Rudy Mancke at Upstate Annual Meeting

Posted on |

Rudy Mancke highlights the Upstate Annual meeting on Tuesday, September 17.  He will share some of his favorite moments as a Naturalist. Mancke, known to generations of South Carolinians as the co-host of Nature Scene on South Carolina ETV,  will share his stories, memories, and wit at the annual meeting.  The event will be held in Greenville at Camperdown Academy. The address is 65 Verdae Commons Drive. (not Verdae Drive)  There will be refreshments after the program and a chance to speak with Mancke.

Mancke is the current host of Nature Notes on SC Public Radio and SCETV.  He teaches at the University of South Carolina at Columbia.  The event is free and open to the public.

Nature of Summer with Rudy Mancke

Posted on |

SCNPS Upstate Field Trip
Event:
Buck Creek Serpentine Barren
Location:  Bucks Creek, Clay County NC
Date: Saturday September 14th
Leaders:
Gary Kauffman, Botanist, Great Smokies National Park
Hike: Moderate
SCNPS will sponsor an all -day field trip to Bucks Creek Preserve to one of the rarest plant communities in the world.
Participants will meet 7 am at 1309 Grove Road in Greenville. SCNPS will provide a 10 passenger van and others may carpool to the site. We plan arrive at 10am and meet our trip leader.
Please dress appropriately and bring lunch and water.
Blue Ridge Mountains Serpentine Barrens.
This community is represented by just a couple of examples in western North Carolina with one of these, Buck Creek Barrens, Clay Co., NC being of exceptional quality.
This mountainside grassland is located in the Nantahala National Forest between the towns of Franklin and Hayesville at approximately 3,000 ft elevation. The heavy metals in the soil
resulting from the underlying serpentine rock combined with shallow soils, make these steep mountainsides more suitable to open woodlands and grassy barrens instead of forests.
Limit: 15 people, RSVP, Contact; Rick Huffman 864 901-7583
[email protected]
Chris Sermons 864 992 6987
[email protected]

Upstate trip: Blue Ridge Parkway

Posted on |

SCNPS Upstate Field Trips

Event: Tour Blue Ridge Parkway

Location: Blue Ridge Parkway, Black Balsam

Date: Saturday August 31st

Leaders: Dan Pattillo, Botanist, Western North Carolina

Hike: Moderate

Costs: $25.00 per person

SCNPS will sponsor an all-day field trip to the beautiful and diverse Blue Ridge Parkway.  Participants will meet 8 am at 1309 Grove Road in Greenville. SCNPS will provide a 10-passenger van and others may carpool to the site. We plan to arrive at 10 am on the Parkway near Asheville to meet our trip leader. Final itinerary will be sent prior the event. Please dress appropriately and bring lunch and water.

Our trip will be led by a renown parkway expert Dr. Dan Pittillo. Dr. Pattillo has spent his professional carrier as professor of botany at Western Carolina University and has inspired generations through is work. We are honored to provide this wonderful opportunity to share a Parkway day with Dan. Fall comes early on the parkway, flowering perennials and grasses will attract throes of butterflies and birds.

Limit: 15 people, RSVP, Contact; Rick Huffman 864-901-7583 [email protected]

Chris Sermons 864 992 6987 [email protected]

Upstate Meeting, Tuesday, July 16

Posted on |

What Happened to the Bobwhite Quail?

Bobwhite Quail, an iconic favorite of both hunters and bird watchers are increasingly rare in South Carolina.  Michael Small, biologist, will discuss the decline of Quail at the July Native Plant Society meeting.  He will offer suggestions to reverse the trend.  The meeting is set for Tuesday, July 16 at 7pm at Landrum Depot, 211 Trade Avenue, Landrum, SC.

The dramatic decline in Quail populations is linked to changes in land use.  For much of the 20th century, the Southeast was a diverse mosaic of row crops, native grasslands, fallow fields and forest, ideal habitat for Quail.  However, land use has changed.  Vacant land is being rapidly developed; farming practices have eliminated many of the “edge” areas that quail prefer.

Michael Small, a biologist with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, will offer suggestions for landowners to increase the amount of ideal Quail habitat on their property.  Habitat edge, where a field meets a forest, pond or fencerow is often better for quail than a uniform habitat.  To enhance the “edge effect”, large fields can be divided into several small fields leaving more buffer areas between fields.  Good quality edge habitat includes gradual transition zones with diverse plant communities of different types and heights, including native grasses, legumes and shrubs.  Often, some fairly simple steps, like changing mowing schedules, can get things going in the right direction of Quail.

