Real Estate

New Bestseller from Mary Alice Monroe Features Dewees

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Island friend Mary Alice Monroe has just released Beach House Reunion, her fifth novel in the Beach House series that she started in 2002. This is my favorite of the series: and not just because she heals some old family rifts and ties up loose ends: this book does a wonderful job following a family beyond a crisis and weaving in a lot of natural history facts.  AND, it has Dewees in it, so that’s always fun.  Mary Alice says this about Dewees on her blog:

It’s the kind of community many of us yearn for…a place away from the busyness of traffic congestion, the noise of shopping centers, a place where neighbors know each other and help each other. Residents and guests are surrounded by miles of pristine forestland that beckons you to explore, where wildlife and people live together in harmony. And the creeks and ocean invite you to catch your meal for the night.

In this post on Mary Alice’s blog last year, I wrote about why I love living and learning here,

…it’s the wonder that I can’t get enough of. Everyday brings something incredible to experience. Tonight at the dock, a young family arrived back on Dewees by ferry after eating dinner on the Isle of Palms.  The stars were sparkling above: with no streetlights to our north, the dark skies can be incredible.  And in the water, early bioluminescence is making its first summer appearance. Awe and wonder and laughter floated past on the breeze as they trailed their fingertips in the water at the dock, creating sparkles in the water.  Just a bit of everyday Dewees magic.

Here are some of the descriptions of Dewees In her newest novel, Dewees first makes an appearance on page 104, where David has relocated.  He says:

The folks on Dewees are genuine.  And quite social.

I think that sums things up! David has moved into a new house: (this house is actually for sale: click here or email Judy if you’d like more info)

 


And Cara comes to the island to visit:

Mary Alice Monroe describes the first impression of Dewees:

and how perplexing that can be to first time visitors:

And she tours around the island:

Impressed by our wildlife.

She even mentions alligators, from one of my favorite spots on the island for wildlife watching:

Here’s a few minutes of video from that spot years ago:

And you can click here for a page with a lot more photos that might be in a Mary Alice Monroe novel.

Mary Alice and Angela May came to the island last week to do a little research.  We watched the sun set from the porch of 126 (David’s house in the novel) and storms roll in.  We went on a night drive to listen to the frogs and chuck-wills-widows,  and joined in for the turtle team’s early walk:

 

If you’d like to experience Dewees with Mary Alice, you can buy a ticket for her tour benefitting the Dewees Island Conservancy’s Lake Timicau Restoration Project.  Click here to buy your ticket: tour is limited to 12. The auction also has several Dewees vacations so you can experience the island for yourself!  And if you don’t win one of those, you can book a weeks vacation at the house mentioned (Island Breeze) in the novel with a $100 discount: Go to charlestoncoastvacations.com and Use Code MONROE100.

 

 

Below are some links to Mary Alice’s books:


Real Estate

Coyote Pup plays on the beach

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This morning’s turtle walk yielded a great sunrise, and the opportunity to watch a coyote puppy play with a ghost crab.  I came onto the beach at Ancient Dunes, and there was a young coyote right there, who took off into the woods right away.  This is good news, because it means our coyote hazing is working and they are wary of people.  As we made our way up the beach all the way to the corner at Capers Inlet, we saw lots of birds, including Black Skimmers and Wilson’s Plovers.  On our way back, Carey and I were just about at the shorebird area when we spied a young coyote hanging out in the wax myrtle “boneyard”.  He was aware of us, and watched from the relative safety of his den.  The tide was low, and we stayed near the water’s edge to watch.  (We were FAR away, I promise, but this canon camera has a heck of a zoom.)

He or she watched us for a second and got distracted by the movement of a ghost crab nearby:

And he began to chase it toward us:

The ghost crab came into view:

coyote puppy on Dewees Island

But this one did not want to be a plaything for the coyote:

Coyote puppy plays with ghost crab

Everyone’s gotta eat, and the coyote wasn’t daunted by this one’s claws.  Here is the coyote with the ghost crab remains dangling:

Undaunted, he found another one:

And played like a puppy:

Eventually, the coyote puppy took his crab back into the boneyard and disappeared from sight.

