July 1999

June 27, 1999

Dear SCAN Members,

SCAN is having a real revival. A revival? No! No! Not that kind of revival, but a revival in interest in our fieldtrips with attendance over the 20 mark at every outing so far this year. And, frosting on the cake has been the appearance of new interested persons at every outing. A great prelude to the coming millenium. Our June trip to Woods Ferry Recreation Area (22 in attendance despite threatening weather) was a day highlighted by reptiles. On the way to the park various SCAN members played boy scout (and girl scout) helping innumerable box turtles cross the road to safety. Perhaps our recent heavy rains provoked this mass crossing of SC roads. Then at the park we saw a world-record (according to Frank Hill) brown water snake lazing in the river accompanied by a small version of the same reptile. Later, a very large king snake was also observed. The amphibians had their day too with the appearance of a beautiful marbled salamander. We capped the formal part of our outing with a visit to a nearby very old abandoned cemetery in the woods. Several graves were above ground and one grave had a memorial to a CSA veteran. Could the day get better? Yes, by a great fish dinner enjoyed by many of us in Winnsboro at a very good restaurant (sorry, no commercials permitted). You too can enjoy wonderful companionship and fine food by staying with us after the formal part of our day’s program.

See the Flora/Fauna List

Y’r humble and ob’d Vice-President

Alex Ciegler

Commentary: In a period of U.S. history in which interest in science and engineering is seriously on the decline, in depth scientific activities by several amateur SCAN members is indeed refreshing. Their efforts have resulted in publications of papers in respected scientific journals, e.g., Janet Ciegler’s paper on tiger beetles, an upcoming book on SC ground beetles plus another book in the works on water beetles, Alex C.’s paper on SC lichens, and the recent triumph of Charlie Williams with his publication in Castanea of Andre Michaux’s discovery of Magnolia macrophyla in North Carolina. As Charlie phrased it: “I am as proud of that 13 page publication as Tolstoi was in his publication of over 1,000 pages of War and Peace! Well phrased, Charlie, for he speaks for all of us amateurs. There is plenty of room in science for amateurs to make contributions; it only requires a bit of looking for an area open to amateur endeavor, sincere interest, some discipline and, yes, some sweat. These are attributes possessed by most SCAN folk. Perhaps this idea needs more discussion among our members. Any comments?

Alex Ciegler

P.S. There is no reason why two or more people can’t cooperate on a project.

Saturday, July 24, 1999 at 10:3 0 AM

Laurel Fork Creek Heritage Preserve

Pickens County

On July 24 we will visit the 1,000-acre preserve which is the first acquisition in a SCDNR wilderness protection plan which encompasses the Jocasee Gorges area. This preserve is found in a pristine mountainous area off the northeastern tip of the Toxaway arm of Lake Jocasee. The Foothills Trail winds through the area. Among the diversity of plant life found in this area are the rare mountain witch-alder, Appalachian filmy fern, dwarf filmy fern, and the Oconee Bell. Old-growth hemlock, cove forests, and white pine forests dominate the area as well as abundant laurel and rhododendron. Several waterfalls are also found in the area. Rudy Mancke will feature Laurel Fork Creek Heritage Preserve in an upcoming “Nature Scene”.

A.P.B. – Access into the preserve is somewhat difficult, therefore, we have secured the assistance of the DNR. They are providing a suburban and a representative to drive us into the preserve. However, the suburban will only hold about 10 people. We need a couple of other SCAN members with sports utility vehicles who would be willing to transport additional people into the preserve. Otherwise, some members will have to wait for the shuttle to return. Be advised that this is a rough road not suitable for conventional cars. Call Robbie Allen at (864) 574-6497 if you are willing to use your SUV for access into this very interesting but difficult to access site.

Details: We will carry our lunch into the preserve. In addition, you will need plenty of water, insect repellent, and possibly sunscreen. There are no restroom facilities in the preserve. The nearest one is located at the Phillip 66 station at the intersection of Hwy 11 and US 178. The preserve is 8.3 miles further on US 178. We will meet in the parking lot for the Foothills Trail and Laurel Fork Preserve area at 10:30 AM.

Directions: Take US HWY 178 north from the intersection of SC HWY 11 in upper Pickens County. From this intersection you will travel through the community of Rocky Bottom and will cross over a wooden bridge. Just after the bridge you will turn left onto a gravel road. (This turn-off is approximately 8.3 miles from the intersection of Hwy 11 and HWY 178.) This road will fork immediately and you will take the right or upper fork. This will lead to the parking lot on the left.