May 26, 1999
Dear SCAN Members,
Even after seven hours, SCAN members could not get enough of Webb WMA, one of the richest natural areas in the State. Nineteen of us, including several first-timers, spent a glorious day scrambling (like only SCAN can) to absorb as much of the diverse habitats that encompasses the site. We began by observing several [an encouraging fact] endangered red-cockaded woodpeckers, which were nesting in pines towering over a savanna with hooded pitcher plants, ladies’-tresses orchids, dychoriste, and other noteworthy forbs. Our next stop was a little blue heron rookery, where purple gallinules sauntered along the margin of a pond full of lotus with its “salt shaker” seed pods laying about. Next we found an oxbow lake long ago cut off from the Savannah River, lined with massive bald-cypresses, many with knees taller than we were. A pair of amorous yellow rat snakes were trying to be as discreet as possible, so we obliged them after a short look! Lastly, we entered a cathedral of majestic oaks, elms, maples, and hickories, and with time running out reluctantly rejoined the “real world.” Places like Webb may leave you thinking it’s the other way around. Thanks go out to Mary Garland Douglass, our Southern Area Director, for the time scouting out, and considerable effort in devising the “game plan” for the trip. Sorry you couldn’t make it Mary, get well soon!
Dee Hope, President
Unusual reptile sightings from Webb Wildlife Center: In addition to the usual anole and skink sightings, two yellow rat snakes were spotted in the process of mating. That ended any privacy of their nuptial activities. Earlier Regina Ferrara Shelley had spotted a hole in the mud near Bluff Lake and spotted several eggs deposited in it. Most folks in attendance got an opportunity to look at the eggs. Turtle seemed to be ruled out, as these eggs did not have a leathery shell. Upon returning home and consulting Amphibians and Reptiles of the Carolinas and Virginia, by Martof, et al, I came across a description that fits almost perfectly. The Eastern musk turtle, or stinkpot, lays its eggs “in soft dirt…close to the water. The two to five eggs are white, brittle (italics mine), elliptical and about 27 mm. long.”
It is with great sadness that we report the death of long time SCAN member and former regional director Frances Crawford. Frances, as regional director, provided us with very well planned trips, often with a knowledgeable local guide. This is a difficult group to “lead” as we tend to spot something of personal interest and go bounding off the trail. One of the leaders she provided, George Sawyer of Coker College, decided to harness our curiosity and have us help with an inventory of Kalmia Gardens. This same contact with Dr. Sawyer led to having one of his co-workers become an active member, current president, Dee Hope! Frances has passed her torch well. We shall miss her.
Saturday June 26, 1999 10:30 am
Woods Ferry Recreation Area
Sumter National Forest – Enoree Ranger District
SCAN’s first field trip during the summer season of 1999 will be to the Woods Ferry Recreation Area, on the Broad River, just east of Union, S.C. This recreation area is situated at the site where a ferry for horse and buggy traffic operated during the 1800’s. The ferry was utilized by Confederate troops fighting against General Sherman during the Civil War. The area was heavily logged during the early 1900’s, but reforestation and erosion control efforts by the U.S. Forest Service during the latter half of this century have resulted in the restoration of beautiful floodplain and mixed pine-hardwood forests. We’ll explore part of the Woods Ferry Trail. Songbirds, herps, and insect life will highlight the trip.
Details: Plan to bring your lunch including cold drinks, snacks, and plenty of water. It would also be advisable to bring a hat, sunscreen, and bug spray. Toilet facilities are located at the picnic area where we will be parking our vehicles. For more details contact Don Seriff at (704) 366-4547.
Directions to Woods Ferry Recreation Area
From I-77, take exit 65, follow US 9 north through Chester towards Lockhart. BEFORE Lockhart look for signs for Woods Ferry, just past Carolina Plastics plant. At sign, turn left onto Roy Wade Rd. go 0.33 miles and turn left onto SC secondary route 49 – “Woods Ferry Rd.” Follow SC SR-49 approximately 6 miles. Turn right at sign onto SC secondary route 574; drive 3.6 miles to the end of the road at the recreation area. Note: the paved road turns to dirt road for the last quarter mile. Park at the picnic area parking lot.
From the western part of the state, take exit # 54, off I-26, onto east SC 72. Follow SC 72 through Whitmire and Carlisle. Approximately 2.5 miles after crossing the Broad River, turn left (north) on SC secondary route (SR) 25.Then follow directions given below:
From Columbia, take SC 215 north, to SC 72. Turn right (east) onto SC 72, go approximately 1 mile, turn left (north) on SC secondary route (SR) 25. Then follow the directions given below:
Go 2.1 miles on SC SR-25 to SC secondary route 49; continue north on SC SR-49 for 3.6 miles to SC secondary route 574; turn left and drive 3.6 miles to the end of the road at the recreation area. Note: the paved road turns to dirt road for the last quarter mile. Park at the picnic area parking lot.