Monday, April 30, 2012

Birding Journal Observations / March - April 2012

Blue grosbeak on April 11
Carolina chickadee on peanut feeder
As usual, the spring migration of neotropical songbirds has been exhilarating, and other migrants have also been spotted. Early March saw very warm conditions and heavy pollen in the air, as the mild winter of 2012 came to an end and the spring green-up appeared. I had a fox sparrow sighting on March 5, and on March 19 I had the first Parula warbler sighting and a pair of goldfinches. March 29 marked the appearance of the first ruby-throated hummingbird, followed by the first yellow-throated warbler and first blue grosbeak on April 11. A perfect trifecta was achieved on April 26 when I glimpsed the first Indigo bunting, first Swallow-tailed kite and first Mississippi kite. The migratory songbirds will surely keep mustering though May, and an observation I will make is that the birds did not come as early as the warm weather might have indicated - which is perhaps indicative of the great distance they came from where they may have been experiencing normal climactic conditions. Another great sighting in April (not by me) was made by the Santee Birding Festival when they noted a Scissor-tailed flycatcher at the Santee NWR! My other sightings include brown-headed cowbird, mockingbird, cardinal, tufted titmouse, chipping sparrow, carolina wren, downy woodpecker, yellow-bellied sapsucker, bluebird, white-breasted nuthatch, Cooper's hawk, dove, towhee, red-headed woodpecker, hairy woodpecker, cedar waxwing, wood duck, Canada goose, blue jay, pileated woodpecker and Northern flicker.

To view past birding journal observations click here.

To view past Birding Journal Observations from March / April click 20142013, 2011, 2010 or 2009.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

2012 Charleston Inshore Anglers Sheepshead Tourney

Robbie Forbes, 4th, and CIA winner Bruce Humbert
Saturday April 28 brought calm winds and hot sunny conditions for those anglers who set out to challenge area sheepshead for the 2012 Charleston Inshore Anglers (CIA) tourney. A fun Captain's meeting was held at King Street Grill on James Island, which also doubled as the site of the weigh-in. Anglers were in line by 4 p.m. to weigh some sheepshead, and the SCDNR biologists were also on hand to remove tissue samples like otoliths from these sheepshead for study purposes. When the dust settled from the annual sheepshead derby it was Captain Bruce Humbert (of Charleston Coastal Adventures) who took home the first place prize of $1000 and bragging rights for the heaviest sheepshead that went 9.38-pounds. Second place weighed 9.14-pounds and went to Alex Pennekamp, while Scott Mull finished in third with an 8.72-pound convict fish, and 4th place belongs to Shawn Nelson for his 7.76-pounder. Robbie Forbes finished in fifth place with a 7.72-pounder that was caught while fishing with Capt. Humbert, and Forbes told me they used fiddlers for bait and fished at the north jetty. Sixth place went to Heather Leman for her outstanding 7.42-pound sheepie, that gave here the top spot for lady anglers - Congrats! The remaining spots in the top ten went to Mark Bollenberg, Gary Freeland, Marh Deschenes and Nick Kvestad. The youth angler award went to Christopher Riley for his 2.88-pound sheepshead. CIA V.P. Nick Kvestad told me that the proceeds from the CIA tourney go towards charity work in the local, and that this event receives strong support from local businesses and anglers.

To view past blog entries about the CIA sheepshead tourney click 2009, 2010, 2011. 

