February 25, 1997
Dear SCAN members,
SCAN’s February trip was to Bear Island in Colleton county. This 7700 acre island contains marsh impoundments, tidal marshes, maritime woods, and agricultural land managed for the benefit of wildlife. After some light showers before 11:30, the rain stopped. While the afternoon was overcast, it turned out to be an excellent day for bird watching and botanizing.
A highlight of the trip was seeing seven bald eagles – two adult pairs and 3 babies in two nests. For those of us who were around between 1950 and 1970 and despaired of ever seeing a bald eagle in the wild, this is evidence of a major comeback of the species. Fortunately, the ban on DDT, which was the source of failure of the eagles to successfully breed, seems to have achieved the intended result. Another highlight of the meeting was seeing a flock of ringed turtle-doves (Streptopelia resoria).
Many thanks to Mary Douglas who identified a seafood restaurant in Walterboro. Fifteen SCAN members got together at the end of a long day for a good meal and fellowship. We also want to thank Alex Ciegler, the Southern Regional Director, for a well planned trip.
A president’s special for May is in the early stages of planning. The opening up of new bike trails in the state, as well as interest in biking among some of the members, suggested to me that we should have a bicycle trip. Details of the trip will be included in next month’s newsletter. This is to give those whose bikes need repair or who need to warm up their cycling-muscles time to prepare.
Ken Boni, President
SECRETARY’S NOTE: If you have stars on your mailing label, and a renewal form in your envelope you are PAST DUE on your membership dues. If you mailed them a few days ago, they just didn’t make it by the time the labels were printed. If your records indicate you paid some time ago, please let us know. Slip-ups do occur, although the post office seems more prone than we are. That is a prejudiced opinion, of course.
March 22 & 23, 1997 Overnight
Saturday, March 22: Augusta River Canal
Sunday March 23: Henderson Heritage Preserve
Saturday: We’ll explore parts of the Augusta River Canal. A series of gates and locks were constructed in the 1840’s to allow river transport. These locks and gates cut through a series of rapids that spread over four miles downstream marking the fall line between the piedmont plateau and the coastal plain. Birding should be good and spring flowers should be blooming along this riverine habitat. We’ll meet at the usual 10:30 a.m. time in the parking lot between the Savannah Rapids Pavilion and the canal. There are facilities on site. Bring lunch and expect eat along the canal. Note: Biking is allowed. Rentals available also at $10 per hour.
Directions: Travel west on I – 20 to Augusta. You are well advised to stop at the Georgia Welcome Center and ask for an Augusta Canal brochure. It will enhance your experience. After the Welcome Center, take Exit 66 onto River Watch Parkway. Then take a right at the first traffic light onto 104 West. Travel 1.0 miles to the very next traffic light. make a right onto Stevens Creek Road. Go straight for 2.0 miles; turn right at the flashing yellow light onto Evans to Locks Rd. toward the Savannah Rapids Pavilion. Park as close to the river canal and as far down the hill as possible.
Overnight Information: The “official” campground will be at Aiken State Park. It is approximately 50 miles east of Augusta River Canal; any good SC map will provide adequate directions. There are 25 campsites, running water, and an opportunity for a convenient self-guided exploratory. For those who prefer greater creature comforts, discounted motels are located just beyond the Georgia Welcome Center (discount coupons available at the center) in Augusta or in Aiken. For those interested, we will plan to meet near Aiken for dinner and social engagement at a restaurant to be announced.
Sunday: There are 198 acres to explore on Sunday at Henderson Heritage Preserve. It consists of a large lake, wetlands, long-leaf pine and wiregrass plant communities and sandhills. We will meet at the parking area (see below) at 10:00 a.m. Plan to eat lunch at the parking area. There are no facilities.