Saturday, February 13, 2016

2016 SEWE Features Jungle Jack Hanna

Welcome Back Mr. Jungle Jack!
After two years of renovations the Gaillard Center is once again open for business, and it's concert hall is the primary location for TV celebrity Jack Hanna to give his educational presentations to SEWE fans. Jungle Jack was last in town back in 2014, and his first show at 2 p.m. on Friday was to a packed house of wildlife and animal lovers, that were whipped into a frenzy by local emcee Josh Marthers. A autograph meet and greet session took place immediately prior to the show, so that Jack could greet his well wishing public followers.

Hanna talks about crocs and gators
As in past years, some of the animals on stage were from Hanna's Columbus Zoo affiliation and some were from the Busch Wildlife Center in Florida. Hanna mixes some short video clips from his TV show called Into The Wild with informative talks about each of the critters that are brought onstage. Hanna made a side by side comparison of a small alligator and crocodile so that the audience would understand the difference between the two, and then he would relay a story about how he saw a life-sized croc or gator from his round the world pursuits. 

Cute Serval Cats entertain guests
A penguin and a pelican represented the avian world on stage, as Jack professes a love for all creatures. He also shared with the audience that he thought SEWE was the equivalent of the Super Bowl when it comes to wildlife art shows, and that he knows because he's been to many of them during his long and distinguished career. He also took a moment to thank now retired David Letterman for the 100 times that he was on TV with him, raising awareness for wildlife. The big finish to the Jungle Jack Hanna talk included a pair of serval cats and a full-grown cheetah! 

To view past blog entries from 2016 SE Wildlife Expo click on SEWE Gala - Hunter's Habit

To view past blog entries about Jack Hanna click on 2014 SEWE - 2011 Birds Of Prey
It takes two handlers to bring out the CHEETAH!

2016 SEWE Gala at Belmond Charleston Place Hotel

Kelly Parrish, Bill Tuten, Duane Parrish and Stella Tuten
enjoy the Wild Life found at the SEWE Gala
2016 SEWE Featured artist Kyle Sims with wife Joylene
The 34th Southeastern Wildlife Exposition was ushered in by the new Mayor of Charleston when John Tecklenburg stood at the podium to welcome the VIP patrons and top-tier wildlife artists to town. This black-tie gala and live auction brings all of the 2016 featured artists together in the Grand Hall at Belmond Charleston Place for a full evening of fellowship that runs from 7 to 11. Surf and turf catering pleases the hearty crowd with sweet confections also readily available, but the main course for wildlife art lovers is the impressive array of art for sale in the room.

Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg helps to welcome guests
With Valentine's Day looming this is a great night to grab one's sweetie by the arm and saunter down aisle after aisle of paintings, bronzes and wood sculptures. Taking time to speak with the artists about their passion is always a fringe benefit of attending SEWE, and there is a palpable excitement about the entire weekend present on Thursday night's gala. Those who enjoy the sporting life come together for fellowship in their formal wear for this unique and special occasion that includes living wildlife displays that serve to educate everyone about the need for conservation and preservation.

To view past blog entries from the SEWE Gala click on 2015 - 2014 - 2013,  201220112010, or 2009.

Who Dat ?! It's a Barred Owl.

2016 SE Wildlife Expo Begins - Hunter's Habit Exhibit

Mallard Decoys from the 1930's
with real feathers!
Several venue changes reshaped the look and feel of the SouthEast Wildlife Exposition, which allowed for the Charleston Museum to join the SEWE footprint with their Hunter's Habit Exhibit. This collection of hunting firearms and accoutrements appeals to those who view hunting as a heritage that needs to be celebrated. The Charleston Mercury newspaper was able to host a reception in conjunction with the Charleston Museum on Thursday Feb. 10 from 5 -7 for sporting enthusiasts.

Signage at the exhibit states "Lowcountry residents have had a long history of interactions with their environment. Since settlers arrived in Charleston in the late seventeenth century, they were quick to recognize the abundance of game that inhabited the area including turkey, boar, deer, bear and numerous species of waterfowl." The pursuit of wild game allowed for craftsmanship to play a role in the firearms that these sportsman used, and some of the vintage guns on display still bear the engraver's name.

More photos will appear in the March 2016 edition of The Charleston Mercury.

