There are many ways to see a swamp. You can canoe. You can kayak. You can walk on a boardwalk. You can slog through the water. You can even hop from cypress knee to cypress knee. Or, you can fly.
Buddy Wehman, a retired pilot lives just outside Harleyville, SC and keeps his 1939 Fleet biplane in a hanger at the Summerville airport. After months of looking at aerial Google maps I wanted to see for myself the braided channels and towering trees of the 1,600 acres. I love anything that changes my perspective. My main motivation, however, was to document the dichotomy between old growth forest and clear-cut lowcountry.
On Monday morning I met him at the airport and we waited an hour for the fog to dissipate. To kill time he dissected the simplistic anatomy of a biplane and told me about the time the propeller nearly severed his femoral artery. All alone, he used a belt for a tourniquet and drove himself to a hospital 30 minutes away. I figured I was in good hands should our plane crash into the Hudson, or in our case, the Edisto. Any fears or uneasiness about flying in a seventy year-old plane quickly vanished once I put on the leather hat and goggles.