When Nature Becomes Art

Charleston / Travel

Capers Island Beach

 The Boneyard Beach

A few miles up the coast from Charleston, an undeveloped barrier island fights a losing battle. Not against the usual suspects – not the high rise hotels, swarming tourists or oceanfront McMansions.

Pristine and uninhabited, Capers Island is at the mercy of a far more timeless adversary – the Sea.

And the battlefield is hauntingly beautiful…a two-three mile long boneyard of a beach.

The casualties are everywhere: skeletons of trees littering the beach, their bones bleached by the sun.

Ravaged by salt and sand, Capers Island loses the battle another fifteen feet each year. In time, it will most certainly become part of the mainland. As the tides come and go, the sand shifts a little more each day. What’s left is an open-air art installation, sculpture after sculpture crafted by nature.

Want to go?

Accessible only by boat, Capers Island is 15 miles north of Charleston.

If you need a “ride” to the Island, Barrier Island Eco Tours has great half-day excursions led by a naturalist with an encyclopedic knowledge of the Coast and the Lowcountry. I returned from our trip with some rather enviable seashells as well as a scientific answer to my nagging question about that peculiar smell that occasionally pervades the Charleston air!


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