Summer Activities: Use our texting system for program alerts

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Creatures of the Dock, photo Laura HeinzOur summer schedule is well under way, with lots of great activities planned. Want to get a text to remind you of what’s going on? Or receive an alert when a turtle nest is discovered? We’re using send-hub again to send you program alerts of fun stuff going on. To enroll, text this number: 843-588-5508 with the word deweesfun (no caps, no spaces) and you’re automatically enrolled.  When you go home and don’t want to hear from us, simply text unsub deweesfun to the same number, 843-588-5508.

Would you rather subscribe to the calendar (or do both?)  Check out the last post, How to subscribe to the Dewees Calendar, or simply follow the calendar by clicking the activities tab you see at the top of this screen.


Resurrection Fern

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Sometimes you pass the oak trees along the road, and they are covered with crusty dead ferns along the shady branches. These ferns, Pleopeltis polypodioides, are epiphytes: they get their nutrients and water from the air. They are often found with spanish moss on Live Oak trees.

And then sometimes, those same ferns are lush and green, open to the dappled light from the tree above. Known as Resurrection Fern, this epiphyte can survive for long periods of time without water. The cell walls of the plant fold up in a way that can be reversed by water, (a process which is being studied to see what practical implications it may have!).

At this time of year, afternoon rains often miss some branches while thoroughly hydrating others. This link will take you to a time lapse video of the ferns rehydrating (if you don’t want lots of factual information, skip ahead to the 2 minute mark). Both of the photos above were taken on the same tree.


Island Living

Dewees Island featured in Charleston Style and Design Magazine

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Dewees Island’s pristine beach is featured as the backdrop for a photo shoot in this month’s Charleston Style and Design magazine. In May, we were delighted to host a crew of local and imported talent who put together a fashion photo shoot on our beach. Anne and Jim and I helped with transportation and learned a lot. We really enjoyed getting to know the editor of the magazine and the group of photographers, stylists, make-up artists, directors, and photographers who were here. Dewees Island has an ad in the magazine, as well. The magazine’s art director used one of my photos, our new logo, and text compiled by communication committee members Anne and Christel, to produce this ad (scroll down for the big version):


Dewees Islanders celebrate July 4 in style

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I think my kids enjoy the Dewees July 4 traditions more than any other holiday out here on the island.  From decorating the golf cart to running in the beach run, to sand castles and watching fireworks low on the horizon, they love the whole celebration.  My favorite part is the multi-generational aspect of it all, greeting three generations of family friends, playing and laughing and celebrating.  This year, we tucked a creek float into the mix.  If you have any photos you want to share, please send them to me.  In the meanwhile, below is a slideshow of some that I took.  Because not all of your devices will show flash, they are here at smugmug (you can download, print, or order prints) and below in tiny size.

Featured Creature


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Back when we had the last big rain on the island, Ted and I wandered around dipping nets into huge puddles to see what we could find.  Among mosquito larvae and dragonfly larvae, we found eggs and tiny tadpoles.  The tadpoles were about as long as a peppercorn, including the tail.  We returned almost everything to the wetlands, but kept 8 tadpoles to raise.  It turned out we saved them… the wetlands dried up long before they became frogs.  While this is part of nature, we were still glad we saved a few.

They were in a fishtank on the kitchen counter, and we started calling them radioactive because they grew so fast.  I googled “raising tadpoles,” and found a suggestion that frozen spinach was a good safe food, so we tried it.  We used some kale from our farm share that I had frozen in May.  We never actually saw the tadpoles eat the greens, but each day we returned and the kale was gone and the tadpoles were bigger, so we decided we must be doing something right.  Next time, I will take a photo every day, because it was completely fascinating.  Based on the frogs we were hearing at night, we guessed they were squirrel treefrogs, but we weren’t sure.

In one month, our tiny tadpoles grew to be the size of about an edamame bean.  They were also at all different stages of development– one had even become a frog, and climbed out of the water.  As we geared up for school, we decided that it wasn’t fair to subject tadpoles (or me) to a splosh-filled ferry ride… and besides, the frogs belong on the island.  So we released them to the creek right across from Chapel Pond, where we know their brethren hang out.


Waterspouts and Rainbows

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Waterspout off Dewees Island
This year has certainly brought some interesting weather, from snow to hail to rainbows. Here are two pictures that Claudia caught this week from the beach. A waterspout made big news in NC this week, but this one managed to stay off our shore. Claudia caught the shot from her top deck. And then, she managed to get this great rainbow shot with the Palmettos in the foreground.

