June 1, 1998
Dear SCAN members,
The thirteen SCAN members and one dog (Ted’s) that visited the Pink Beds in North Carolina found a very interesting and diverse site. It was also great to get away from the 90 + temperatures in Columbia to a more reasonable high 70 ‘s. Although several waves of dark clouds passed over, no rains came to disturb the trip. Many unusual birds were singing, the botanists found many plants to identify, and the entomologists found many grasshoppers, butterflies, and dragonflies. The extent of the challenge to the participants in identifying their findings is evident by them taking almost 6 hours to complete the approximately 3 mile trail.
See the Flora/Fauna ListSpecial thanks are due to Ted Cottingham, our Northern Regional Director, and Lynn Smith who suggested the Pink Beds to replace Gage Bald as the site for the May field trip. Access to Gage Bald, which is from the Blue Ridge Parkway, was not possible until sometime between 8:30 AM and 2 PM on Friday.
Ken Boni, President
Secretary’s Note: The beaver pond which had flooded out the back part of the Pink Beds Trail was no longer there. Presumably the winter floods washed it away, and the beavers found a better site for their residence. We saw much chewed evidence of their former presence. As a result, the large number of uncommon to South Carolinians odonates (dragonflies and damselflies) were no longer there. Birds, however, provided a very northern treat. Highlight has to be the sight and sound of a Least Flycatcher. This is a small grayish flycatcher who looks like several of its relatives and is best distinguished by voice. Its song is a che-bek with the emphasis on the second syllable. Fortunately it is vocal compared to some so many of us got to hear it clearly. It is a more northern species, usually only seen in migration, but it does nest in the Appalachian Mountains down as far as northern Georgia. Jennifer Frick’s sharp eyes also spotted a Yellow-billed Cuckoo preening in a tree far off the trail. After a LOT of coaching most of us located it and got a good view.
June 27, 1998, 10:30 a.m.
Hitchcock Woods is a privately held 2000 acre nature preserve comprised of mixed pine- deciduous woods owned and operated by the Hitchcock Foundation. It has a large number of hilly but easy-to-walk trials that lead to diverse ecological areas such as ponds, streams, fresh-water marsh, up-land long-leaf pine woodlands and mountain-type floral area and others. An excellent map of the woods detailing all of the trails and areas of interest will be provided to this trip’s participants. As a bonus, we will be very fortunate to have Dr. Harry Shealy, Professor of Botany, USC-Aiken, and one of the Foundation’s directors lead our trip. We will carry our lunch, drinks, insect repellent, etc. There are no toilets but amenable trees of large diameter are available. For more information, call Alex Ciegler at (803) 796-2862. We hope to see you there.
Directions: The Woods are about an hour and 15 minutes more or less driving time from Columbia. If you take I-20 toward Aiken, get off at Exit 22 (US 1), and turn left. Drive 8.2 miles on US 1 into the center of Aiken where 1 and US 78 intersect. Turn right on US 1 heading toward Augusta. Go three miles to the intersection of US ! and SC 118 (Hitchcock Parkway). As a landmark at this point Triangle Pontiac, Chrysler, Jeep dealership will be on your right. Turn left onto 118 and drive 0.5 (one-half) mile, then turn left onto Dibble Road and again drive one-half mile until you see a very large Southern Natural Gas Pumping Station on the right. Just beyond this unit is an unmarked dirt road on the right that leads into the parking lot for Hitchcock Woods. There probably will be several horse trailers already parked there. [Sec’ys note: You wiøF Pøì`on the way iæï¿½ Aiken. You can turn right onto it there, and then start your half mile when you cross US 1 with the car dealership on your left. This may not be faster on a Saturday morning. Alex’ route is a more dependable choice.