Wednesday, June 20, 2018

2018 Edisto Chamber of Commerce - Business of the Year

Lisa Harrell congratulates Wilbur, Florence and
Jerome Kizer of the Edistonian
Local business leaders and members of the Edisto Chamber of Commerce gathered for their annual dinner meeting on Wednesday June 13, The Edisto Civic Center meeting facility is a comfortable setting to enjoy light refreshments during a cocktail hour, followed by recognition of town officials and an invocation before supper. After a review of the past calendar year Executive Director Lisa Harrell recognized The Edistonian as the 2018 Business of the Year, citing three generations of ownership.
Jack DiLuna, Lisa Harrell and Geno Middleton
“The Business of the Year nominees are chosen by the chamber board, and then the chamber members are asked to cast ballots to determine the winner,” said Harrell. Edistonian owner Jerome Kizer came to the stage to accept a plaque from Harrell, but quickly recognized his mother in the audience with other family members and employees. Whether one needs gasoline, groceries, beach items or even home decorum the Edistonian remains a great place for one-stop shopping on Edisto Island.


“Our Martha Whetstone Service Award goes to the founders of the Edisto Island Youth Recreation program, Geno Middleton and Jack DiLuna,” said Harrell. When these two gentlemen came to the stage, they shared how island youth are having a tough time finding facilities to play ball games and how grateful they are for community support from local churches and the Edisto Chamber. The need to provide safe community gatherings for active youth is only increasing, and the youth recreation program is raising awareness for the future.

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

To view past blog about the Edisto Chamber Business of the Year click on 2017 - 2016

To view past blog entries from 2017 at Edisto click on Holiday Business After Hours - EIOLT Oyster Roast - Billfish Tourney - Bingo - Tomato Open - I Love Edisto Auction - Jim Bost Memorial - Shark Tourney

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

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

2018 Grosse Savanne EcoTour in Louisiana Outback

Roseate Spoonbills posturing at their rookery
The migration of neo-tropical songbirds in spring makes the avid birdwatcher giddy with anticipation of viewing buntings, tanagers and warblers. Larger wading birds congregate in nesting colonies known as rookeries, safe areas to raise their young feathered flock. A recent trip to Southwest Louisiana delivered an up close viewing experience for both scenarios during an eco tour at Grosse Savanne, including prothonotary warblers and roseate spoonbills.
Bobby Jordan and I spot birds using teamwork
My first visit to Grosse Savanne came in the Fall of 2013 for a saltwater fishing excursion, learning that the 50,000-acre property owned by Sweet Lake Oil Company is under the stewardship of Field Operations Manager Doug Miller. He is a graduate of McNeese State, located in nearby Lake Charles, and he serves on the Ducks Unlimited USA Rice Partnership Committee. Eco-tourism manager Bobby Jordan took us to the rookeries at Grosse Savanne and explained that the property has three main components. “We have a large cattle operation here, we run hunting and fishing trips out of our lodge, and we provide ecotourism experiences,” said Jordan.
Protonotary warbler is a neotropical migratory songbird
Our drive from the field office to the rookery location illustrated his message, passing freshly sprouting rice fields and a cattle drive under the watchful eye of cowboys on horseback. Spring is also crawfish production season and they have many shallow impoundments flooded with enough water to cover their array of crawfish traps. Switching out of a pick up truck and into a UTV vehicle Jordan drove us the rest of the way down a muddy dike which had been freshly topped with fill dirt. When his keen ear picked up a familiar note he hit the brakes and a vibrant yellow prothonotary warbler posed on the edge of the wood line for us to admire.
“The warblers have been here for about two weeks now, and they are arriving after crossing over the Gulf of Mexico,” said Jordan. Just then a large pink bird flew over, causing us to crane our necks for a glimpse. “I don’t want to give away anything, but we have a ways to go down this road yet, and I think you will like what you find.” The swamp here is rich with wildlife and we stopped to view a large rat snake, a nutria and alligators along the way, before the road ended and Jordan led us down a trail he cleared by hand.
Gator covered in duckweed at bird rookery
“We don’t disturb this area very much so expect to see some larger alligators,” said Jordan. Sure enough a 10-foot alligator covered in green duck weed was lying still on the opposite bank. A few steps more and Eureka! The scrub shrub habitat gave way to a grove of small cypress trees surrounded by swamp water with each tree holding clusters of nesting roseate spoonbills, and a few other species too. “The rookeries here are active in April and May and by late April we have the first chicks hatching in the nests.”

Little blue herons, snowy egrets, great egrets, block-crowned night herons and cattle egrets occupied some tree limbs but the larger pink spoonbills seemed to dominate this rookery. Despite some biting horseflies, this part of the Creole Nature Trail did not exact too heavy a price on us, and we were able to use binoculars and cameras to record some beautiful visuals while standing on firm ground very near to the nests. The fact that some birds were still building nests while others already had produced chicks meant that we saw a very active day at the rookery with lots of posturing and flying, always keeping the picturesque pink birds posing perfectly.