For more about living with coyotes on Dewees, click here. We will report the encounter for the data, but aren’t concerned because he was avoiding us, and never came close enough to even haze him.  I really do love this canon camera: link below.  The big zoom is a big bonus!  Today was a good reminder of why to get up early and help the turtle team: the light and the wildlife is best in the early morning.

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June 2018 Programs

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June 2018 Programs

We’re excited for this summer’s lineup of programs.  Here is the current schedule for June 2018 Programs.  This doesn’t include the pickleball schedule, which is on Wednesdays and Sundays, time depending.  There is usually info on the calendar and the website about Pickleball. These should all also be in the Dewees Island App, (click here for IOS  and here for android) with links to register as well. It’s a little quirky~ click “buy ticket” if you want to reserve a spot.  If there’s no buy ticket button, just show up!

Mondays will provide crabbing lessons at the crab dock with the hospitality interns, and a rotating naturalist choice activity.  Tuesdays will have Family Activity/adventures: each with a different theme.  Fun for all ages!  Wednesdays is Ladies coffee and pickle ball, Fridays are turtle meetings and a nature activity.  Come join in on the fun!

If you want a list you could print, click here for a google doc.

Tuesday June 5: Family Activity

Tie-dying in shades of blue

Meet under the Huyler House to make tie-dyed shirts in various shades of blue for World Ocean day on Saturday.  Here on Dewees, we’ll do our own March for the Ocean on Saturday. Sign up here.

 

Wednesday, June 6

Ladies Roundtable Coffee

Huyler House 9:30

 

Wednesday June 6

Pickleball

3:00

All welcome

 

Thursday, June 7

Book Club

Every Note Played, by Lisa Genova

6:30 Huyler House

BYOB and a nibble to share

 

Friday, June 8

Turtle Friday Meeting 8:30

Ancient Dunes Gazebo

All Welcome: we will review current nests and any tasks and make plans for the upcoming week.  If you want to learn about our turtle program, this is for you. To follow the Turtle team on Facebook, click here.  

june summer activities Dewees

Saturday June 9

March for the Ocean

Wear blue and come down to the beach at 9:00 for a photo op as part of the worldwide March for the Ocean.  We’ll gather for a few pics (maybe with a drone) as we take a stand on plastic pollution, offshore drilling etc.

 

Monday June 11

Crabbing at the Crab Dock

9:30 am: crabbing dock

Learn how to ID & catch a blue crab and alligator safety during this catch a release program.  

Sign up here.

 

Monday June 11

Wetland Wildlife Walk: Naturalist choice

Learn about what animals live in the Impoundment & Huyler House pond.  We will search for animals along the edge of these wetlands using binoculars and spotting scopes.  Meet at the Landings Building. Sign Up here.

 

Tuesday June 12

Terrific Tuesdays: Horseshoe Crabs

9:30 am Huyler House Picnic area

Horseshoe crabs are found on the front beach as well as the island’s brackish water marshes and Impoundments.  They gather to spawn in the full moon and are a valuable source of food for migrating shorebirds. During this program we will treasure hunt for clues to these interesting animals and make a craft to take home. Sign up here.

Wednesday June 13

Ladies Roundtable coffee

9:30 Huyler House

 

Friday June 15

Turtle Team Friday Meeting

8:30 am: Ancient Dunes Gazebo

All Welcome: we will review current nests and any tasks and make plans for the upcoming week.  If you want to learn about our turtle program, this is for you. To follow the Turtle team on Facebook, click here.  

June 2018 programs

Friday June 15

Seining

9:00 am Ancient Dunes Beach

 

Discover a variety of fish, crabs and other creatures as we pull a long seine net along the edge of Dewees Island.  Wear shoes and clothes that can get wet. Sign up here.

 

Friday June 15

Paddle with the Naturalist Interns

2:00 pm Canoe Dock

Explore one of the richest wildlife habitats of Dewees Island.  This interpretative paddle offers a unique look into the ecology of impounded wetlands.    Participants must be able to maneuver a short portage. 10 years minimum age. Under 16 must be with an adult.  Space is limited to 6 participants: RSVP in advance – text 843-568-3994

 

Friday, June 15

Happy Hour

5:30 Huyler House

BYOB and a Nibble

 

Monday June 18

Crabbing at the Crab Dock

9:30 am

Learn how to ID & catch a blue crab and alligator safety during this catch a release program.  

