April 3, 1997
Dear SCAN members,
Glorious weather greeted our overnight trip to the Augusta-Aiken area of South Carolina and Georgia. Saturday was warm and sunny giving good bird and insect watching as well as pleasant walking on the canal tow-path of the Augusta Canal. Cormorants on rocks in the Savannah River and turtles on the logs and in the back water areas were clearly enjoying the sunshine as much as the humans. There were rushing rapids in the side creek (and black flies that had obviously spent their larval stages there), slow canal waters, and the rolling Savannah River.
Saturday evening a fine dinner at a local barbeque restaurant was followed by about an hour of comet watching with binoculars and spotting scopes from the parking lot of the restaurant. Sunday, a partially drained pond and a series of beaver ponds provided lots of insects to observe. A large group of freshly metamorphosed swallowtail butterflies of several species that were ‘puddling’ in one damp area was an unforgettable sight. Thank you, Greg Mancini for such a well-planned weekend.
It is with great sadness that we report the death of Pam Spencer, who along with her husband Howard, had been a member of SCAN and frequent regional director since the very first year. Even during the last few weeks she was able to read the flora/fauna list and appreciate the things we had been able to enjoy on the trips. To Howard and the rest of her family, we extend our deepest sympathy.
Secretary’s Note: One of the more interesting and uncommon sightings on the March fieldtrip was that of a Harvester butterfly. It is the only North American butterfly with carnivorous larvae. The life cycle and structure revolves around woolly aphids of several genera. The most common prey is the woolly alder aphid. You will note it was sighted as well. The larva (caterpillar) tunnels under a group of aphid nymphs and eats ‘under cover’. It is a slightly hairy caterpillar so that the woolly excretions and honeydew stick to it and offer some camouflage. It matures in seven to ten days and makes a flat pupa case under the dead remains of the aphids. The adult has a shortened proboscis and feeds on aphid honeydew instead of nectar like most butterflies. Ah, the drama of nature.
At the request of several members on the last trip, here is the address of BioQuip Products, who will send a price list only upon request: BioQuip Products, 17803 LaSalle Avenue, Gardena, CA 90248. Phone (213) 324-0620.
President’s Special Meeting May 10, 1997
This special is intended for bicycling enthusiasts but any member interested in exploring a new area on foot is welcome. In the morning, we will be exploring the South Tibwin Plantation. There are 6 miles of wooded roads that pass through waterfowl (managed wetland) impoundments, fresh water ponds, tidal marsh, pine uplands, and hardwood bottom lands. The personnel at the Sewee Visitors Center indicated that good birding can be expected at this site as well as a variety of plants and other animals. Mosquito’s were particularly voracious indicating bug spray is essential. Also, it is important to carry plenty of drinking water.
In the afternoon, we will be on the newly developed 27 mile long “Swamp Fox National Recreation Trail”. The trail traverses a wide variety of habitat types, from mature longleaf pine stands to bottomland hardwood drains and thick evergreen shrub bogs. Pitcher plants, meadow-beauty flowers, and orange milkwort may be seen as well as white tailed deer, red-cockaded woodpeckers, and wild turkey. This trail is part of the 292 mile long “Palmetto Trail” that will stretch through the Lowcountry near McClellanville to Oconee State Park.
Since parking at the South Tibwin Plantation is limited, I propose that we meet at the Sewee Visitor Center at 10:30 AM and car pool from there to the Tibwin Plantation. The Center is on the east side of US Highway 17 about 20 miles north of Charleston and about 6 miles south of Awendaw. We will lunch at the Halfway Creek Campground which is the starting point for the afternoon ride and/or walk. There are toilet facilities at the Sewee Visitor and Environmental Education Center and at the campground but not at the South Tibwin Plantation.
April 26, 1997
Anne Springs Close Greenway
Rock Hill, York County
Our April field trip will take us to York County, north of the city of Rock Hill to the Anne Springs Close Greenway. This is a 2300 acre preserve operated for the enjoyment of the public by Leroy Springs & Company, a non-profit recreation organization. It is classic piedmont habitat, with some residual farming, plus extensive wooded areas with trails for hikers, horse and bicycle riders. We will hike a wooded trail around a lake and explore other areas as time permits. Wear walking shoes suitable for red piedmont clay trails which we will share with horses (that is a warning). Plan to carry lunch and plenty of liquids. Yes, there will be insects intent on harassing us. There is a $2.00 entrance fee per person. You will receive a good map upon entering.
Meet at the nature center parking lot in time to be ready to walk at 10:30 a.m. There are flush facilities near the meeting point. See the map for directions. If you use the I 77 exit indicated there are good signs to the Greenway. As usual we will try to find a restaurant to eat a meal together to finish the day.
Birds and butterflies should be on the move, and the spring flowers finishing their spring fling. We hope to see all of you there!
Directions to Anne Springs Close Greenway
Drive to Exit 85 on Interstate 77. Take SC 160 East 0.8 mile to light , then turn left on US 21 Bypass. Go two miles north to Anne Springs Close Greenway Entrance. Turn right onto gravel road. At the fork where there is parking the Nature Center is the frame house on the left.