Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Volunteers Monitor Sea Turtle Nesting Season

Seabrook Island Turtle Patrol at work on June 3
Sea Turtle body pit found on June 3 at dawn
All along the Southeast Coast sea turtles are making a return to the beaches where they were hatched. These gentle giants of the ocean are beloved by the public, and each barrier island has a team of volunteers that takes daily surveys at dawn for signs of nesting. June 16 is recognized as World Sea Turtle Day and heading into early July it is possible that some of the first nests of the year can hatch out, and turtle teams can see some results after so many mornings of dawn patrol.
The first loggerhead sea turtle nest of 2016 in South Carolina was recorded at the Cape Romaine National Wildlife Refuge on May 5. Preliminary data for 2016 shows that Edisto Beach State Park recorded the second nest for S.C. on May 7. Since it takes roughly 60 days for turtle eggs to hatch, the first nests of 2016 are coming due. The familiar Lights Out For Turtle campaign runs from May 1 – October 31 to encompass the entire summer plus the time required for hatchlings to disperse.

Gloved hands and training allow the
Turtle Ladies to move the nest eggs
On June 3 the Seabrook Island Turtle Patrol had a busy day with two loggerhead crawls resulting in two new nests, number 15 and 16 respectively. I was on the beach at dawn that fateful day near boardwalk nine when the turtle patrol ladies identified the crawl tracks. Veteran turtle volunteer Judy Morr took her time to survey the nesting imprints, since it was her job to probe the sand and determine if she laid eggs, or just walked away in what is commonly called a false crawl. Her probing stick found the nest (#16), but the day’s work was not done since the nest was deemed as vulnerable to high tides, and so an excavation occurred and 102 eggs were relocated to a more stable part of the beach.
5-gallon bucket of sea turtle eggs, ready to move

The mystery that this single nest posed reminds me that all of the sea turtle volunteers in the state stand ready to walk the beaches at dawn, never knowing when extra time and effort will be required to protect and preserve our natural resources. Thank You!

To view the entire feature story in the newspaper click on Colletonian.

To view past blog entries on sea turtles click SCDNR Sea Turtle Trawl - Leatherback Sighting - World Sea Turtle Day - SC Aquarium Sea Turtle Release

Turtle Lady T-shirt Design of Hatchlings!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Rural Colleton Residents Honor Azilee Polk Retirement

Azilee Polk and her three sisters!
Specialty Retirement Cake
Her Family Roasted Her Long Career
On a typical Saturday afternoon in rural Colleton County, the community of Islandton celebrated Azilee Polk's retirement after 35 years of running Polk's Barbecue. Mrs. Polk was born in nearby Hampton County, which lies just cross the Salkehatchie Swamp, but then lived her life in Colleton County. The crown of well wishers, including Mrs. Polk's three sisters, came from Hampton and Walteroro and many rural points in-between the two towns. This was a happy occasion that was hosted by her two sons, and longtime business partners.

To view past blog Field Notes click June 2016February 2016December 2015 - October 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 
Rural Roots in Islandton like this,
are the source for Solid Family Values

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Edisto Chamber of Commerce - 2016 Business of the Year

Lisa Harrell congratulates Edisto True Value owners,
Brenda Hester and Waylon Cain
It was a typical Wednesday afternoon at Edisto Beach, with the seabreeze causing the surf to run high around five, followed by a brief thunderstorm at seven to cool the sea island off again. Inside the Edisto Civic Center business leaders were gathered on June 15 to conduct their annual Edisto Chamberof Commerce business meeting and recognize community leaders. For supplying locals and visitors with their hardware store needs, the 2016 Business of the Year Award goes to Edisto True Value.
Martha Whetstone Service Award Winner Virginia Woodhead,
Ginger Hodge (left) and Lisa Harell (right)

It's A State Of Mind!
The voting for the Business of the Year Award is done by Chamber members, and there was much anticipation when Director Lisa Harrell announced Edisto True Value as the winner. Owners Brenda Hester and Waylon Cain, a mother and son team, came to the stage to accept a certificate. “The past year has been an awesome experience, and all of our employees deserve credit for working hard,” said Cain. “We want to be the best of the best when it comes to True Value hardware stores.”

Wonderful Facility - Available For Rent
The Martha Whetstone service award goes to people who give back to the Edisto community, and the award was created by Mott Parker in 2005, with the inaugural recognition in memory of Whetstone. “We all play a role here at Edisto, but Virginia and Henry Woodhead are tireless cheerleaders for the community, using advocacy from many diverse local organizations,” said Ginger Hodge. Mr. Woodhead was not in attendance, but Virginia came to the stage to receive a certificate and a standing ovation.

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

To view past blog entries from 2016 at Edisto click on Jim Bost MemorialDolphin Slam - Cobia Tourney - Spring Shorebird Synergy - Bovine Bones on Beach - Edisto River book

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Field Notes and Photos - June 2016

Four juvenile armadillos 
Luna Moth
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 February 2016December 2015 - October 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   
Fire Lilly