Heather Leman can FISH

Scott Mull and his pale sheepshead
David Jarquin with his 4.48-pound sheepshead

Scott Beane with a dogfish entry too

Friday, April 27, 2012

Nature Conservancy completes Carver Bay protection

A bear cub in Georgetown County: photo By Deanna Ruth

Conservation protection at work

Press Release by The Nature Conservancy:
A large portion of a unique four-mile long bay, one of the largest Carolina bays in the state, was protected by The Nature Conservancy and the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture’s Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS). The partners acquired 2,100 acres of the 4,000-acre Carver’s Bay, a unique isolated wetland and a long-time conservation target of the state. 
Carver Bay was once owned by the Department of Defense during World War II and was used as an Air Force bombing range. The current owners, the Young family, donated through a bargain sale a large percentage of the value of the property to The Nature Conservancy to help make the protection possible. The Conservancy purchased the land through a North American Wetlands Conservation Act grant and an easement was placed over it through the NRCS Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP).
“This gift is made to honor the memory of our parents, H.L."Doc" and Hazel Young,” said Joe Young, one of their eight children. “Both of our parents were born and raised in the Yauhannah community, Georgetown County, and instilled in all of us to be caretakers of the land and to be thankful for the beautiful part of the world God allowed us to be born and grow up in.”

“In addition to the Conservancy, NRCS, and the landowners, this complex project was realized with the help of many partners,” said Mark Robertson, executive director of the Conservancy’s South Carolina Chapter. “We would like to thank our Congressional delegates Senator Graham, Congressmen Scott and Clyburn and our partners Duke Energy, Pee Dee Land Trust, and Waccamaw National Wildlife Refuge for providing support and match funding for this landmark protection project.” 
The mysterious Carolina bays were once abundant in coastal South Carolina, but over 97 percent have been lost to coastal development or converted for farming and timber production.  Carolina bays are wetland elliptical depressions concentrated along the Atlantic seaboard with a particular abundance along the northern coast of South Carolina. 
“Scientists are still confounded by their origin,” said University of South Carolina Botanist John Nelson. “What we know is that Carolina bays, like Carver’s Bay, host some of coastal South Carolina’s most unique plants and animals - carnivorous plants, Atlantic white cedar, wood storks, and black bears, to name a few.”  
Deanna Ruth, biologist with the Department of Natural Resources, is well acquainted with the Carver’s Bay black bears that take advantage of the impenetrable jungle of bay vegetation to den and raise their young. 
“These bears need a network of large intact tracts to rear their young, meet their own energetic needs, and stay genetically connected with other populations” said Ruth.  “Carver’s Bay provides our coastal bears with excellent habitat that fits into a larger corridor of undeveloped and protected land along the Pee Dee and Little Pee Dee Rivers.”
Through the WRP program, NRCS will work to restore the hydrology of the wetlands and will monitor the tract annually.  The Conservancy plans to steward the property as a preserve and support further restoration, research and monitoring on the tract.  The project meets other conservation objectives for the Conservancy by building on the network of protected freshwater wetlands in the area.
“This tract will be added to more than 126,000 acres of protected lands along the rivers that feed the Winyah Bay,” said Maria Whitehead, project director for the Winyah Bay and Pee Dee River Basin. “Forested wetlands build resilience for our coastal communities by improving water quality, buffering freshwater flow, and holding vast amounts of water during storm events. They also enrich our lives by providing places to fish, hunt, bird and boat.”  

To read a past blog entry about bear hunting in S.C. click here.
To view a past blog entry about the nature Conservancy click here and here.

