Saturday, February 25, 2017

Late Season Hunt for Fowl, Fur and Feathers

Canada goose, snipe and rabbit from late Feb. 2017
With the end of February clearly in view, my crosshairs focus on the last chance hunt opportunity for small game. The special late season on Canada geese in South Carolina runs for two weeks during this same timeframe. Without a single hint of cool or cold temperatures in the weather forecast, snake boots are most definitely in order for the type of rambling hunt I would execute in search of late season game. My target species had beens scouted out over the past couple of weeks, but at the end of a morning jaunt around a watering hole and the adjacent wetlands, I brought back a mixed bag that illustrates the possibilities in your late season game bag.

When goose hunting, remember that you must have federal and state duck stamps, shoot non-toxic shotgun shells and observe proper shooting times. When a pair of wood ducks came in a lit on the the same wetland I was set up on for geese, it made me lament that the season for duck hunting had already expired. But when a pair of geese came in for a landing, I was able to peel one off and then move on to other pursuits. I had never combined these three species in one hunt before, but it can be interesting to see what each late season last chance hunt reveals. I'll be back for more in 2018!

To view past blog entries about snipe hunting click 2016 - 2009

To view past blog entries about rabbit hunting click 2016 - 2009

To view past blog entries about late goose hunting click  2014 - 20132012 - 2011

To view past blog entries from SEWE Sunday click 201720162015 - 2014 - 2013 - 2012 - 2011 - 2010 - 2009

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Old Friends Book Celebrates Rural Wooden Barns

This book features old barns and quotes
For as long as there have been scenic old barns on agricultural lands, they have inspired a sense of appreciation among those who view them. The Old Friends coffee table book is just the latest in a long line of publications that serve to salute the beauty of old barns before they fade away. Lowcountry author Dr. Randolph Bradham shares his lifetime of experiences and impressions as he crisscrossed rural roads while growing his own family-owned farm business.

The Old Friends book is his first take on the roots of the collective Lowcountry agricultural heritage and the book is dedicated ‘To those who farm the land.’ The blueberry business entailed many trips from the S.C. Lowcountry into South Georgia near Alma, and over the decades he noticed how older abandoned barns trended into decay and in some cases total collapse and removal from the landscape. He then felt compelled to photograph these old friends whenever he encountered them, not knowing that it would one day turn into a book.

The photos are accompanied with quotes that Dr. Bradham thought would correspond well with the visual message delivered by his black and white photos. One such example is attributed to Herbert Ravenel Sass from 1935. “Wherever one goes in the Lowcountry – in the woods, on the rivers, amid the marshes and rice fields, on the old baronies and plantations, on the lonely barrier islands, in the towns – one comes upon the reminders of a rich, vivid, tragic past.”

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

To view past book reviews click on Edisto River Tall Timbers - Red Knot - Audubon's Aviary - Lefty Kreh - Guy Harvey - Year of the PigShrimp, Collards and Grits - Passion of the Wild - Kayak Fishing - Longleaf Alliance

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

2017 SEWE Sunday Photos - Sporting Round Up

Sketch from The Library exhibit,
 by Peggy Everett
Saltwater author Andy Mill at SEWE
A third sun day with balmy temperatures had folks in the crowds wondering if this is the best weather for a SEWE weekend ever? No word yet on if any record attendance was recorded, but the venues were at capacity on Saturday and Sunday. Of course the Finals of the Dock Dogs competition is a big draw at Brittlebank Park and the duck decoy exhibit is conveniently located across the street at the Marriott hotel. Sunday at SEWE also offers a last chance to visit with an artist from out of town, especially if they were to busy to engage in friendly conversation earlier in the weekend.

To view past blog entries from SEWE Sunday click 20162015 - 2014 - 2013 - 2012 - 2011 - 2010 - 2009

To view blog entries from the 2017 35th Anniversary of SEWE click Birds Of Prey - Jeff Corwin - SEWE Gala - Feathers and Flocks

Dock Dogs are always jumping into the water!
Mitzi Allen from Cabin Bluff
35th SEWE and Soiree Logos
Saltwater enthusiasts could learn about fly fishing at SEWE, and celebrity angler Andy Mill made his first SEWE appearance at Marion Square in the Maui Jim booth. Mill is a former Olympic athlete and he is promoting his book A Passion For Tarpon, and was more than glad to sign autographs or make a photo with fans. Sunday at SEWE also gives a chance for everyone to share a fun story from the Saturday night SEWE Soiree which is a longstanding tradition among wildlife revelers.

Monday, February 20, 2017

2017 SEWE Birds Of Prey Flight Demos

Spectacled Owl
African Kite
European Falcon
Marion Square continues to remain an open green space in downtown Charleston despite renovations and new building going on on all four sides. The square is still well suited for large gatherings such as the finish of the Cooper River Bridge Run, and it remains perfect for the Center for Birds of Prey flight demos that educate SEWE patrons about conservation of raptors. There is no better exposure for an urban city dweller than an up close look at a raptor in free flight, and on all three days of the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition these birds perform without fail.
Three Harris Hawks Entertain The Crowd

The Center For Birds Of Prey also has a tent on site that houses other types of raptors that are not involved in flight demos, with staffers ready to answer questions for visitors about each bird. Some of these specimens might be recovering from an injury and no longer able to be released into the wild. Did you know that their campus in Awendaw houses a raptor hospital with a surgery suite? Stephen Schabel usually is the voice of the aerial displays, and he always asks for a youth volunteer to help with the show. It's family fun at its best, outdoors at SEWE.

