June 1997

Dear SCAN members,

The sun did not shine on the 12 SCAN members who visited the Brasstown Creek Heritage Preserve site in Oconee County on May 24, 1997. However, only a brief sprinkle interfered with the enjoyment of the group at this interesting site. While the Pitch Pine Heath community was not found, the group made a valiant effort to find it by climbing a very steep hill. At the intersection of Brasstown Creek with the Tugaloo River, a great diversity of plant life was observed in a “bog” environment. Fruiting Paw-Paw trees as well as a few black-walnut trees that were at least 18 inches in diameter were some of the more interesting findings. Much of the road leading to Brasstown Creek paralleled the Tugaloo River which was very scenic.

At the edge of the road was a homestead with two marked gravestones and several unmarked stones that appeared to be marking graves. The unusual aspect of the marked stones was that the man, Mr. Boatright, lived from 1807 to 1901 and his wife lived from 1816 to 1913. Surviving for 94 and 97 years, respectively, during a period when hazards from wild Indians existed is certainly remarkable.
Special thanks are due Ted Cottingham, the Western Regional Director, for a well planned trip.

See the Flora/Fauna List for Brasstown Creek H.P.

The Presidents Special on May 10 was to Tibwin Plantation. While it was originally the intention to ride on the Palmetto bicycle trail in the afternoon, the group consensus was to stay at Tibwin Plantation for the entire day. The weather couldn’t have been better. The temperature was in the low 70’s which was about 15 degrees less than it was two months earlier when we scouted the area. Also, the mosquitoes seemed to be much less voracious. Nine members participated with 4 1/2 bicyclers and 4 1/2 walkers (One member rode in the morning and walked in the afternoon). Unfortunately, the fauna list does not reflect the diversity of plants in the area since there were no botanists on the trip. A group of birders, visiting the plantation in the early morning, achieved a 50 species list which was almost equaled by the SCAN contingent. Large flocks of glossy ibis, snowy egrets, wood storks, and semi-palmated plovers were observed. The diversity in the environment provided wood birds, shore birds, and marsh birds.

See the Flora Fauna List for Tibwin Plantation

Sincerely, Ken Boni, President

June Fieldtrip (an overnight)
June 28-29: Elliottia and other Southeast Georgia Curiosities

Our June overnight will be an adventure to the new area for SCAN: Bulloch and Candler Counties in Georgia. We will use the Georgia Southern University Botanical Garden in Statesboro as our ‘headquarters’ while we venture to various sites nearby, all within a twenty minute drive from the Garden, campsites, and motels in town. On Saturday, at 10:30 a.m., we will meet at the Garden, then carpool to the 73-acre Charles Harrold Preserve. There we will see an abundance of Elliottia racemosa, (Georgia-plume), an endangered tree found only in southeastern Georgia. this primitive member of the heath family is becoming rarer due to habitat loss and the fact that there has been no documented sightings of seedlings in the wild, although the plant is able to reproduce asexually from the roots. This plant will be the highlight of the trip, and will be in beautiful full boom. (An expert on Elliottia, which is named for South Carolinian Stephen Elliott, will be present to give a thorough history of the plant as we discover it much like the early naturalists did.)

Also at the Harrold Preserve and at other sites will be Cliftonia monophylla (buckwheat tree) in fruit (weird!), Calamintha coccinea (scarlet-basil) in bloom, Pinckneya pubens (Georgia fever-bark), Kalmia hirsuta (Hairy-wicky). Gordonia lasianthus (loblolly-bay) in bloom,Stewartia malacodendron (silky-camellia), gopher tortoises, and other interesting flora and fauna. Many of these are unknown or rare in South Carolina. Thirty-seven species of birds have been found on the Harrold Preserve. Bring lunch, and plenty of liquids, and come prepared for bugs, sun, and mud.

Added bonus: After the day in the field, we will assemble at the Botanical Garden for food, drink, and fellowship, and a tour. For Sunday’s excursion, Dee has several sites (with maps available) from which to choose. For those coming on Sunday only, meet at the Garden by 10:00 a.m. and Dee will lead you to the sites chosen the previous evening.

Accommodations: For those camping, George L. Smith State Park is about 15 miles for the field trip sites, near Twin City (see map). It has a wooded area for RV hookups, ($14/night) or tents ($12/night), with bathhouses nearby. The state park’s phone number is (912) 763-2759. Statesboro has plentiful motels to pick from (recommended are Hampton Inn (1-800-426-7866) on GA 67 on the waytothe Garden or Fairfield Inn (1-800-228-2800) on the US 301 bypass near the GSU stadium–both $50/night for a double). Feel free to call Dee at (912) 489-5167 for further help.

DIRECTIONS (see the attached map) to Georgia Southern Botanical Garden:
Choice 1: 
Traveling on I-20 toward Augusta, take Bobby Jones Expressway (I-520), which is the third exit after crossing into Georgia. Go 8 miles on the expressway and turn right onto US 25. Continue on US 25 for 81 miles, through the towns of Waynesboro and Millen, to Statesboro. When you reach the intersection of US 25 and US 301, turn right. Travel 1.2 miles (you will pass through the center of town) and turn left onto GA 67. From here it is 1.4 miles to the Botanic Garden on the right.

Choice 2: Traveling on US 301 South, travel 53 miles to Statesboro form Allendale, SC When US 301 reaches the business district of Statesboro, it turns left at a traffic light. Turn to follow it, then travel 1.4 miles (through the center of town) and turn left onto GA 67. From here it is 1.4 miles to the Garden on the right.