Monday, April 23, 2012

2012 Charleston Race Week - Winners

Team Norboy collects their CRW trophy
Charleston's Fred Moore's creations
Three full days of racing were completed at the 2012 Sperry Topsider Charleston Race Week (CRW) and the damp weather did not affect the spirit at the Sunday awards ceremony. When these CRW sailors make time to race against each other, a little rain does not deter them and in fact they are hoping for strong winds to accompany any weather system. Unfortunately Sunday's rain fell straight down and the course racing conditions, both inshore and offshore, were less than 5 knots. Many of the offshore racing sailboats did not return to the Charleston Harbor Marina until 4 p.m. since they required extra time to complete their course. Many of the winners were decided during the final offshore race on Sunday, so this bumped the awards ceremony back an hour or so. Race director Randy Draftz took the stage and thanked shoreside director Julia Winkler, Charleston Harbor Resort's Tracy Mitchell and Harbormaster Stan Jones, Sperry's Kathy Crandall, the sponsors and all of the race officials and volunteers that it takes to manage the 270-boat fleet. First, second and third place trophies were awarded in each division and they were made in Charleston by metal artist Fred Moore - for full results visit the Internet at Yacht Scoring. First place winners also scored a bottle of Gosling's Rum, which has become synonymous with CRW, and a boat bag by Sperry Topsider. Once again, after three days of racing there is a spirit of camaraderie that begins to surface, and the teams that finish in the top of their division, win bragging rights that are applauded by all the competitors. The 3013 CRW is set for April 18 through April 21 and this year's initial cruising class is likely to grow next year, continuing CRW's surge of growth and respect by local and visiting sailors.
BeenAround won their offshore division

To view past blog entries from Charleston Race Week click on 2015 - 2014 - 2013 - 2012 - 2011 - 2010 -2009

 Gosling's Rum and Sperry go great together at CRW
To view past blog entries about 2012 Charleston Race Week click here.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

2012 Charleston Race Week - Sunday sailing

The French 50-footer Aquarelle is at CRW

Tom Ehman with the America's Cup speaks

Gosling's Rum logo and official CRW hat

Melges class competitors jockey for position
The third and final day of racing for the 2012 Sperry Topsider Charleston Race Week (CRW) was greeted with overcast skies, moderate drizzle and very light winds. The Offshore course reported barely 5 knots of wind, which makes it hard to keep the bigger boats moving along. With only two races scheduled for Sunday racing at CRW, its hard to talk about postponing any races due to light winds. The Charleston Harbor looked equally calm on Sunday morning, and the sun refused to break through the cloud cover. Saturday's shoreside event at Charleston Harbor Marina involved a special multimedia presentation about the America's Cup trophy and the cup was on display for the sailors to view. Sunday's shore side event begins with a beach party at 2 p.m. with the awards ceremony slated for 4 p.m.

To view past blog entries about CRW click here.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

2012 Charleston Race Week - Racing

The On Deck boat has its wind stolen briefly
This team hikes out for best possible speed
American flag flies in the Charleston Harbor again
The first two days of competition saw changing weather conditions that included sun, clouds, light rain and most importantly steady breezes. Warm temperatures persisted while racing was underway while the threat of heavy rain looms for Sunday, the final racing day which culminates with a 2 p.m. beach party and a 4 p.m. CRW awards ceremony. During Saturday's sailing I was glad to be aboard the 42-foot cabin cruiser named Arque (sounds like Ark) which is flagged out of Rhode Island. In the outside racing circles we saw calm ocean condition and light winds, which called for one of the races to be shortened. Altogether though, a full day of races were completed on Saturday in the offshore class. Later riding on a rib-type boat in the inshore circles with CRW media director Dan Dickison, I was able to see that the conditions were crowded as racers tacked and rounded buoys. One race from Friday had to be disqualified after a buoy had drifted, causing some racers to improperly round it. All the inshore races for Saturday were completed and sportsmanship was on display as each of the inshore teams faced the same conditions as everyone else. One sailor here from Toledo, Ohio shouted out - Charleston Rocks! Another skipper said that this was his fifth trip to CRW and that he hoped for speedier conditions on Sunday. With feedback like this it's no wonder that Charleston Race Week is forecast to grow again next year, and their host facility, the Charleston Harbor Marina is doing a great job on both the marina side and the resort side to make the event a big success.

Melges class starting line

Dan Dickison knows sailing like few do
For past blog entries about Charleston Race Week click here.