To view past blog entries about the Center for Birds of Prey click on 20162013 - 2011 - 2010

To view past SEWE Saturday photos click 2015 - 20142013 - 2012 - 2011 - 2010 - 2009.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

2017 SEWE Features Jeff Corwin

Jeff Corwin and a gopher tortoise
It had been 12 years since Jeff Corwin joined the flock at the SE Wildlife Expo, but when he took the stage at the Gailliard Center on Friday he gushed about what a positive experience it had been. He recalls attending the Gala and wishing that he had room back in his house for all of that fabulous art. Corwin is best known for his 20 years of educational television programming with a focus on marine life. He told a story about finding a snake in his family yard as a youth, a moment which served as a lightening rod that he was meant to become a naturalist.

Corwin answering questions in the audience
Corwin teamed up with the Busch Wildlife Sanctuary animals for the SEWE 2017 shows covering birds, reptiles and even a pair of foxes. Video clips from Corwin's career kept the audience up to date on his travels and he reeled off story after story from his wild adventures. At the end of his talk, Corwin acknowledged that some of the audience would want to leave for other SEWE events, but he stressed that he would stick around to answer any questions. He even ended up out in the audience during the Q & A session to give everyone an up close look about how much he cares about conservation.

To view past blog entries about Jungle Jack Hanna click on 2016 SEWE2014 SEWE

An alligator on the big screen educates 

Birds Of Prey with Busch Wildlife Sanctuary

2017 SEWE Gala at Belmond Charleston Place Hotel

Artist Chad Poppleton at the SEWE Gala
The 35th Anniversary year of the SouthEastern Wildlife Expo opened with a black tie gala and auction on Thursday at 7, welcoming featured artist Ezra Tucker to get front and center in the ballroom. This preview of the fine wildlife art at Belmond Charleston Place allows VIP patrons to view or purchase original artwork they might like to secure for a collection or home. The artists and their spouses are always gracious to explain in detail their medium and exactly how a certain scene came to be.

Ryan Kirby talks about his artwork
A smorgasbord of food options including smoked salmon, ham biscuits, assorted cheeses and desserts is sure to please everyone, and the SEWE edition wine pairs nicely on the palate. Every year it is evident that this room consists of like-minded people who appreciate art, and who yearn to return to outdoor endeavors whenever possible. Conservation is highly regarded here, and each booth displays the artist's name and hometown, so conversations about happenings back in their home states is a common topic.

Acacia Lohman and Phil Braun
To view past blog entries from the SEWE Gala click on 20162015- 2014 - 2013,  201220112010, or 2009.

Ladies love artwork made with feathers!

2017 SEWE Begins - Feathers and Flocks Exhibit

Shadow box with artwork, guns, calls and more
The Charleston Museum hosted the opening of their Feathers and Flocks exhibit on Thursday afternoon, helping to kick off the 2017 Southeastern Wildlife Exposition. The exhibit takes a collective look at waterfowling in South Carolina drawing from historic artifacts in the Museum's vast collection of natural history. This important glimpse into the Lowcountry's longstanding water bird traditions is sponsored by The Charleston Mercury newspaper.
Whistler Brothers decoys made with feathers

Numerous species of ducks and other local waterfowl are central to the culture of the Lowcountry. Their meat and feathers filled specific desires from food to fashion statements.These waterfowl also inspired artisans and artists alike with their demeanor and plumage. Hunters adapted these art forms using handcrafted decoys, wooden duck calls and ornate shotguns. The exhibit reveals how water fowling is an old game, with a rich heritage.

 To view past blog entries from SEWE special exhibits click on 2016 Hunter's Habit2015 Miller Collection - 2012 Coen Collection - 2010 Beth Carlson 

To view past entries about the start of the SE Wildlife Expo click 20162015 - 20142013 - 2012 - 2009

Museum taxidermy educates patrons

A Grand crowd celebrates SEWE

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

SouthEast Wildlife Exposition Celebrates 35 Years

S.C. Jr. Duck Stamp Best Of Show
'Dawn' by Olivia Wingo
Student artists in South Carolina help to kick off SEWE by competing in the 2017 S.C. Junior Duck Stamp competition. The Best of Show winner was announced in January, and 13-year old Olivia Wingo from Thomas Cairo Middle School in Mount Pleasant took the top spot ahead of all the entries. Her drawing is now elevated to compete in the 2017 Federal Junior Duck Stamp judging to be held in Charleston on April 21 thanks to support from the SE Wildlife Expo leadership.
The heart of the Wildlife Expo happens daily from 10 until 6, and the popular Dock Dogs two-tank jumping contest will make a splash the entire weekend until the finals at 4 p.m. on Sunday. Brittlebank Park is dog friendly during SEWE, and has become one of the most social scenes of the weekend too with live music, food vendors and the Sporting Village. In fact, the inaugural Lowcountry Social at Brittlebank is new for 2017, held on Saturday night from 7:30 to 10:30 for SEWE revelers to enjoy BBQ, fire pits and cold beverages along the Ashley River.

Live presentations include an A-List celebrity, cooking demonstrations from local chefs, and a variety of critter displays that run the gamut from big cats to birds of prey.  TV show host Jeff Corwin was last at SEWE in 2005 and returns this year to educate his fans during two show at the Gaillard Center on Friday at 3 p.m. and Saturday at 1. Corwin is widely known for his work exploring marine life on the Ocean Mysteries series, and his passion for wildlife will be welcome at SEWE.

To view this feature article in the newspaper click on Colletonian.

To view past blog entries from SEWE Sunday click 2015 - 2014 - 2013 - 2012 - 2011 - 2010 - 2009

To view past blog entries from 2016 SEWE click on SEWE Sunday Birds Of Prey - Jack Hanna - SEWE Gala - Hunter's Habit