Sign up here.

 

Monday June 18

Night Walk: Naturalists Choice

8:00 pm

Ancient Dunes Gazebo

Join us for an evening exploration of sunset on the beach. Sign up here

 

Tuesday, June 19

Terrific Tuesdays: Family Nature exploration: Pollinators

9:30am – 11:00am

Huyler House Picnic Area

It’s time to celebrate Pollinators and learn what you can do to protect them.  Through hands on activities and crafts we will learn about how to help local bees, butterflies and birds. Sign up here.

 

Wednesday, June 20

Ladies Roundtable coffee

9:30 Huyler House

 

Friday June 22

Turtle Team Friday Meeting

8:30 am  Ancient Dunes Gazebo

All Welcome: we will review current nests and any tasks and make plans for the upcoming week.  If you want to learn about our turtle program, this is for you. To follow the Turtle team on Facebook, click here.  

 

Friday June 22

Seining

9:00 am    Ancient Dunes Beach

Discover a variety of fish, crabs and other creatures as we pull a long seine net along the edge of Dewees Island.  Wear shoes and clothes that can get wet. Sign up here.

 

Friday June 22

Paddle with the Naturalist Interns

2:00 pm: Canoe Dock

Explore one of the richest wildlife habitats of Dewees Island.  This interpretative paddle offers a unique look into the ecology of impounded wetlands.    Participants must be able to maneuver a short portage. 10 years minimum age. Under 16 must be with an adult.  Space is limited to 6 participants: RSVP in advance – text 845-568-3994

 

Friday June 22

Summer Solstice Party

Chez Jane and Carroll Savage

Bar opens 6pm (wine/soft drinks/Bellinis provided)

Bring a tasty dish to share

Performances begin at 7pm – Bring your talent to entertain with songs, music, poetry, stories, dances – or come to cheer for the performers

Dress in costumes to fit your theme or to celebrate the rites of mid-summer’s eve

Saturday June 23

Beach Games

3:00 Ancient Dunes

Come try your hand at Molkke, bocce, can jam and more.  Bring chairs, snacks, beach toys and a picnic supper if you want. All welcome, no RSVP necessary.

 

Monday, June 25th

Tracking

8:30 AM, Landings Building

Become a wildlife detective!  Learn how to identify wildlife by what they leave behind: tracks, scat and much more.  Make and take a wildlife track. Sign up here.

Monday June 25

Crabbing at the Crab Dock

9:30 am

Learn how to ID & catch a blue crab and alligator safety during this catch a release program.  

Sign up here.

Tuesday June 26

Terrific Tuesdays Family Program: Reptiles

9:30

Learn about local reptiles through hands on activities and crafts.

Sign up here.

 

Wednesday June 27

Ladies Roundtable coffee

9:30 Huyler House

 

Friday June 29

Turtle Team Friday Meeting

8:30 am     Ancient Dunes Gazebo

All Welcome: we will review current nests and any tasks and make plans for the upcoming week.  If you want to learn about our turtle program, this is for you. To follow the Turtle team on Facebook, click here.  

 

Friday June 29

Seining

9:00 am   Ancient Dunes Beach

Discover a variety of fish, crabs and other creatures as we pull a long seine net along the edge of Dewees Island.  Wear shoes and clothes that can get wet. Sign up here.

Friday June 29

Paddle with the Naturalist Interns

2:00 pm  Canoe Dock

Explore one of the richest wildlife habitats of Dewees Island.  This interpretative paddle offers a unique look into the ecology of impounded wetlands.    Participants must be able to maneuver a short portage. 10 years minimum age. Under 16 must be with an adult.  Space is limited to 6 participants: RSVP in advance – text 845-568-3994

 

Friday June 29

Art Opening

6:30 pm

Huyler House

Art Exhibit featuring Savannah artist Daryl R. Nicholson, watercolor portraits, still life, and local subjects.  All welcome.