Published June of 2018 in Charleston Mercury
To view past blog entries from Grosse Savanne click on 2013 EcoTour - 2013 Redfishing

To view past blog entries about saltwater fishing in SW La. click on 2018 Bull Reds in Bad Weather at Calcasieu Pass - 2013 Sheepshead Slam in Black Bayou 

Monday, June 18, 2018

2018 Jim Bost Memorial Won by Change Order

Second place youth angler
from Tina's Trippin' and 17.4-pound mahi
The Marina at Edisto Beach hosted the annual offshore tourney on June 16 that honors the memory of Jim Bost, a longtime Edisto resident and affirmed bluewater fisherman. Ten boats elected to head out to sea in calm and hot conditions, and marina manager Brian Bell commits a portion of the tourney proceeds to conservation via the Harry Hampton Fund. The first place dolphin weighed 24-pounds and was reeled in by Clayton Stoddard on Change Order, earning Captain Carl Brown and crew the $1200 first place pay day.

T-shirts available in Ship's Store
Change Order crew with First Place dolphin
The second place dolphin weighed 20.9-pounds and was caught by youth angler Greyson Bullard aboard the Laid Back. Third Place went to a 19.6-pound dolphin caught from Keepin' it Reel.

The first place Lady Angler went to Mary Hunter Brown aboard Change Order for her 4.4-pound mahi mahi.

The Harry Hampton Fund received $1680 to continue its work supporting the marine resources of South Carolina. All photos are by Madelyn Harrell.

To view past blog entries from the Jim Bost Memorial click on 2017 - 2016

To view past blog entries on Migratory dolphin off S.C. click 2016 20152014 - 2013 - 2012 - 2011 - 2010 - 2009 - 2007

To view past blog entries from the Edisto Billfish tourney click on 2017 - 20162015 - 2014 - 2013 - 2012 - 2011 - 2010 - 2009
Nice Dolphin Right Here!!

Friday, June 15, 2018

2018 Ford EcoSport Titanium to WNC Nature Center

Rear hatch swing door allows good access to your supplies
Asheville's Wildlife Park
There is a current TV commercial about the 2018 EcoSport, and I can report that after driving the Titanium 4WD model up to Asheville, this compact SUV is just a neat vehicle with nice technology. Fun, capable and connected is the pitch from Ford Motor Co. and the EcoSport delivers. Heading up the Saluda grade into Western North Carolina, older cars were making their way to the right side lanes, but this Ford never tired of the fast lane. I utilized the 8-inch touchscreen to switch between navigation and satellite radio, heading for my first visit to Asheville's Wildlife Park.
EcoSport with moonroof crossing Gashes Creek Bridge

A public swimming pool facility adjacent to the WNC Nature Center was jam packed with folks looking to cool off in the summer sun. One keeps driving uphill to reach the Nature Center, which is nestled among a public soccer field complex and the winding Gashes Creek near Swannoa. The Southern Appalachian Mountains are the reason for this facility, and the desire to provide a connection between that ecosystem and the public, including an exhibit with over 60 species of animals on a 42-acre campus. The facility is run by the Asheville Parks and Recreation Department and is a member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

Sync 3 Dash system features voice-recognition,
Apple Car Play, 911 Assist and Valet Mode
The Lightening Blue color and the ebony black leather seats go well together. The 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine with a 6-speed automatic with select shift run smooth, providing great gas milage that goes 27 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway. Push to start ignition and rain-sensing wipers are just a couple of the modern conveniences on this Ford. The air conditioning has a nee MAX A/C button that works well when just getting into a hot car that needs cooling, or perhaps roll back the moonroof to get a larger puff of outside air. You can't drive with the rear hatch swing door open, but when trunk access is required this is such a good feature - and not just your ordinary fifth-door option.

To view past blog entires about Ford Motor Co. click on 2017 Raptor

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

2018 Edisto Shark Tourney and No Rules Offshore Results

Saltwater anglers in two Colleton County tournaments on Saturday June 9 battled rain and rough seas in order to reach their respective fishing holes. While the winds were not enough to cancel either event, Mother Nature often plays a role in success and that’s why they call it fishing. The big fish at B & B Seafood for the No Rules tournament was a 37-pound dolphin, and the heaviest entry at Edisto Water Sports was a Tiger shark that tipped the scales at 569-pounds. 


The 2018 Shark Tourney marks the ninth year for the annual weigh in at 3731 Docksite Road, and every year the weigh-in attracts a large crowd. Trucks, cars and golf carts occupy every bit of pavement and sand in front of the Edisto Water Sports tackle Shop and full-service boating dock. Tournament T-shirts sales and kayak rentals are brisk all day long as fans wait for the 3:30 start time, not knowing when the biggest shark will arrive at the dock. Twenty-four boats fishing in the shark tourney brought six sharks to the scales to weigh-in.

Meanwhile, the Mosquito Creek boat ramp was packed with the 30 boats fishing the No Rules offshore tournament at B & B Seafood. The biggest offshore fish brought to the 6 p.m. weigh-in earned angler Mike Araneo and the Dealer’s Choice fishing team the $3000 first place prize. Capt. Scott Rizer, Bolegs Warner, Jimbo Warner and Madison Utsey rounded out the adult crew, and two youth anglers were also aboard. Charlie Walker and Cayson Warner had a big time filling the fish box with slinger dolphin that helped Dealer’s Choice win the aggregate prize with 305-pounds of fish, good for a $1000 pay day.    

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

To view past blog entries about the Edisto Shark Tourney click on 2017 2013 - 2011

To view past blog entries about the No Rules tourney click on 2017 - 2013

To view past blog entries from the Edisto Billfish tourney click on 201720162015 - 2014 - 2013 - 2012 - 2011 - 2010 - 2009

To view past blog entries about the Jim Bost Memorial click on 2017 - 2016