Dear SCAN members,
The 10 SCAN members that participated in the October field trip to Lick Fork Recreation Area in Edgefield County enjoyed a very comfortable day. Although rain was forecast,it held off for the entire day. The temperature was in the low 70’s for most of the day. Fortunately, there were no close encounters with deer hunters although there were many in the area.
The group spent the entire day on the trail that goes around Lick Fork Lake. The trail was not in good repair and required several stream crossings on slippery rocks. Toward the end of the trail, a stream crossing that was not well marked confused the group. Many wildflowers were in bloom making it very interesting and slow moving for the botanists. In addition, many mushrooms were found along the trail reflecting the recent rains. Very few birds were seen or heard.
Thanks are in order for Ted Cottingham, the Western Regional Director, for a well planned trip at an interesting site. Also, Tom Jones is owed thanks for scouting the area prior to the SCAN field trip.
Ken Boni, President
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 15 (10:30 A.M.)
SCHIELE MUSEUM of NATURAL HISTORY, GASTONIA
AND PAYSOUR MOUNTAIN
For our November field trip we will slip over the state line into Gastonia, North Carolina for an indoor/outdoor excursion. We will start the day viewing an exhibit “Journey into the Piedmont Past” assembled by the Schiele Museum staff. Guidance will offered by Jim Green, staffer at the museum and fellow SCAN member. This exhibit offers an ‘in depth’ look at the geologic and archeologic past of the North Carolina piedmont. If there is time, we will check out the rest of the museum. Lunch will be in the Museum picnic grounds. There is a short but interesting nature trail. Then those interested in an exploratory trip will load into the museum’s van for a 25 minute trip to a large area not open to the public that is owned by the City of Gastonia which uses part of it as a ‘sludge’ farm. The majority of the property of several hundred acres is like most of the piedmont, former farm land. There is a group trying to determine if it can be made into a park. Our flora/fauna list for the day will help give them information ‘to go on’. Rock chestnut oak dominates the ridge of the mountain. The Scheile Musem entomologist has found it a rich site for insects. Other disiplines have not been studied, not even lichens, so we will have a chance to provide new information. It is possible that some late migrant birds will be passing through and using the ridge with the chestnut oaks or the pond below the sludge. Since this is currently a fenced, locked site, those participating in the Paysour Mountain area visit will need to go in the van and return to the museum in the van. Proposed return time is around 4 p.m. This may be your only chance to visit this area. Oh, yes, there is an indoor back-up plan in case of torrential rain. (Hint: it is the Schiele Museum and Planetarium.) [Sec’y’s note: This plan was developed after Charlie and Jim tried to check out the site the day after the Lick Fork trip, which was a day of frog-strangling rain over most of the Carolinas.]
If you are approaching Gastonia from east or west on I-85, use Exit 20 South onto New Hope Road. Go to the second major intersection and turn right (west) on Garrison Blvd. The museum is about one-half mile on the right. You can easily spot the planetarium, and parking is behind the museum. From central S. Carolina you can use I-77 to I-85, or go north on US 321 through Clover, then right onto Garrison. The museum will be on the left. The choice is yours.
We will meet in the parking lot in time to be ready to enter the museum by 10:30. Bring your lunch and beverage; we will eat in the picnic area close to the cars. Extra liquids, sunscreen and insect repellant may be useful for the Paysour Mountain trip. As usual, if it is convenient, members will try to find a restaurant to enjoy together before heading home. We hope you can join us on this exploration of the Carolina piedmont.