 

Real Estate

Fred the Snake visits the Beach

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If you are looking for a fun kids book that features Dewees Island, you can pick up Fred the Snake and Friends Go to the Beach, by island resident Dr. Peter Cotton. In this fifth installment of Fred the Snake’s adventures, Fred and his friends hop the ferry to Dewees.  You’ll find a lot of the things that make Dewees fun for kids: golf carts, the ferry ride, fishing, sandcastles, etc.  Dr. Cotton is an award winning author of both children’s books and a medical book~ you can learn more here. Here is a blog story about his book, The Tunnel at the End of the Light. 

 

 

When asked how he got started writing the Fred the snake books, he said,

I wrote the first story for Nicky and Andy when they were small, to teach them how not to cross the road. They were fond of Fred-Fred as they called him (as being in 2 pieces for a while), and asked where he was when they had their kids. Which stimulated me to find an illustrator and publish starting in 2011.

You can even find some references to our turtle team.

The fun rhymes and whimsical illustrations make Fred the snake a great one for sharing with young visitors.  The book is available on his website, and in the Dewees Island bookstore, and at amazon.com.

We’ll take the ferry, now, be quick, say hello to Captain Rick. He gives all an easy ride, and soon we reach the island side……..

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Super Blue Moon: Dewees Loves a Celebration

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We love a chance to celebrate around here. January 31 was a full moon, the second in January, which makes it a blue moon. And a supermoon, when it’s closer to the earth than usual, bringing big tides. And a lunar eclipse, which unfortunately happened for us just after moonset, though we were able to see a few minutes. It’s one of the things I really love about living here~ the connections with our neighbors (and Captain Rick and Joey) when something awesome happens in the natural world and we take a moment to celebrate. Alicia led the charge, figuring out that we would have a great chance to view the supermoon as it was setting just BEFORE the departure of the 6:30 ferry with several folks headed to work and school. So we packed up some hot cocoa and camera equipment and headed out. Rick and Joey were just pulling in on the ferry, and we all had a few minutes to brave the icy winds and watch the moon. I didn’t want to spoil it with a flash, so here are some grainy pictures of the fun we had, all giggles and mittens.

When we got there, the moon was big and full and beautiful:

And when we zoomed in, we could see that the eclipse was just beginning:

 

The perfect spot for a warm beverage

And that group got on the ferry, and more neighbors arrived:

As the sun began to light the eastern horizon, the shadow of the eclipse deepened on the moon, and as it got closer to the horizon the color shifted, the clouds moved in, and it appeared even larger:

And then the show was over, except for the beautiful day that was beginning.  The 7:00 ferry arrived just as it was getting light:

We even flew the drone out to see the moon and the high tides:

 

 

Thanks to Alicia, who came across this video online, and posted it in the owners facebook group:

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Summer Internships on Dewees

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Apply now for summer internships on Dewees!

Our community is immeasurably enriched by the energy and scholarship of young interns who spend the summer on Dewees in several programs.  Here is a full description of some of our intern programs.


Our interns live on the island in a two-bedroom apartment, and depending on their job, might assist with arriving rental clients, walk for the turtle team, spend several nights a week up in the Cape Romain National Wildlife turtle program, or even (new this year) assist with Coyote Research.

 

Dewees Island summer interns often go from here to jobs in the hospitality field, or to DNR, the SC Aquarium, and even farther afield.  It’s our goal to provide them with a great base of skills from which to apply for the job of their dreams.

 

Here is more information and how to apply for the coyote internship.

The Dewees Island community wishes to better understand how many coyotes are on island, how they utilize the island, are they impacting the mammal population, how are they integrating into the existing ecosystem and how residents can coexist. A Coyote Intern position funded by the Dewees Island Conservancy will assist in answering these questions. The Coyote intern will be responsible for conservation and educational activities on Dewees Island relating to coyotes & associated habitat as well as interactions with other mammal species. The Intern’s responsibilities will include coyote research (monitoring trail cameras, scat surveys, potential impacts on other wildlife, etc.), shorebird and wading bird surveys, wildlife spotlight surveys, sea turtle nest monitoring, caring for animals in the nature center, creating educational displays, leading interpretative education programs relating to wildlife, and other resource management projects as needed. Ferry access from the Isle of Palms, dormitory housing and golf cart transportation will be provided while on Dewees Island by Dewees Island POA. Send letter of interest and resume to deweesislandconservancy@gmail.com by January 26.

Here is more information and how to apply for a hospitality internship.

