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Upstate program: Round About Greenville and the Carolina Blue Ridge
March 17 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Join Pam Shucker and Bill Robertson as they share some of their favorite native plant destinations in the Greenville and Blue Ridge areas. Bill Robinson is an award winning nature photographer. Pam Shucker is a writer with a focus on nature. Their new book, Round About Greenville and the Carolina Blue Ridge, combines Shucker’s essays and Robinson’s photographs. Join them to learn about some of the most beautiful and serene places in the Upstate.
It all started when they were hiking with the Greenville Natural History Association. Pam Shucker and Bill Robertson, who have been hiking locally with that group for years, began bantering about collaborating on a book together, one that would include his photographs and her reflections.
“Because we so enjoy peaceful excursions into the many Upstate areas of natural beauty, we wanted to share our favorites by weaving a tapestry with words and photographs,” said Shucker, a retired teacher specializing in English and environmental education.
After several permutations, the book took shape and became titled Round About Greenville and the Carolina Blue Ridge. It’s expected to be published in time for the March meeting of SCNPS.
While the City of Greenville, at the foot of the Carolina Blue Ridge Mountains, has landed on many “best of” lists and become known in the last decade or so for its downtown park around the falls, its varied restaurants, arts, vibrancy, and urban livability, Shucker and Robertson relish the region’s peaceful natural places that, often, the media doesn’t mention much.
Among the gems they visit in their book are Oconee Station, Brasstown Creek Heritage Preserve, and the Poinsett Bridge.
The book was driven by the lovely images captured by Robertson. A longtime local photographer whose serene nature scenes both enliven and calm the halls of local medical facilities, churches, non-profits, and private homes, Robertson said the idea of the book was to escape the pavement and high energy of downtown Greenville and “focus on encouraging readers to discover more of the natural world.”
With short pieces written about a lot of different places, the book’s biggest challenge, said Shucker, was figuring out how to graphically integrate the photographs and words into a coherent whole. They found a solution in SCNPS’s very own design guru, Janie Marlow.
Printed by Four Colour Print Group out of Louisville, KY, Round About Greenville and the Carolina Blue Ridge can be purchased from Bill or Pam, may be available in some local book and gift stores, and can be ordered on Amazon.
“Bill and I each have friends and contacts who are eagerly awaiting this book that we have talked about for years,” said Shucker. “It is written for them, as well as to share our love of the natural environment we enjoy through weekly hiking and photography excursions. Many will buy it for Bill’s photography alone.”
This version of the book, said Shucker, had another catalyst. In a discussion she had at M. Judson Booksellers, the staff at the downtown Greenville bookstore said thy wish there were more titles to offer the tourists who ask for a book exploring the natural areas around the city. Sure, there are books about the area’s waterfalls or a guide to its hiking trails, or the history of Greenville, but nothing quite like what they created in Round About Greenville and the Carolina Blue Ridge.
At the March 17 meeting of SCNPS, the collaborators will select several places highlighted in their book to discuss by sharing anecdotes and related photographs. They also plan to talk about Heritage Preserves in the area and the state’s leading role in their birth. Native plant buffs should find plenty in the presentation to not only affirm their favorite hiking spots but to inspire them to lace up their trail shoes for a new adventure.
“Both Bill and I seek out wildflowers on our hiking experiences,” said Shucker. “And our group often plans spring hikes around significant wildflower areas.”
The program is free and open to all.