March 2000

Dear SCAN Members,

We were most fortunate to have a beautiful warm spring day for our long-awaited trip to Sandy Island. Thirty SCAN members enjoyed a pontoon-boat cruise on the Waccamaw River along with a tour of various habitats on this unique island.

From the boat, we enjoyed beautiful views of the swamp forest on the eastern shore of the island. All the trees were decked out in new leaves of delicate shades of green and brown, and the beautiful pink Wild Azalea bushes were in full bloom. Once we reached the island, the terrain changed dramatically as we climbed a bluff up to the dry ridge of white sand that runs down the center of the island. The widely-spaced Longleaf Pine trees of the sand ridge appeared small, but many of them are well over 100 years old. Thirty-seven colonies of Red-cockaded Woodpeckers inhabit the pine forest. Those of us who took the cart ride were also able to see some of the pocosin-type wetlands that occupy depressions between the sand ridges. At one stop, we found a Sphagnum bog with clumps of Trumpet Pitcher Plants.

We didn’t see any of the numerous black bears said to inhabit the island, or the rumored state-record 14-foot-plus alligator, but birds and insects were out in abundance. There were Great Blue Herons on their nests at one pond, and we spotted numerous individuals of one of our prettiest butterflies, the Zebra Swallowtail.

The island has miles of trails, and the open terrain of the sandy ridge makes it easy to navigate. It is open to exploration by the public year-round, but the catch is, you must have a boat to get there! We want to thank our Regional Directors Loree Gandy and Pat Chaplin for making the arrangements for this special trip. Without their thorough preparations we would not have been able to see Sandy Island.

See the Flora/Fauna List

I also want to mention that more than half of our group — 17 to be exact — stayed and enjoyed a couple of hours of great conversation over seafood dinners at Murrell’s Inlet! This may be a record number for our post-trip social, and everyone agreed that this is a tradition we want to continue.

Mary G. Douglass, President

New Computer: After 9 years, the executive committee approved purchase of a new computer. We bought a Dell Computer with a 550 mHz Pentium chip, 64 meg memory, a 4 gig hard drive, a Zip drive, a CD drive, and Microsoft Suite 2000 software for ~$1100. This replaces SCAN’s Softek 486 computer that has a speed of 66 mHz, 16 meg memory, 400 meg hard drive and no zip or CD drives. Also, the dot matrix printer was replaced with a HP Deskjet 694C inkjet printer that was donated to SCAN by Ken and Mary Boni. (The timing of the printer replacement was ideal as I only was able to print 12 labels for this newsletter before it died)

Computer Drawing: Any SCAN member interested in acquiring the old SCAN computer should let me know. If more than one member is interested in acquiring the computer, I propose a drawing for the old computer to take place at this month’s SCAN trip to Stevens Creek.

New Stationary: We are indebted to Lynn Greenlee for the new stationary letterhead that I used for this newsletter.


10:30 AM SATURDAY, APRIL 22, 2000

Spring wildflowers, numerous insects, amphibians, reptiles, and birds. What could be more perfect for our April trip? Stevens Creek Heritage Preserve is a geological and botanical oddity. This protected area supports one of the best wildflower collections in South Carolina and a hardwood forest thought to be a glacial relic from the Pleistocene Era. The dominant old-growth hardwoods found in this preserve include white oak, bitternut hickory and American ash. The unusual soil composition in this area promotes growth of many rare plant species from both northern and southern distributions. There are 15 rare plant species, including Ribes echinellum and the only known colony of dutchman’s breeches in the state. If we are lucky we may also spot a rare animal species: Webster’s Salamander. Come join the fun as we explore a natural wonder in McCormick County.

DETAILS: We will meet at the entrance to the preserve at 10:30. Pack your lunch to carry into the preserve. You will also need ample water, insect repellent and sunscreen. Restroom facilities can be found at the BP Station in Modoc where highway SC 23 joins US 221/ SC 28. Modoc is approximately 4 to 5 miles north of the preserve on US 221/ SC 28. There are no facilities at the preserve.

DIRECTIONS: From Edgefield, drive west on SC 23 to Modoc. Turn left (south) onto US 221/ SC 28 and travel about 5 miles. You will see signs for Clarks Hill Dam. Continue straight ahead on SC 28 for 0.3 miles past the intersection where US 221 crosses the dam. You will see a Wildlife Viewing sign. Turn left onto County Road 88. You will also see a little store, the Clarks Hill Herring Hut across the road from where you will turn onto County Road 88. Stevens Creek Heritage Preserve is approximately 1 mile on the left