Looking for two smart, energetic, entrepreneurial interns to join our vacation rental business on gorgeous Dewees Island during the summer months. We are a small local business and manage 10 short-term vacation rental homes and 4 suites. Our interns live on the island and are our eyes and ears on the ground. It is important to have excellent communication and problem solving skills. As a rental business, we never know what the day has in store, so we must be flexible and ready for anything that comes our way! Our interns must have a strong work ethic and excel at working independently. They must have a willingness to assist in all situations. Interns must be comfortable being surrounded by nature. Dewees is a wonderful mixture of forest, marsh, and beach. Bugs, snakes, alligators and mosquitoes are all a part of life on Dewees. We are on an island after all!  Send resume and letter of interest to ewatson@dunesproperties.com.

Here is more information and how to apply for a sea turtle conservation internship.

BACKGROUND
Dewees Island is a privately developed ferry access barrier island south of the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge and north of Charleston, SC. The Dewees community has a strong environmental focus, with approximately 64 homes, native landscaping, sand roads, and golf cart transportation. There are no commercial interests such as stores or restaurants on this isolated barrier island. Dewees Island is home to an abundance of wildlife including white tailed deer, American alligators, wading birds and shorebirds. Cape Island, SC is an undeveloped remote barrier island in the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge which
averages well over 1,000 loggerhead sea turtle nests each season. Sea turtle activity accounts for almost 1/3 of all nests in South Carolina. The lack of access to the remote island makes it challenging for federal biologists and volunteers to do beach patrols, nest relocation, nursery maintenance, predator removal, nest inventories, and nesting turtle research. Early morning small boat access is required during the summer nesting season.

OVERVIEW
A Naturalist / Sea Turtle Technician Internship funded by the Dewees Island Conservancy helps meet the needs of both islands. Two-three days per week on Dewees Island is required to assist in leading interpretative education programs, shorebird and wading bird surveys, trail camera surveys, wildlife surveys, sea turtle beach patrol, animal husbandry, creating educational publications and other projects as needed. Ferry access from the Isle of Palms, dormitory housing and golf cart transportation will be provided while on Dewees Island by
Dewees Island POA.
The Intern will also spend 2-3 days per week helping the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge conduct sea turtle beach patrols, nest relocation, and nest inventories; dormitory housing is provided on the mainland (Awendaw, SC). Boat access to the Islands with Refuge Biologist and seasonal staff is provided. Transportation is not provided between the Isle of Palms and Awendaw.
The intern shall report directly to both the Dewees Island Conservancy Program Director on Dewees Island and the US Fish & Wildlife Chief Biologist on the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge The full-time seasonal position runs May 7 – August 17, 2018.
The Naturalist/Sea Turtle Intern will receive housing and a stipend of $1650 for the 15-week internship.

POSITION QUALIFICATIONS:
• Minimum three years undergraduate work in resource management, marine biology, wildlife ecology or
related science.
• Minimum 9 months of experience leading interpretative or environmental educational programs.
• Outgoing, self-motivated and independent personality; strong communication and leadership skills
required.
• Prior sea turtle nesting management experience preferred (additional training provided).
• Basic knowledge of shorebird and wading bird identification strongly desired.
• Basic knowledge of South Carolina flora and fauna; knowledge of barrier island ecology strongly
desired.
• Ability to work a non-standard work day, including weekends, holidays and night shifts.
• Ability to endure extreme summer and outdoor conditions (heat, bugs, salt, sand, etc.).
• Ability to carry heavy equipment (up to 50 lbs.)