Upstate Program: What Happened to the Bobwhite Quail?

Bobwhite Quail, an iconic favorite of both hunters and bird watchers are increasingly rare in South Carolina.  Michael Small, biologist, will discuss the decline of Quail at the July Native Plant Society meeting and offer suggestions to reverse the trend.  The meeting  is set for Tuesday, July 16 at 7pm at Landrum Depot, 211 Trade Avenue, Landrum, SC.

The dramatic decline in Quail populations is linked to changes in land use.  For much of the 20th century, the Southeast was a diverse mosaic of habitats.  These habitats included row crops, native grasslands, fallow fields and forest, ideal areas for Quail.  However, land use has changed.  Vacant land is being rapidly developed.  Farming practices have eliminated many of the “edge” areas that quail prefer.

Michael Small, a biologist with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, will offer suggestions for landowners to increase the amount of ideal Quail habitat on their property.  Habitat edge, where a field meets a forest, pond or fence row is often better for quail than a uniform habitat.  To enhance the “edge effect”, large fields can be divided into several small fields.  This allows  more buffer areas between fields.  Good quality edge habitat includes gradual transition zones with diverse plant communities of different types and heights, including native grasses, legumes and shrubs.  Often, some fairly simple steps, like changing mowing schedules, can get things going in the right direction of Quail.

Upstate Program: Sustainable Landscape

Posted on |

Right Plant, Right Place

The Tuesday, June 18th, Upstate meeting features Dr. Ellen Vincent.  She will speak on “Native Plants in the Sustainable Landscape,” with an emphasis on using the right plant in the right place. Sustainable landscapes, in general, are ecologically more stable than traditional landscapes and require less inputs such as water, fertilizers and pesticides. Because native plants offer ecosystem benefits that contribute to a healthy multi-layered environment, it would seem that native plants and sustainable landscapes would go hand in hand. They often do; however, just planting natives doesn’t automatically make a landscape sustainable.That’s where Ellen’s mantra, “Right plant, right place,” comes in.

Site and soil analysis, design, installation, and personal preferences all factor into making a successful sustainable landscape.Vincent will explore the topic from social, economic, and environmental perspectives.  She will and tease things apart, looking at them in terms of what are the benefits of doing it this way or that way. “It’s complex and it’s messy,” she says, but the results are rewarding! Native ornamental plants will be featured in the presentation with particular emphasis on those that thrive in the sustainable landscape demonstration garden on the Clemson campus. In addition, she will discuss several guiding principles of a sustainable site.

LOCATION

The program will be held at Camperdown Academy at 65 Verdae Commons Dr, (not Verdae Blvd) Greenville.  Verdae Commons Dr. is a fairly new road and may not show up on older map programs.  If you are on Laurens Road, (276) heading north from I-85, cross E. Parkins Mill/ Verdae Blvd.  The next intersection will be Henderson Rd.on left and Verdae Commons Dr. on the right. It is across Laurens Road from Bradshaw Mazda at 2512 Laurens Road.  Turn right on Verdae Commons and go about 1/8 mile.  Look for Camperdown Academy on the left.  If you are heading south on Laurens Road from Pleasantburg Rd, pass Haywood Rd and Woodruff Rd on your left.  Look for Bradshaw Mazda on the right.  Immediately see Henderson Rd. on the right/Verdae Commons Dr. on the left.   Turn left onto Verdae Commons Dr. There is a traffic light.  Go about 1/8 mile and look for Camperdown Academy on the left.  Look for the SCNPS event signs.  You can also put Bradshaw Mazda 2512 Laurens Rd in your map program and that will take you very close to the correct intersection.

The meeting starts at 7pm.  Come at 6:30 for socializing and refreshments.

Shortia Around the World

Posted on |

Dr. L>L> “Chick” Gaddy highlights the May 21 Upstate NPS meeting with a talk on Shortia around the globe.  We know about our Upstate Oconee Bell, (Shortia galacifolia) but did you know it has east Asian cousins?  Botanists have long pondered the relationships of eastern North American plants to their east Asian cousins.  The discontinuous distribution of the same or closely related plant taxa is disconcerting, but the similarities of some Asian forests to those of the southern Appalachians are  so great that a sense of deja vu is often experienced by botanists of one region visiting the other.

Chick Gaddy will talk about the various Shortia, including a species (Shortia rotata) newly discovered by Gaddy and collaborator Maaxim S. Nuraliev.  All Shortia species are considered to be rare, so come out for this rare opportunity to hear about them.