A collection of vintage .22-caliber rifles

Thanks to ALL the partners of this project
 To view past blog entries from SEWE special exhibits click on 2015 Miller Collection - 2012 Coen Collection - 2010 Beth Carlson 

To view past entries about the start of the SE Wildlife Expo click 201520142013 - 2012 - 2009
These prized and valuable shotguns are kept under glass

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

2016 Colleton Clemson Extension Advisory Committee Meeting

Ten members of the Colleton County Clemson Extension Advisory Board came together on Monday, February 1 to discuss future endeavors. The topics discussed include the formation of an Agribusiness team, political maneuvering for millions of dollars of disaster assistance, and much more simple plans like the regular brown bag lunch at the Extension office on Mondays. The five Clemson Extension staffers that were present had prepared handouts with all the pertinent information and even served up a chili and cornbread supper.
Clemson Extension Colleton County Advisory Board
Alta Mae Marvin is the manager for the Colleton County Clemson Extension service and she has been on the job since 2000. She had just returned from a workshop concerning the formation of the new Clemson Agribusiness Team, which will be directed by Kathy Coleman, who previously served as lobbyist for Clemson Extension. Laura Lee Rose works in the office at 611 Black Street and hosts the Monday brown bag lunches that are intended to gather their Master Gardener graduates and other gardening enthusiasts together for fellowship about growing food and flowers.

Clemson Extension Staffers
Longtime staffer Marion Barnes gave an insightful talk on the economic impact of the October flooding on S.C. agriculture producers. With continued wet weather since October, many farmers can’t even get the old crop out of the fields in order to plant this year’s crop. “It’s called preventive planting, and the $46 million dollar projected losses so far from this will cause a ripple effect through the state’s economy,” said Barnes. “Another concern brought to the forefront is farm machinery becoming bogged down during work in this wet environment, and we need to create a farm safety specialist position in S.C. to assist and educate workers about safety issues.”

To view the entire article in the newspaper click on Colletonian.

To view past blog entries about Agribusiness in S.C. click on October Flooding - Hugh Weathers

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Field Notes and Photos - February 2016

Full House : Gadwall over White Pelicans
Field Notes is a column I began twelve years ago in the Charleston Mercury newspaper, but as the amount of newsprint space in the 'salmon sheets' has diminished, so has the space for my nature photography. Now when I have a fresh batch of observations I share them via Lowcountry Outdoors. 

To view past blog Field Notes click December 2015October 2015 - September 2015 - August 2015 - July 2015 - June 2015 - February 2105 - October 2014  September 2014 - August 2014 - June 2014 - March 2012 - February 2012 - October 2011 - September 2011   
Coots prepare to SCOOT!

Drafting Ducks

Yellow-Bellied Slider seeks high ground
Bald Eagle resting in a pine tree

Monday, February 8, 2016

Unwelcome Waters Deluge Santee Delta in January 2016

Cover story and photo for the Feb. 2016 edition 
Anyone driving along Highway 17 North during the early part of January could see that the Santee Delta was fully flooded. The parking lot for the SCDNR Wildlife Management Area between the North and South Santee Rivers was underwater, and so were many of the historic ricefields in the area. What made this flooding different from the thousand-year flooding in October is that this was water came from upstream at Lake Marion, causing the river to rise to nearly 23-feet and into major flood stage.

SCDNR Santee Delta WMA parking lot is flooded
The timeline for the water release can be found on the Santee Cooper website, sine they operate the Santee Spillway at the Santee Dam on Lake Marion. Due to substantial rainfall that fell primarily in the upstate in then flowed into the watershed, Santee Cooper initiated the water spill on Christmas Day and began with a rate of 20,000- cubic feet per second (cfs). By December 28 that rate was increased to 50,000-cfs and on December 31 the water released into the Santee River reached the highest level at 75,000-cubic feet per second.

On January 5 the spilling water from the Santee Spillway was reduced to 60,000-cfs, but by that time local news outlets were reporting some flooding of roads along the North Santee River in Georgetown County. Since it wasn’t raining in the Lowcountry it seemed odd to see such a high water level, so I drove up to visit the area on January 6 and found that the river lever was indeed way up, and that it’s rivers were still surging with no imminent crest. 

To read the entire article in the newspaper click on Charleston Mercury.

To view more photos from the flooding click on Field Notes.

To view past blog entries from the Santee Delta click on Hampton Plantation State ParkWounded Warrior Duck Hunt - Middleton Place Hounds - Deer Hunting - Hog Hunting