• Ability to operate an ATV vehicle (training provided).
• Ability to work and live independently in an extremely remote island lifestyle.
• Boating experience preferred.
• Ability to provide own transportation between remote work sites.
https://judyondewees.smugmug.com/frame/slideshow?key=S7gZ4J&autoStart=1&captions=0&navigation=0&playButton=0&randomize=0&speed=3&transition=fade&transitionSpeed=2&clickable=1
RESPONSIBILITIES:
• Lead interpretative educational programs to guests and residents on Dewees Island.
• Conduct early morning or late evening beach patrols on assigned day to identify sea turtle nests and/or
stranded sea turtles.
• Conduct early morning or late evening wildlife surveys.
• Provide care and maintenance of animals and displays in the Dewees Island Nature Center.
• Create educational publications and displays relating to conservation and post information in the Nature
Center and on the Dewees Island Conservancy web site and Facebook page.
• Promote and practice stewardship of the all barrier island facilities, properties, and research equipment.
• Assist in facilitation of research projects by visiting scientists as directed by the Refuge Biologist or the
Dewees Island Conservancy Program Director.
• Understand and agree to dormitory and shared housing regulations. Housing at both locations is a
shared co-ed living space and personal effects are NOT provided (linens, toiletries, etc.).
• Ability to provide your own transportation between Awendaw, SC and the Dewees Island Ferry Landing
on Isle of Palms (approximately 20 miles). Remote locations; public transportation is not available.
HOW TO APPLY:
Email cover letter, resume, and names/phone numbers of three references to:
Dewees Island Conservancy at deweesislandconservancy@gmail.com
Please list Naturalist/Sea Turtle Internship in the subject line.
Deadline to apply: Friday, January 26, 2018

 

Real Estate

SNOW Day on DEWEES!

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Snow in the South is wonderful. It has a kind of magic and mystery that it has nowhere else. And the reason for this is that it comes to people of the South not as a grim, unyielding tenant of Winter’s keep, but as a strange and wild visitor from the secret North.*

~Thomas Wolfe

dewees snow dayIt’s a rare thing, a snow day on Dewees. January 3 2018 gave us the biggest snowfall any of us can remember and some of the coldest temps in 60 years. It’s taken me a few days to get this stuff posted, because we’re either outside reveling in this crazy snowfall, warming up, or sleeping off the exhaustion. Dewees was treated to a rare winter storm this week.  Sure, there are challenges: most houses are not insulated for this kind of cold, pipes freezing, water lines freezing, the possibility of no power, road and bridge closures elsewhere in Charleston mean the ferry staff can’t safely get to work, etc. And let’s not forget the fact that golf carts don’t have snow tires! But those are largely solvable, and there is something about a snowstorm that brings out the kid in each of us.

 

The kids were not supposed to be at school until Thursday, but once the forecast looked like we might actually see precipitation, they first moved the date to Friday and now Tuesday, so we have plenty of time to enjoy a few more days of vacation.  Truth be told, we were skeptical… once the forecast called for more than 2 inches of snow (which would be more than we’ve ever seen here) we figured being surrounded by water would minimize that and we’d get mostly ice, like we did in 2014. Or snow that didn’t really stick around, like in 2010. To our incredulous delight, we were wrong! We started with beautiful ice, and then got to experience fluffy flakes and accumulating snow for hours on Wednesday.

 

Meeting friends on the beach…

Big Bend dock

So naturally, we had to get out and play:

 

On Thursday, the sun rose on something I have never seen before: a frozen impoundment.


But the sun provided us with some gorgeous backdrops to make the ice, and icicles sparkle:

It is truly bizarre and beautiful to see familiar landscapes utterly transformed by snow:

Dewees Inlet drive at Huyler House turn

As it melted, it hung together better so we could experiment with snow people and animals:

Some of us gathered up at the helicopter pad to throw snowballs, try surfing on snow, etc.

Here’s a quick video of some of the action:

If you have your own storm stories or snapshots, please share in the comments or send them to us.  We’ll be playing: with no school until at least Tuesday and the Charleston airport saying they will not open until Monday… it’s an adventure!  Happy winter, y’all.

 

*My friend and colleague Kristen Badger Walker, who is working on the sweetest downtown Charleston luxury penthouses, posted that quote from Thomas Wolfe yesterday on her facebook page.  If there is a chance you’re looking for luxury living downtown (the perfect complement to a Dewees abode), let me connect you to her.

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Arts Council and Kids Holiday Concert a Success (Video)

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If you missed the kids holiday concert on the island, here’s a quick video to give you to get a taste.


On December 16, Huyler House was the site of some joyous merriment as some young island residents and friends delighted us with a holiday concert.  Meaghan Bonds, an Ashley Hall senior who lives on the island with her parents Ronnie and Susan, led the afternoon.  She and her friend Ann Sheridan began with some string duets, and even some Irish Fiddling.