Island Living

Great Activity: Float from Lone Cedar to Big Bend

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We had a spur-of-the-moment creek float from Lone Cedar to Big Bend on Sunday.  We learned a few things, and we had a great time.  Below is a video about the day… I think I like swimming in the creek on the waterway side of the island even more than swimming in the ocean, and much more than swimming in the pool.
The hardest part of a creek float is getting out of the water.  Our strategy was to put our boat at the end, on the floating dock at Big Bend, and use our swim ladder to get on the boat, and then on the dock.  Next time, we will go much earlier in the tide cycle. (we went at almost slack tide, so the current wasn’t moving very fast…. we think we might like a faster ride.)  We can’t wait to do it again!

There is something different about floating with the tide down a lowcountry creek– the smell of the pluff mud, the sparkle of the sunshine in the green water, the laughter of friends, the splash off the dock. We had an impromptu gathering of island buddies for a leisurely amble on whatever floating devices we could find, starting at Lone Cedar, drifting to Big Bend, and climbing out the swim ladder on the boat to splash in again. We strapped a gopro camera to our heads to see if we could capture the sky and the marsh, the splashes and the fun. Rent or own on Dewees: call us at 843-882-5052.

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Turtle Hatchlings head for the sea

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It’s hatching season here on Dewees Island, and half of our nests have hatched.  Nests 1-5 have all sent their gifts of tiny turtles into the great blue yonder, as has our “surprise” nest 9, which was really the first nest of the season.  (We didn’t know about it until it hatched, and rather than renumber, we made it #9.)

turtle tracks

Nest 4 hatched last night; this morning when we walked looking for nests, we counted LOTS of tracks meandering toward the water.  In addition, at the inventory of nest 5 last night, we released several hatchlings that had gotten mired in the heavy wet sand.  They were delighted to get to the water! Click the link below to see a quick video about the hatchlings heading to the ocean.

Dewees Island Loggerhead Hatchlings from BluePixy on Vimeo.

These loggerhead hatchlings missed the moment when all their siblings headed for the ocean under cover of darkness. Eight of them made their way across the Dewees Island beach, entering the ocean and eventually figuring out that they had to duck UNDER the waves to make it to the sea.


July 4th Beach Race a fabulous turnout!

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July 4th weekend was a great example of the wonderful community fun we have on the island. We began the day before with Bubber’s beach run, and we had quite a record turnout!

lining up

This year, we owe a big thank you to the folks at The Extra Mile, who provided the race numbers as well as the way to measure who came in at which time.

Runners begin by checking in (and this year, everyone was on time, so we could finish the race in just one heat! Bravo!) The start was fired, and they were off! When the race was over, runners, spectators, and lazy photographers who used their camera as an excuse to only participate partway were all treated to a fabulous feast at Jan and Bubber’s.

Here’s a link to the pics on smugmug, where you can order your own copies.

Island Living

Dewees Island Theater

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We gathered a little late this year, to celebrate the summer solstice.  As dusk gently dropped, bellinis flowed and laughter ensued each time a new arrival climbed the steps to Jane and Carroll’s porch. Each successive guest, it seemed, was dressed even more surprisingly for a June party in South Carolina– sheiks, camelbags, a sheep, and was that Elvis?

There were folding chairs for the audience, but almost all of the guests at this party were members of the cast.  And I would wager that, just before the music started, each one was wondering to themselves, “how did I let Jane talk me into this?”  For this, our fourth or fifth summer solstice party, was the largest production yet.  We were launching a one-time-only staging of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.  Sure, we’ve done some performances (Romeo and Juliet/West Side Story, A Midsummer Nights Dream) before, but this one had rehearsals.  Several of them.  And surprise costumes… Bubber as Elvis, Artus as a Cowboy, Dave and Barbara as Potiphar and his wife, and a whole host of Egyptians, cheerleaders, chorus members and a sheep.

One audience member, expressing his support for those who were in the performance (I think), asked, “Where else on earth can you find a group of people with such varying degrees of talent willing to get up there and sing and act?”

It was truly a hilarious night– David led the men in a rousing Canaan Days, complete with french accent, Artus played his guitar and crooned a fabulous “So Long, Lil Joe,” Barb chased Reggie around the stage, Henry played his own calypso guitar, Carroll was the narrator, Jane played piano, Kathleen, Anne O, and Judy sang solos as well as a rousing bop-bop-doo-wadawada for Bubber’s Elvis solo.  Esther helped with props, everyone brought food, and there was some great entertainment for everyone.  Charlotte was filming, so keep an eye out for some sort of production there.  I have most of the photos I took up at smugmug, but here is a quick slideshow as well:

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