂

    Dear Racquel, thanks. We work at it, making sure of the schedules of busy lives. Several cannot stay for the entire week, but even if there is only one day with all of us together, we all treasure each moment.

  7. Layanee says:

    There is nothing as much fun as kids at the beach and family around the table. Well, coming home to quiet is a close second don’t you think? Love the pictures and LTB’s ‘F’ dive. He is proficient.

    Dear Layanee, it sounds like you understand the joys of parent and grandparenthood quite well. The kids make the experience so much more exciting, especially around the pool.

  8. Sheila Read says:

    Your post makes me want to go to the beach. Too bad about the smoke from fires, however. Apparently that’s been a problem at the North Carolina beaches this summer, too. I’ve been to Isle of Palms and it’s beautiful …

    Dear Sheila, I am so glad to hear you know of the beauty at the Isle of Palms. The smoke was not too bad, really. We had a good hard rain one night that cleansed the air for most of our stay.

  9. Rose says:

    What a perfect spot for a family vacation! You are very fortunate, Frances, to have your whole family in attendance, too; these are precious memory-making occasions. Our oldest son and his family weren’t able to go to Cancun for Daughter’s wedding, and I missed having my family complete during that stay. Love LTB’s diving form!

    Dear Rose, it was perfect. Having everyone together makes it feel more right. I am sorry your son could not participate in that lovely wedding, it becomes more important to us with each passing year. LTB was quite entertaining, as were all the male divers, including The Financier.

  10. lotusleaf says:

    Hi Frances! Your theme on the elements is very good, and the photos are exceptional! In India, we have a fifth element besides these – space.I see space is also depicted in many of your images. Have a good day!

    Dear Lotus, thanks for adding that fifth element to the story. Space does figure in the photos heavily.

  11. debsgarden says:

    Yes, the years go by too quickly. It looks like a wonderful get together, and in future years the memories will be so special. Love the beach photos!

    Dear Deb, thanks for visiting. These blog posts will be there for future generations. I imagine LTB’s children and grandchildren seeing him learn to swim through the stories of our yearly beach trips.

  12. There’s no place like the beach for photographic inspiration – landscapes, animals & people shots. What wonderful memories your family is building.

    Dear MMD, it is a good place and time for many photos. Those shots are what keeps the memories alive.

  13. commonweeder says:

    What a great family vacation. I always think water is the easiest way to keep kids happy – but maybe water keeps everyone happy. I’ll bet you all slept well too, after all that fire and wind and water.

    Dear Pat, you are absolutely right about the water, be it ocean, lake or pool. It does keep us happy and sleep came easily. When our kids were little and we lived in southern CA, we went to the beach every weekend, it was a short drive. It was the most peaceful time for the six of us.

  14. Gail says:

    Frances, You gathering looks like it’s filled with laughter and love! LTB is absolutely adorable. Love the family photo and the one with you and LTB on the beach. Not sure if I told you this, but we honeymooned on the Isle of Palms. it was not as developed back then! It still looks beautiful. Might try to talk Mr I into a beach visit this fall. xxoogail

    Dear Gail, thanks for those kind words. Laughter and love, it doesn’t get any better than that. What a delightful place for your honeymoon. It is still quite low key in some places, even if the houses are bigger and fancier. I hope you can get a beach visit in soon!

  15. gittan says:

    It’s amazing to see that you spend the vacation together with the whole family every year. I really like that! I’d love to do the same thing when our girls are older and have their own families to / Kram gittan

    Dear Gittan, thanks for stopping by. Our family vacation is very important to all of us and most years we can all attend at least for a couple of days. It is difficult to find the perfect dates for all, though. I hope you can do the same with your girls. We have three spouses that are considered part of the group, we so enjoy them.

  16. Lola says:

    What a wonderful gathering. It is wonderful that you have pics from yr to yr. Not many families do that nowadays
    Living far from each other does not help. I’m sure good times were had by all.

    Dear Lola, it is true that families are more far flung in today’s uncertain world, and it is hard to get them all together. We are lucky to be able to do so. For now.

  17. Elizabeth McLeod says:

    Family should be treasured. All your trips will create many happy memories to hold onto. Enjoy that beach….it looks marvellous! I love your part of the world…….wish I could come and meet all of you.

    Dear Elizabeth, we feel that the family is at the top of the priority. That we all love the beach and live close enough to drive there in one day makes this the perfect vacation.

  18. dirtynailz says:

    Frances, that looks to have been a fabulous family vacation. Those birds are charming, and speaking of birds, I couldn’t help noticing how the ospreys were panting. It must have been pretty toasty there!

    Dear Dirty Nailz, thanks for reading. I wonder if it was the thick smoke that caused the ospreys to breathe like that? It was hot, but that is normal for coastal South Carolina in late June. Or perhaps they were singing, there was chatter up there.

  19. Semi says:

    What a wonderful vacation!! It is always such a joy to be with all the family and relax by the beach. We are so lucky to be able to go on our annual vacation. I am already looking forward to next years! Love Semi

    Dearest Semi, so true, so true. We love being with the family, and hope this tradition can continue for many years.
    xxxooo with love,

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