2012 Sperry Topsider Charleston Race Week - Begins

Palmetto Flag spinnaker

Sperry shoe store at CRW

Sailors and a C of C cheerleader at beach party

Impromptu jazz band concert at CRW
The 2012 Sperry Topsider Charleston Race Week kicked off with a Captain's Meeting on April 19th, that was followed by the opening beach party. With 250 boats overall registered to sail, the CRW regatta continues to grow into one of the largest races of its kind. The inshore classes will have the largest number of boats with the Viper class having 42 entries and the Melges class, the largest fleet in 2011, having just a few less sailboats. On the offshore courses, which are located beyond the jetties and into the Atlantic Ocean, the larger sailboats will race during the three-day CRW competition. Speaking with John Watkins, who sails on a a Beneteau OC37 named the Andiamo, he said that the ones to watch are Diana C., Bliss and Island Flyer. Furthermore, he tells me that the top competitors in these races know each other very well from past competitions which keeps things interesting on the water. For all the latest CRW results visit the Internet at Yacht Scoring. A special multimedia presentation of the America's Cup races will be presented to the public at 6:30 at Charleston Harbor Marina on Saturday afternoon during the Gosling's Rum Beach Party. The College of Charleston cheerleaders have made their presence known at CRW, and one never knows what kind of fun will break out next!

To view past blog entires on CRW click here.

Friday, April 20, 2012

SCDNR Director Alvin Taylor - interview

SCDNR Director Alvin Taylor and Major Chisolm Frampton
 I recently had a chance to speak with SCDNR Director Alvin Taylor and newly-promoted Colonel Chisolm Frampton about the priorities they see for the state agency. I was delighted to hear that conservation was at the vanguard of their thoughts, and I envision the leadership of both men to translate into a positive outcome for the natural resources of South Carolina. To read my complete interview, which appears on the front page of the 4/19/12 edition, click on Charleston Mercury.

To read past blog entries about SCDNR click here.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

DU 75th ann. in D.C. - Capital Hill Diamond Dinner

DU's Paul Schmidt and wife Diane
U.S. Senators at the DU Diamond Dinner
DU's Bart James welcomes me to D.C.
DU CEO Dale Hall and wife Sarah
When asked about traveling to our nation's capital to attend the 75th Anniversary events for Ducks Unlimited, I replied that I was deeply honored to do so. The April 17th Capital Hill Diamond Dinner was attended by Congressmen, Senators, government officials, conservation leaders and NGO sponsors. Attendees were told that they were the key to keeping alive America's unique hunting heritage and a tradition of wildlife habitat stewardship, that leads to waterfowl habitat restoration in North America. The cocktail hour was followed by a Congressional photo, and the National Anthem sung by Miss Virginia, Elizabeth Crot, who sang with clarity and a pure tone. A prayer led by Congressman Rob Wittman of Virginia blessed the meal of surf and turf that was served in the Hyatt Regency on New Jersey Avenue. A spinach and strawberry salad was followed by salmon and sirloin with a golden potato and celery root puree. A 75th anniversary red velvet dessert from Georgetown Cupcake capped off the tasty meal, that was served with red and white wine. Thanks to Congressman Robert E. Latta of Ohio for dining with me and telling me about how he works hard in D.C. and misses most of the hunting season in his home state. An even bigger thanks goes to Congressman Latta and ALL of the elected officials that represent sportsmen in D.C. since we are a minority, but a vocal minority that preaches a worthy cause such as hunting conservation shall never be drowned out of the political conversation! Corporate sponsorship at the Diamond Dinner ensured that major funds would be raised for DU and they included Shell, Honeywell, Motorola, Caterpillar, Oracle, Audubon, Boone and Crockett Club, Norfolk Southern, Remington and many more. Special thanks to Territory and Commonwealth Inc. for allowing a South Carolinian outdoor writer to join their table! Live auction items included a Terry Redlin print, a N.Y duck hunt, a Maryland dove hunt, a beretta white onyx 28-gauge over and under shotgun, an African safari, goose hunting and fishing in Costa Rica. Also, as a special part of the 75th anniversary, decoy carver Charles Jones of Maryland's Eastern Shore donated a hand-carved decoy to each of the 70 table sponsors. But perhaps the most exciting moment of the night was when Speaker of the House John Boehner took the stage (click to see my photo), ahead of his secret service detail, in order to thank DU volunteers for their record of good work. The entire event ran smoothly and was conducted with the class that one would expect from a 75th Diamond Dinner.

