November 2000

November 26, 2000

Dear SCAN Members,

November’s trip took us to a botanically and geologically unique area of the state: Sugarloaf Mountain in the Sandhills State Forest. For the morning portion of our trip, we hiked around and up Horse Shoe Mountain, right next to Sugarloaf. Although these “mountains” of sand and sandstone only rise about 100 feet above the surrounding terrain, we were rewarded with a nice view from the top. The slopes were covered with Mountain Laurel bushes and deep mats of Creeping Blueberry (Vaccinium crassifolium.) The fall wildflowers had mostly gone to seed, but we enjoyed seeing the bright red fruits of Red Chokeberry (Sorbus arbutifolia.) We were also treated to the sight of a large flock of winter birds, including Golden-crowned and Ruby-crowned Kinglets at eye level just a few feet away.

We’d planned to climb Sugarloaf Mountain before lunch, too, but by 12:30 everybody was ready to get into their cars, turn their heaters on high, and head for our picnic spot by the lake! Most of us had looked at the bright sunshine Saturday morning and figured we’d soon be shedding our jackets and sweatshirts, but the clouds rolled in early and temperatures never got above the mid-40s. Our picnic shelter was awfully chilly, but fortunately SCAN member Decanie Dowling came to our rescue. He just happened to have an ax and some fat light wood in his car, and before long, we had a nice fire going in the fireplace! That marked the end of the day’s explorations for some members, but others were brave enough to venture out to the lake margin, where we found mats of Sphagnum moss with Atlantic White Cedar trees, Bayberry, and some late-blooming New York Asters. A few hardy Cricket Frogs were resting at the water’s edge. All in all, it was another great SCAN trip.

Mary G. Douglass, President

Dues are due!!! It is that time of year when all memberships must be renewed. Below is a form to send back with your payment. The secretary and treasurer would greatly appreciate it if you would return the form prior to the annual meeting as it gets very hectic at the meeting. Note that there is a line for your email address. Notifying those who have email saves time and is cost-free to SCAN.


Membership dues are $12.00 for a single member and $5.00 for each additional member at the same address.

Member # 1: ______________________________ Additional members: ____________________________

Address: __________________________________ ______________________________________________

__________________________________________ Phone: ________________________________________

__________________________________________ Amount Enclosed: _______________________________

Is this a change of address or phone? ____________ email address: ___________________________________

Please mail to: South Carolina Association of Naturalists, P.O. Box 5651, Columbia, SC 29250-5651

Annual Meeting: It will soon be time for our only indoor meeting of the year, held as always at the State Museum on January 27. Be thinking about exhibits you can bring to share with your fellow SCAN members. In the past we’ve had interesting exhibits of original artwork, various collections of natural history interest, books, scrapbooks, and videos. Also, Lynn Smith is looking for slides members might be willing to lend to be included in the yearly slide review at the annual meeting. Photos taken on this year’s SCAN trips are the primary need, but photos of interesting items of natural history you spotted and photographed elsewhere during recent years would be of interest as well. You can bring them to the planning meeting Dec. 2 or the December fieldtrip on Dec. 9, or let Lynn know and work out other methods of delivery. She can be reached at 803-432-1504,, or at 407 Ridgecrest Dr. Camden, SC 29020. The slides would be needed from about January 15 until just after the annual meeting. Let’s all pitch in to make the Annual Meeting fun and interesting!

Savannah National Wildlife Refuge – Jasper County

December 9, 2000

Savannah National Wildlife Refuge is 27,771 acres of tidal freshwater marsh, impoundments and bottomland hardwoods. Formerly vast rice fields for the plantations that built this state, it now is managed for the yearly inundation of wintering waterfowl. We will meander along as much of the 4-mile Laurel Hill Wildlife Drive as we want, which will provide superb observation points of the vast marshes and intimate views of the otherwise inaccessible hammocks. The drive is built upon the high earthen dikes that connect the marshy pools and the many island-like hammocks. It is here that the migratory warblers will be seen. The marshes will yield great flocks of ducks and geese, as well as gallinules and a “who’s who” of wading and marsh birds. Of course the stars of the show will be the magnificent alligators in an almost absurd abundance. We can also take some of the side trails to “sneak up” on unsuspecting creatures. Don’t miss this trip to one of South Carolina’s wildest sites!

Directions: From Exit 5 on I-95 at Hardeeville, take U.S. 17 south toward Savannah. Drive 5.5 miles and veer right onto S.C. 170 (U.S. 17 veers left.) In 2 miles, after passing through the marshes of the Refuge, is the gate to Laurel Hill Wildlife Drive to your left. Turn in and park, the trail begins beyond the parking area. There are restrooms here.