Mission Of This Blog

The overall mission statement of this blog is to share many unique topics of this blogger's interest. Topics include (but are not limited to): Travel & Photojournalism, Nature & Wildlife Preservation, Americana, Local Places Of Interest, Southern Cultural Heritage, Local History of the South Carolina Upstate, Confederate Heritage Preservation & Awareness, Science & Science Fiction, Astronomy & Night Sky Photography, Literacy & Writing, Southern Cuisine, Popular Culture & Philosophy, Fandom, Local Folklore ....as well as various other topics explained from the blogger's point of view. The following website contains the UNCENSORED thoughts and opinions of a Southern-born country writer from upstate South Carolina - the living, beating heart of the great American Southland!

Friday, October 2, 2015

My Trip To Bishopville Part Two - Landmarks & The Lizard Man

Continuing my little road trip, I took photos of several other important landmarks in Bishopville, South Carolina. 
The city of Bishopville watertower.
Lee County, South Carolina is named for Confederate General Robert E. Lee. Another nod towards the Confederate historical heritage of Southern culture.
The old cannon shown here in front of the Confederate Soldiers Monument and Lee County Courthouse was fired repeatedly in honor of Lee County's final borders being officially defined on December 15, 1902.
My brother Alex poses with the big artillery gun near the Lee County Veterans Museum located next door to the South Carolina Cotton Museum. 

Following those stops we proceeded north to Lee State Park. Created in 1935, the park was one of sixteen in South Carolina developed by the Civilian Conservation Corps. Many of the original building are still in use at the park. The park includes swampland around the Lynches River

Archaeological studies done at the park show that the area was once occupied by the Catawba Indians and several other Native American tribes between 6000 BC and 1000 AD. 

Again, no Lizard Man. No Skunk Ape. No other unknown species. We did however discover several known animal and insect species that were just as fascinating. Not to mention plenty of interesting plants and lots and lots of Spanish Moss. 
A beautiful example of Yellow Garden Spider (Argiope aurantia)
An amazing find. An Cicada that I found hanging out on a tree near the trail. This particular breed is an annual type that shows up every year during the summer and early fall months.
A Common Box Turtle (Terrapene carolina) that I found driving along toward the main parking area of Lee State Park.
Probably the best find of the trip. A beautiful Luna Moth (Actias luna) I found sitting on a park bench. Note that part of its tail is missing.
A Katydid (Tettigoniiade) found resting on the bark of a tree near the trail. 
I found several of this breed of Dragonfly at Lee State Park.
A species of (Eastern) Black Swallowtail butterfly (Papilio polyxenes) fluttering among the flowers along the trail.

After walking a pretty amazing half-mile trail through the thickly wooded swampland, we enjoyed a packed lunch and then returned to the car. My grandmother was getting tired and the weather was starting to turn cloudy. Rain was coming and with it the end of anymore outdoor sight seeing. 

Our trip to Bishopville we came from Interstate 95. I decided to take different route home on SC 34 for the return trip to Chester County. This would take us over the Scape Ore Swamp bridge - the place where the Lizard Man is alleged to come from.

Me and Alex got out of the car at the bridge and looked around a moment. I walked over and looked down into the dark, tree-covered swampland beneath. Almost anything could have been down there. 

Snakes? Yes. 

Gators? Yes. 

Snapping Turtles? Probably. 

A seven foot reptilian humanoid monster that chases and damages cars and trucks? Not likely.

But who can say for sure. 

Crytozoology is one of my more tongue-in-cheek passions. 

While this blogger loves the really amazing idea that an ancient long-necked Plesiosaur inhabits the depths of Scotland's Loch Ness, (or even lakes closer to home) or that the woodlands in North America are inhabited by a huge missing link between humans and primates, or that a Mothman actually warned people about the collapse of the Silver Bridge; I am personally inclined to want better proof than just a few fuzzy, out-of-focus photos and dubious "footprints" found in the woods. 

That is not to say that I don't accept the idea of these creatures. I believe that some of the eyewitnesses to these alleged crytpid sightings and events see something at any rate. While 95 percent of such sightings turn out to be false, or deliberate hoaxes, there are still that five percent that fall under the category of the unexplained. Mostly likely an animal already known to us (or even a new species) mixed in with a whole lot of active human imagination to fill in the blanks.

Still, there are new species still being discovered all the time on this planet we share. Many of them once thought to be hoaxes, or forklore, sometimes prove to have aspects of the truth to their existence. Sometimes creatures once thought to be extinct suddenly turn up very much alive: the Coelacanth being a good example.  

Those facts alone allow this blogger to keep a somewhat open mind about the possibilities of the existence of legendary creatures, while the stubborn scientific-minded part of my brain wants to find and build evidence for their existence rather than go on simple faith alone.

The Bishopville Lizard Man is as much as product of local folklore and tourism attraction to sell t-shirts and drum up business for the local economy of a small rural community.

As much as I personally love the idea of creatures like Lizard Man, Bigfoot, Nessie, Mothman, ect. I have to accept that the wild ideas about what they are are simply that. Could they be based on some real creature? That much of a possibility I can keep an open mind about. 

For example, the stories about lake monsters like Nessie and Champ turn out after scientific investigation to be some type of large sea eel that travel from deep ocean areas up channels to inland lakes to breed and protect their young from predators rather than some relation to the ancient Plesiosaur that somehow escaped the K-T extinction event, then this blogger would not be shocked or too disappointed.

Well, okay maybe a part of me would be just a little bit disappointed - the writer that enjoys good stories about the idea of such exotic creatures still existing somehow. 

Okay, that just about does it for this blog post....except for one more important thing. Exiting Bishopville and Lee County and traveling west on SC 34, we did see a few somewhat interesting sights: including an actual Sasquatch sighting!

Uh, well....sort of. Hee hee!

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