March 1998

Dear SCAN members,

The 14 SCAN members that visited the Whitehall Nature Preserve, owned by the Catawba Lands Conservancy, in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina on February 28 were treated to a very nice day. Among the attendees on this field trip were a married couple that are students at Auburn University in Alabama. They found out about SCAN from our Web page and became members.

The Whitehall Nature Preserve is an ideal habitat for salamanders and aquatic bugs. A significant portion of the 45-acre site is covered with water for 5 – 6 months per year. A dry period is critical for the life cycle of the salamanders. However, a significant decline in the number of salamanders caught in drift fences has been observed which may reflect the cutting through of a paved road adjacent to the site. Last year the bog did not fill with water until December in contrast with previous years when it was filled in October.

See the Flora/Fauna List

Special thanks are due to Charlie Williams, our Northern Regional Director, for a well planned trip. We also owe thanks to SCAN members Don Seriff, Conservation Science Specialist for Mecklenburg County, and wife Kim Garrett who opened the gate to let us in to the preserve and showed us highlights of the area.

Update on the “Second Ten Years of SCAN”: Sam Outen’s bequest to provide funds for producing a book that includes the trip reports and flora-fauna lists for the Second 10 years of SCAN is expected to be finalized by April 1, 1998. Therefore, I have instructed the committee that was commissioned to produce the book at the January 1997 meeting of the Association to initiate the project. Virginia Winn is chairperson of the committee and Lynn Smith, Dee Hope, and Sarah Simons are committee members. Virginia estimates that the book will be printed by June of 1999.

News Release from the State Museum: The South Carolina State Museum’s spectacular new major exhibit Backyard Monsters:( The World of Insects) is truly inspirational. Not only the size of the gigantic bugs and the mechanical wizardry, but also the intricate construction and detail of these artificial creatures is enough to fill the onlooker with awe. The exhibit can be seen through June 8.

March’s Bug of the Month is the dragonfly, also called the “mosquito hawk”. Family activities will take place from 1 – 4 PM in NatureSpace on March 7 and 21. Mike Wilson, WIS-TV’s Weekend Gardener will be a special guest on March 28 when he will offer advice and answer questions about trees, plants, and gardens and how to protect them from marauding bugs.

For more information or a complete printed schedule of Backyard Monsters Programs, contact Julia Hill at (803) 737-4921


Ken Boni, President

Change of Plans Alert!Visit to Sandy Island Postponed

Thanks to El Nino the water level is too high for safe access in the tidal creeks near Sandy Island and almost any other Grand Strand area location near tide water. Therefore, a last minute change has been made to Myrtle Beach State Park. Spring migrant songbirds will be starting to arrive. The high tides have brought interesting material to the beaches. And SCAN has never visited this park! Since this was the first state park open to the public in Soouth Carolina, it deserves our attention.

Saturday, March 28, 1998 10: 30 a.m. Myrtle Beach State Park

Bring your binoculars! The spring migrants, both avian and insectoid, plus a few humans, should be on the march for our March field trip. The woods and edges of open areas will be attracting lots of visitors. We will look for the non-human kind. Later we will walk the beach to see what has washed ashore to tell us who is living off the coast. Lunch will most likely be eaten at the cars as we change areas in the park. Bring your lunch and both insect repellent and sunscreen. Liquids and a snack to carry with you would be wise. Meet at the parking lot of the Nature Center in time to be ready to start exploring at 10:30. This will be the first large parking lot on the left after entering the park. This park has an entrance fee of $3.00 per car for day use, using the honor system with envelops in boxes, so have correct change. You will be required to have the receipt visible in the car while you are there. We hope to see you there.

Directions: The park is 3 to 4 miles south of Myrtle Beach on US Business 17. Use your own favorite way to get to Myrtle Beach or follow these directions.

From I-20 take I-95 north to exit 170 and SC 327. Follow 327 south to US 76, turn left. Follow 76 to US 501, then stay on 501 to Myrtle Beach, turn South on US 17 Business, and the park entrance in on the left in three or four miles. Alternatives if you wish to avoid the center of Myrtle Beach are to turn south on SC 544 just east of Conway, follow that to Bus. 17, then turn left (north) to the park which will now be on your right. A variation of that is to stay on 501 to 17 By-pass just after crossing the Inter-coastal Waterway, go south to the back entrance of Myrtle Beach Air Force Base and cut through following the signs to 17 Bus., turning south a short distance before the park entrance on your left: or go on south to SC 544, turn left to go east to 17 Bus. then turn back north to the park entrance on your right.