VIDEO: House Speaker John Boehner addresses the DU 75th ann. crowd

To read past blog entries about DU's 75th anniversary in D.C. click here.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

DU 75th Ann. in D.C. - CSF breakfast

Congressman Robert Latta
DU CEO Dale Hall and CSF Pres. Jeff Crane
Congressman Rob Wittman
When asked about traveling to our nation's capital to attend the 75th Anniversary events for Ducks Unlimited, I replied that I was deeply honored to do so. The joint breakfast meeting held with the Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation (CSF) gathered elected officials and staffers, from hunting and conservation groups. for a briefing on current legislation. DU is joining CSF to lead the charge for the reauthorization of the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) which has a sunset clause in 2012. The meeting was held in a conference room in the Cannon office building on Capital Hill, and with NAWCA funding down 26-percent over the last two years, sportsmen have reason to be concerned. But consider that federal and non-federal funding, have resulted in the conservation of over 26 million acres of wetlands and uplands since the inception of NAWCA grants. Dale Hall is the CEO of DU and he said that the nation is losing wetlands faster now than we were just five years ago. USFWS Director Dan Ashe said that all sportsman need to work with energy and enthusiasm to promote our outdoors and that NAWCA is very important to that ethic. Congressman Robert E. Latta from Ohio, who told me about his fondness for muzzleloaders and turkey hunting (not to mention BBQ sauce from the Carolinas), spoke of concerns for NAWCA and questions involving the EPA and the use of lead in bullets and fishing tackle. Congressman Rob Wittman of Virginia said that these few public dollars from NAWCA go a very long way towards the conservation of habitat, and that he wants H.R. 1960 to be passed by the 112th Congress. For more insight on the struggle in Washington to extend NAWCA, look for my feature article in the Charleston Mercury on May 3.

To view past blog entries about CSF click here
To view past blog entries about DU's 75th Anniversary in D.C. click here.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

DU's 75th Ann. in D.C. - Willard Hotel event

Caroline Garrett (DU) and Christie McGregor (TNC)

Bart James (DU) and Brian Pawlak (NOAA)

Dan Ashe (USFWS) presents Paul Schmidt (DU) the canvasback award

The historic Willard Hotel in D.C.

When asked about traveling to our nation's capital to attend the 75th Anniversary events for Ducks Unlimited, I replied that I was deeply honored to do so. The April 16th Toast to Conservation was held at the place where the incorporation papers were signed to bring Ducks Unlimited to life 75 years ago. The Willard Hotel is a Washington landmark and is situated on Pennsylvania Avenue very near The White House. On January 29, 1937 a group of dedicated waterfowlers put pen to paper at The Willard Hotel in the heart of the nation's capital, laying the foundation for the future of DU. Today the Washington D.C. office of DU's Government Affairs is led by Bart James (Director of Public Policy) and Caroline Garrett (Government Affairs Representative) and many other capable DU staffers. The event at the Willard Hotel was attended by a who's who of conservation leaders including Tom Vilsack (U.S. Secretary of Agriculture), Dan Ashe (Dir. of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service), Dale Hall (CEO of DU), John Newman (President of DU), plus several DU national board members and representatives from The Nature Conservancy, Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation, Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, National Shooting Sports Foundation and many more! The gathering of 60 VIP's watched the unveiling of a new plaque from DU recognizing the Willard Hotel as the setting for DU's incorporation. Secretary Tom Vilsack made remarks to the crowd and then USFWS Dir. Dan Ashe presented DU's Paul Schmidt (Chief Conservation Officer) with the canvasback award for service. The food, refreshments and the facilities at the Willard Hotel were first-class, and so was the fellowship shared during this special DU in D.C. 75th Anniversary event.

