August 1996

August 6, 1996

Dear SCAN members,

The boots and wading shoes we wore to the last SCAN trip to Mount Pleasant Church Bay in Lee County turned out to be unnecessary because the bay was nearly dry, but lots of folks had a grand time despite dry feet. The bay was in bloom with Oxypolis filiformis (not the rare one), Rhexia, Polygala, and myriad others not blooming such as the tiny sundew. We found a single shallow pool where dragonflies and water beetles abounded, all that remained of the normally-wet Carolina bay. Along the entrance path, showy half-inch orange and black blister beetles decorated the butterfly peas. Birds and other vertebrates were scarce. but butterflies, grasshoppers, grasshoppers, and crickets were numerous.

We lunched under the shade of a picnic shelter in Lake Ashwood Park, and then walked the two mile loop trail around the lake. This park was new to most of us and a pleasant surprise. Vegetation was totally different from that of the bay; note the two accompanying flora-fauna lists. Greg Mancini, our Central Regional Director, earns our plaudits for a well-organized and interesting outing.

Our August trip will be back to the Foothills to Eastatoe Gorge. In September we’ll have our annual fall overnight to Charleston County. Since advance registration for the boat trip will be required, be certain to read the notice about Dewees Island and send in your registration early, because the boat only carries 25 persons. For any who are not able to get a spot on the boat, come join us anyway for the overnight and/or Sunday’s activities.

I have a new e-mail address:

Your president,
Jan Ciegler

SCIENCE-NATURE NOTES: Sandspurs, Cenchrus sp., grow very spiny seeds which detach from the plant and fasten themselves to people’s socks and animals’ fur, thereby disseminating those seeds very successfully. I’m sure we’ve all felt the horrible-spiny things when removing them from our clothing! On July 28 some of us noticed a strange occurrence in Sumter County: many flying insects had accidentally impaled themselves on these sharp spines and died there. One two-inch longhorn beetle had lost 5 of its 6 tarsi (feet) while trying to get loose, and was still struggling though impaled through is 6th tarsus. Dead insects included several medium-sized June beetles, a lady beetle, and a couple of dragonflies. We surmised that the insects had either accidently bumped into the 2-foot plants while flying or had perched there, and that the sandspurs had not chemically attracted the insects, having nothing to gain from dead carcasses waving in the breeze.
-Lynn Smith, Mary Douglass, Florence High, Jan Ciegler


SCAN will not be going to Capers Island as planned in September due to boat scheduling problems. However, we will be going to Dewees Island instead. The space on this trip will be limited to the first 25 members who register with Regional Director Dee Hope, and pay the registration fee of $10.00. This first come first serve policy applies to members. Non-members will be accepted only on a space-available basis after the members have had plenty of opportunity to sign-up. Use the registration-release form included in this newsletter and return it with a check for each member attending to: Dee Hope, 4 Pretorius Street, Statesboro, GA 30458.
Exact details of the meeting places for Saturday and Sunday will be in the next newsletter. There will be a waiting list for both members and non-members. MAKE YOUR CHECK PAYABLE TO DEE HOPE, NOT SCAN. DO IT NOW!

AUGUST 24: Eastatoe Gorge Heritage Preserve

The August trip will be to Eastatoe Gorge in Greenville County. Older members may remember the trip to this site in July 1991, when a heavy rainstorm descended upon us just as we got to the bottom of the gorge, two and half miles from the cars. It is a lovely mountain trail the first 1.5 miles of which is on an old road bed. The trail then drops quickly the last mile into the gorge. The rugged part of the gorge with no trail contains a rare fern Hymenophyllum tunbridense, known from nowhere else in the world. It is very unlikely that we will get to see it. This is a long trail for SCAN so please be there, ready to start walking at 10:30. You will need to carry lunch and drinks. Remember, summer showers are the rule in that part of the state! Be prepared! The soil in the upper part is good orange clay which sticks like glue when wet, so choose foot gear accordingly.

Directions to the parking area at Eastatoe Creek Gorge (also an access point for the Foothills Trail): From the intersection of SC 11 and US 178 (near Table Rock State Park) proceed north on US 178 toward Rosman, NC At 7.2 miles from the intersection you will pass Rocky Bottom Camp for the Blind. Nine-tenths (0.9) of a mile past the camp (a total of 8.1 miles from SC 11), watch for Laurel Valley Lodge sign on the right. Opposite this sign turn LEFT onto the wide lodge entrance. Immediately bear right onto a single lane gravel road up to the parking area on the left. WARNING: after this summer’s rains this road may be heavily eroded so drive slowly and cautiously. Remember to allow extra time for driving curvy mountain roads. You need to plan to leave the parking lot on time!