The program will be held at a new location on the Tri County Technical College campus in Pendleton, SC.  We will meet in the Marshall Parker Auditorium of Oconee Hall.  As you enter the campus at the traffic light (the south entrance), the driveway you want is to the left.  HOWEVER, you cannot turn left as you enter.  Please drive ahead to the first place you can make a u-turn and head back toward the traffic light.  Just before the light, turn right onto the one-way access road in front of the buildings.  You will pass Miller Hall, Anderson Hall  and Pickens Hall before coming to Oconee Hall on the right.  You may park in any of the student/faculty spots along the one way drive.  There are also two  parking lots just past Oconee Hall.  Lot H-1 and Lot H-2 available for us in the evening.   Please go to https://www.tctc.edu/media/2966/pendleton-campus-map.pdf  and print a map of the campus.  There will be signs out marking the building entrance.

The program starts at 7pm.  Arrive at 6:30 or refreshments and socializing.  For more information, go to www.scnps.org.

Upstate Field Trip: Stevens Creek Heritage Preserve

Posted on |

Friday, May 17, 8:00am to 3:00pm (+-).  Join Rick Huffman for a visit to Stevens Creek Heritage Preserve in McCormick County.

Stevens Creek Heritage Preserve is a unique plant community with G1 ranked species such as Miccosukee gooseerry (Ribes echinellum).  Unusual mountain wildflowers also seek refuge on the SC site.  Imagine seeing trilliums (lance leaved, nodding and faded), False rue anemone, spring beauty, green violets, and Dutchman’s breeches growing just north of Augusta!

The field trip is a lead up to SCNPS May 18th Parks Mill celebration and viewing the Rocky Shoals Spider Lilies.  Field trip participants may want to camp or stay over the the 18th event.  (see calendar listing for May 18 to register for the Parks Mill Celebration)

Meet at 8am at the Ingles parking lot, Hyw 25 south in Moonville, (7616 Augusta Rd, Piedmont, SC 29673).  To register, contact Rick Huffman at <[email protected]> or call 864 901-7583.  Please include your phone number.  Bring water, lunch and snacks, and wear appropriate clothing and footwear.  A hiking stick is recommended.

Upstate Field Trip: Black Balsam and Blue Ridge Parkway, NC

Posted on |

Field trip to:Black Balsam Knob and the Blue Ridge Parkway on  Saturday, May 4, 8:00am-3:00pm(+-).

Leader:  Rick Huffman

We will traverse the Blue Wall and travel across 500 million years of geological time to experience the wonders of the high ridge of Black Balsam. It will be late winter/early spring on the Parkway. As the mountain awakens, deciduous magnolias, serviceberry, pink shell azalea, and painted trillium are a small sample of the treasures awaiting. World Class systems and biomes.

Meet at Holly Springs Grocery, SC Hwy 11 and Hwy 178 at 8 am for van/carpool.To register, contact Rick Huffman at <[email protected]> or call (864) 901-7583. Please include your phone number, bring water, lunch, and wear appropriate clothing and footwear.

 

Oconee Bells: Lost and Found Treasure of the Upstate

Posted on |

The Upstate Native Plant Society meeting on Tuesday, April 16 at 7pm, explores the story of the Oconee Bells, a rare and beautiful Spring blooming wildflower found in only a few places in the world.  One of those places is the Jocassee Gorges in Upstate South Carolina.  Naturalist Kay Wade will present the story of the discovery, “loss” and rediscovery of this tiny beauty which draws hundreds of people to the upstate every March when the Bells are in bloom.

Wade will focus on the human interest stories that are a fascinating part of the history of the Oconee Bells, (Shortia galacifolia).  In the 1700’s botanist Andrea Michaux discovered the plants in South Carolina and sent pressed botanical samples to Paris, France.  The samples lingered in obscurity in a museum collection until botanist Asa Gray saw them in 1839.  Gray searched in vain for the Bells until 1884.  Years later the plant was found, by accident, by teenager George Hyams who wondered what this unusual plant was and took some home.  Kay Wade will fill in the details of the search and the characters involved.

Kay Wade is a Master Naturalist and co-owner of Jocassee Lake Tours.  She writes columns for the Seneca Journal.

The program is on Tuesday, April 16 at 7pm at Landrum Depot, 211 North Trade Street, Landrum, SC, in Spartanburg County.  The program is free and open to the public.  Please arrive at 6:30 for socializing and refreshments.