To view past blog entires about the DU 75th Anniversary click here.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Lowcountry Fishing Report - 4/16/12

Fishing Report for the Coastal Lowcountry of South Carolina:

John Fuss with a 50/50 black drum caught April 2012
Charleston Inshore Report: Scott Hammond at Haddrell's Point West is screaming Trout, trout, TROUT! The cooler weather of the past week not only fired up the gobbling toms of the Lowcountry outdoors, it made the speckled trout bite increase. Many anglers reported 15 to 30-trout per trip with an average size range of 12 to 13-inches. Scott is happy to hear these reports about trout stocks rebounding after cautioning readers about the two hard cold winters in a row, and readers know they can count on Scott to tell it like it is. DOA shrimp and live shrimp have been the most consistent baits of choice when fished under popping floats. The flounder numbers are beginning to register for anglers using mud minnows or Zman Paddlerz. Reports of bluefish and spanish mackerel in the nearshore fishery are here, and a no fail option is to cast #00 clarkspoons in their direction. For all the latest seminar information visit the Internet at Haddrell's Point.

Bart from the Market Street location of The Charleston Angler tells us that the month of April has been a time of fluctuation for water temps. The water temp was hovering just above 70-degrees when a cold front or two pushed through and dropped them back below the 70-degree mark. This is important because the bait begins to thrive at the magic 72-degree mark and then the inshore fishery enters into a long productive period known as the Lowcountry summer. Tailing reds are being found in a few flats but Bart predicts 'tailing mode' to hit full swing here shortly. Early morning seems like the best time to cast a fly rod with either a crab or a shrimp pattern, especially with a copper streamer attached. For soft plastics Bart says to go with Z-man scented paddlerz in Redbone coloration. If live bait is your thing, mud minnows are working well, but a cracked crab might result in a bigger redfish. The trout bite has been about the same as in past reports recording low numbers of fish, but with some surprisingly sizable specks being encountered. For all the latest seminar information visit the Internet at Charleston Angler.

Captain John Fuss of Holy City Fishing Charters tells me that the saltwater season has kicked off earlier than normal, and he finds the fish happy to eat! This includes the whopper 50/50 black drum that measured 50-inches and weighed 50-pounds that Ernie Rood of Illinois recently manhandled while fishing with Fuss. Speckled trout have turned on now and Fuss says to use popping corks and live shrimp along grass lines or rock walls two hours before the incoming tide, and during the first two hours of the outgoing tide. Early risers and after work anglers have seen some decent topwater bite action with the trout going for Zara spooks. After that, transition to Zman smoky shad streakz on a flutter hook to search for specks. The redfish bite is good during low tide at docks and creek bends using blue crab for bait. Sheepshead are eating fiddler crabs fished vertically around pilings or at the jetties.  Fuss also reports that sharks are beginning to show up now in the inshore fishery. To book that Holy City fishing charter call Capt. John Fuss at 803-417-3052.

Charleston Offshore Report: Bart tells us that offshore reports have been steadily increasing. The wahoo bite continues to be strong with a banner day or two near the Georgetown Hole, and then the mahi bite is set to take a steep uptick as the month of May approaches, which is annually our best dolphin bite. Continue to focus on the moon phases using dark colors like black, purple and orange, and troll at slower speeds with an Ilander / ballyhoo combo. Closer to the coast the cobia should begin to move in closer to the cans as they migrate northward. After locating them, use a stout rod and cast a Hogy jiggin' bait in the direction of the brown bomber to entice a strike. The pull of a 'green' cobia reminds anglers why they love the variety of saltwater fishing.