They played several pieces, while a full house of proud parents and impressed neighbors gathered.

kids holiday concert

kids holiday concert

Sam Henshaw played the clarinet while his father Jim dusted off his high school trumpet to accompany him:
kids holiday concert Sam
Emma McDaniel did a great rendition of White Christmas:


And Cole and Ian Mortimer led the group in a rousing chorus of Rudolph. (you’ll have to check the video for this one)

And Meaghan finished the evening with The Christmas Song.
Sponsored by the arts council, the event was well attended. After the music ended, there were cookies and drinks.

Kids Holiday Concert

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Living with Coyotes

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Dewees Island, like other communities, has been wrestling with the new habitation of coyotes on our island.  We are still learning what it means to coexist with coyotes on the island as this incredibly adaptable predator colonizes our coastal island.  We first noticed the presence of coyotes in late summer 2016, and by early summer 2017 we were seeing them regularly and kits were playing on the beach.
dewees island coyoteLori has assembled a lot of information on this page: scroll to the bottom for the info about coyotes.
This fall, sightings have continued to increase, and residents have a lot of concerns and questions.
As part of understanding coyote wildlife biology, she invited Sean Poppy, of the Savannah River Ecology Lab, to come give a talk about coyotes on the island on Saturday, December 2.  We videotaped the presentation for the Dewees Island Environmental Board.  The videos are divided into smaller units.
In this video, Lori introduces Sean:

In this video, Sean gives us a glimpse of the coyotes he observes regularly,

In this one, we look at what they eat, how they communicate, and what tracks look like.

This one discusses what we can learn from coyote scat and how the species can actually benefit the island:

The downsides of living with coyotes, and how natural selection might be leading to darker colored animals:

Why killing coyotes doesn’t work:

How far do coyotes range?

Advice for living with coyotes:

And then, Sean got his captive coyote Scooter out of the box. He’s had Scooter since he was found at a few days old along the side of a road, and while Scooter is captive, he’s by no means a pet. Sean begins by looking at the color of Scooter’s eyes.

While holding the Scooter, Sean answers questions:

They discuss the size of coyotes, the relative dangers, and migration of animals.

In this segment, Sean addresses when to “haze” them and when to let them be, scare tactics, and indirect feeding which can complicate the problem.

And at the conclusion,Sean returns Scooter to the crate and answers more questions about apex predators, whether they are nocturnal or diurnal, whether they’re good for songbird populations, and final words.

The Dewees Island Environmental Board has created a coyote task force: for more information about how you can help, see Lori.

This book, Coyote Settles the South, introduces readers to the way coyotes have become part of the landscape in a really interesting and thoughtful way.  Sean and Scooter are even featured in it!


More helpful info from Lori:

Dewees Island Coyotes
http://www.deweesislandsc.com/environmental-program/wildlife-management/
Scroll to the bottom for coyotes

Howlin’ at the Moon, Sullivan’s Island Magazine p. 10
http://www.sullivansislandmagazine.com/green/summer-2017/#10
One note of clarification from Dr. Mowry who is quoted in the article “the article gives the impression that we asked Sullivan’s Island authorities to trap the coyotes so that we could get tissue samples from them, which was NOT the case.  They trapped (and killed) the animals despite our objections, but we did then ask for the tissue samples once we knew that they were being trapped anyway.”

South Carolina Wildlife, Coyote Science Sept/Oct 2015
http://www.scwildlife.com/articles/septoct2015/coyote.html
“During the 1980s and 90s, deer populations in SC were booming.  Even very high levels of doe harvest were insufficient to control numbers.  But that trend began to change to the mid- to late- 1990s, at about the same time as coyotes became well established across the state.  In combination with the ongoing high doe harvest, heavy predation by coyotes on fawns was more than most deer populations could sustain, and statewide numbers began to decline.  But just as hunter harvest alone was incapable of controlling deer populations, coyotes also seem incapable of doing the job without hunter harvest.  Consider that deer remain abundant enough to be a nuisance in many urban and suburban areas around the state where coyotes are present but hunting is not allowed.”