Scott reports that the time has come for all anglers to prep their bluewater gear, lest you miss out on the beginning of the offshore season. Solid reports of wahoo are still coming through daily from 140 to 300-feet of water. Good numbers of blackfin tuna are being found at the ledge. Teenager dolphin in the 8 to 20-pound range have been caught with a few bulls in excess of 30-pounds mixed in. In addition to solid meatfish reports, there have already been a couple of blue marlin caught and released, and several sailfish too!

To view past fishing report blog entries click here.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

2012 Three Rivers Turkey Invitational

Jerald Sholar with winners Steve McMillan and Tom Osmer
Bose and Ted Bratton with their trophy
The South Carolina Quail Project is wrapping up another fundraiser to benefit quail habitat restoration efforts by Tall Timbers. The Three Rivers Invitational was hosted by Penn Branch in Williamsburg County and eight two-man teams fanned out in search of a quality gobbler that would win the friendly competition. With overnight temps right around 40-degrees it was a glorious morning to be in the outdoors, and most teams reported good to excellent gobbling in the morning. No one had more luck though that Team Milliken Forestry, with Tom Osmer and Steve McMillan, who both harvested a turkey. Osmer was the first to shoot at 8 a.m. when he tricked a 'field gobbler' to come into the gun. Osmer's tom weighed just 16-pounds but it had an impressive 1.5-inch spur and sported a beard that measures 11.75-inches! McMillan's gobbler weighed 18-pounds, and their team effort earned them the top spot, and their names will be etched into the perpetual trophy. Custom box calls for longest beard and longest spur also went to Osmer, as did a free full mount from Matt Taylor at Woods N Water taxidermy. A father and son team came to hunt from Raleigh, N.C. and son Bose made Dad Ted Bratton happy when he tomahawked a 19-pound gobbler that put them in second place overall, and won the heaviest turkey category - which is good for a custom box call. Finishing in third place was the team of Billy Nichols and Berry Coggeshall for the 18-pound tom that flew across the Black River to come to their calling. Several close calls with gobblers were also reported by Jerald Sholar, Jeff Dennis and famed turkey biologist Dave Baumann who served as the official weighmaster. A fish fry with catfish freshly harvested from the Cooper River while bowfishing served as nourishment at the awards lunch by the fishing pond at Penn Branch. The next Three Rivers Invitational will be held during one of the first two weekends in April 2013.
Billy Nichols and Berry Coggeshall
 To view past blog entries about Three Rivers click here.

To view past blog entries about the Tall TImbers Fall field days click here.
Lapel pin for the winners

Thursday, April 12, 2012

2012 Chas. Int. Film Festival - Mayor's Reception

Mayor Joe Riley on the red carpet at the Chas. IFF

Morris Nissan Team are VIP sponsors of the IFF

5th Annual Film Festival...and growing

George Street was a happening place on 4/11
It's hard to believe that this is the 5th Annual Charleston International Film Festival (IFF) that is running from April 11 - 14. Local residents will recall that WorldFest Charleston laid some of the foundation for the Chas. IFF to build upon. The opening night of the festival was kicked off with a star-studded block party on George Street at King Street right outside the Sottile Theatre. Since Mayor Joe Riley was presiding over the red carpet, the IFF was granted permission to shut down George Street and a massive crush of film fans turned out to listen to the DJ's club music and to mingle for the photographers. A Charlie Chaplin look-a-like entertained folks, as did the girls performing with the golden hoolahoops. At 7 p.m. the sold-out crowd went inside the Sottile for a screening of the opening film 'Robot and Frank' - which is an indie film making its East Coast debut after being screened at the Sundance Film Festival. With a cast including Frank Langella, Susan Sarandon, Liv Tyler, plus the humanoid robot - the audience was entertained for the 90-minute film by the robot-humor that Director Jake Schreier and Writer Christopher Ford captured on film. A second round of short films was screened at 9 p.m. and the festival will run in two locations for the remainder of the weekend - Sottile Theatre and Cinnebarre Theatre.

To view a past blog entry about the Debutante Hunters film click here.