Biology and Control In SC
http://www.dnr.sc.gov/wildlife/coyote/coyoteinfo.pdf
“Coyotes and their associated damage are quickly becoming unpopular with livestock producers and sportsmen. Nevertheless, attempts in other states to eliminate or drastically reduce the coyote population on a large scale have proven largely unsuccessful. However, it is possible to control coyote-related damage at the local level by removing the offending animals. If coyotes in the area are not causing specific depredation problems, it is suggested they not be removed. Coyotes are territorial, and their removal may be replaced with coyotes that are more likely to cause depredation problems.” Pg. 4

South Carolina Wildlife, For Wildlife Watchers: Coyote Nov/Dec 2008
http://www.scwildlife.com/articles/novdec2008/coyote.html

A beach town weighs options for controlling its coyote problem; Charleston City Paper February 2014
https://www.charlestoncitypaper.com/charleston/a-beach-town-weighs-options-for-controlling-its-coyoteproblem/Content?oid=4862426

What creates a nuisance coyote?  Urban Coyote Research
https://urbancoyoteresearch.com/coyote-relationships-people
“Are all coyotes a threat to people?  It continues to be surprising to find so many coyotes living near people in Cook County, IL, and yet relatively few conflicts have been reported. It was assumed that with an average of 350 coyotes removed each year from the area as nuisances, most urban coyotes would create problems. In contrast, only 14 of 446 radio-collared coyotes have been reported as nuisances (as defined by the local community). Apparently, few coyotes have become nuisances in Cook County, and it is likely that this is true of other metropolitan areas. It remains to be seen if conflicts will stay relatively rare or if they become more common as coyotes adjust to living with humans in this area.
For perspective, it is worth considering that no documented case of a coyotebiting a human has been reported for Cook County, IL. Contrast that result with domestic dogs, in which Cook County often records 2,000 to 3,000 dog bites each year (including some fatalities). In 2013, for example, there were no recorded bites to people by coyotes in Cook County but 3,822 bites from domestic pets were reported (data from Cook County Animal and Rabies Control).
Very few coyotes that have been studied in Cook County, IL have developed into “nuisance” animals. Those coyotes that became nuisances during the study typically became habituated through feeding by people. In other words, people were feeding wildlife and either intentionally, or unintentionally, fed coyotes.  Once coyotes associate human buildings or yards with food, they may increase daytime activities and thus are seen more easily by people. In those areas in southern California where attacks have been common, researchers have reported a higher frequency of human-related food in the diet of nuisance coyotes. This was indicative of feeding by people, or coyotes seeking food in garbage. In either case, feeding of coyotes should be heavily discouraged. A common pattern for many human attacks has been feeding prior to the incident — in many cases intentional feeding. Click the link above to read an example of how intentional feeding of wildlife led to the creation of a nuisance coyote.”

Arts Council Exhibits

Art Show Saturday features both Charlie Evergreen Ceramics and Encore for “Coastal Colors” Exhibit

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Saturday night’s ceramics exhibit will share the gallery space with our outgoing exhibit.  The beginning of the month brought local artists Janie Ball and Elizabeth Middour to the gallery in the Huyler House.  Both plein air painters, Janie and Elizabeth did some painting on the island, and took scores of photographs to provide us with a great exhibit, and there are some beautiful works left if you’re looking for a holiday gift or a piece of Dewees to bring to your home in another city.

current exhibit with Elizabeth Middour and Janie Ball, Tom Jenkins, photographer

 

Elizabeth Middour and Janie Ball

For this weekend only, the paintings will frame the backdrop for a new exhibition of potter Charlie Evergreen.
Christie Drew, who has studied with Charlie, says this:
Its my great pleasure to guest post here on the Dewees Island Blog. I’m excited to introduce my friend Charlie Evergreen, a fellow ceramics artist working in Durham, NC. Charlie will be exhibiting in the Huyler House by invitation of the Dewees Island Arts Council starting November 4.
Charlie says “I’m happiest in life when I’m experimenting and learning, so I apply this to making art. To do so, I exercise control in my process, but intentionally leave part of the results to chance.”  The results are surprising and spectacular. Charlie makes both functional and sculptural art, all of which has an earthy, oceanic and sometimes otherworldly character.  You can preview the show from 4-6pm on Saturday November 4. And join us at  the opening reception to meet this vibrant ceramic artist starting at 6:30.