Wednesday, July 19, 2017
The beauty and genius of a work of art may be reconceived, though its first material expression be destroyed; a vanished harmony may yet again inspire the composer; but when the last individual of a race of living beings breathes no more, another heaven and another earth must pass before such a one can be again.
William Beebe, The Bird, 1906
One of the benefits of spending a week in…
Tuesday, July 11, 2017
Last week the Lowcountry lost one of its greatest citizens and guardians. Steve Gates died Friday at his home on Wadmalaw Island. In a comparatively brief time in our community, he left an unparalleled legacy of generosity and service. I’m proud to say that Steve was a friend, but even more grateful that he decided to spend a good portion of his life in Charleston and the Lowcountry.
When Steve arrived nearly two decades ago,…
Wednesday, July 5, 2017
What a dramatic weekend it was – beautiful shifting clouds, stultifying heat and humidity interrupted unexpectedly by micro-bursts of cool air from threatening, but unrealized, thunderstorms. Although I occasionally envy our friends who annually migrate north, (human and otherwise), Lowcountry summers are incomparable and not to be missed.
Summers and winters on the coast will forever be better because of the efforts of Ken Seeger. As this article from the Post and Courier reports, Ken just retired…
Monday, June 26, 2017
It may be the lingering serenity of a great trip to France, but there seems to have been an abundance of good, or at least cautiously encouraging, news over the past two weeks. First, some impressions of our delightful, but all too limited, French experience.
France is not a small country. It’s about the size of Texas. But it doesn’t seem to suffer from the American affliction of bigness. The roads are small, except for…
Thursday, June 15, 2017
I received a lot of compliments on last week’s email condemning America’s withdrawal from the Paris climate accord. But my comments also spawned more complaints than usual. I’ll boil them down to three points: 1) I should have reported that, unlike Syria, Nicaragua refused to sign the accord because it failed to include binding emission reduction targets. (Actually, I don’t know why Syria didn’t sign. It could be that the country has its unclean…
Wednesday, June 7, 2017
Paree will still be laughing after every one of us disappears.
But never once forget, her laughter is the laughter that hides the tears.
And until you’ve lived a lot, and loved lot, and lost a lot,
You don’t know Paree, you don’t know Paree.
The news this week was all about Paris. Sadly, however, the world’s attention was not focused on the shimmering city of light, (the epithet refers to Paris’ intellectual leadership during the Enlightenment),…
Tuesday, May 30, 2017
There was good news and bad news for nature (and humans) this week, and a few open-ended items. First, the open-ended.
One of our board members emailed me two photographs of eggs washed up on the beach at Sullivan’s Island. He wondered what bird they belonged to and where they came from. Incisive analysis led me to conclude that they were pelican eggs (because they were three inches long and no other nesting seabird produces…
Tuesday, May 23, 2017
This week’s news summary features articles about stuff, and how we, as a society, are dealing with it.
In the first article from the Post and Courier, Bo Petersen reports on the imminent (May 27) opening of the South Carolina Aquarium’s turtle rehabilitation hospital, the Zucker Family Sea Turtle Recovery Center.
P&C: South Carolina Aquarium to open $5.3 million sea turtle clinic on Memorial Day
Bo explains that sea turtle rehab has evolved from a…
Tuesday, May 16, 2017
It started with a song.
Alice Morrisey moved to Sullivan’s Island in 1981, when she says the town was simply populated by retirees and aging hippies. A multi-family development project was proposed for the island, and Alice attended a public meeting with neighbors to watch others voice their opposition. Spontaneously, she stood up.
“I didn’t have anything to say, but I started singing ‘they paved…
Monday, May 15, 2017
This week we witnessed the next chapter in Google’s effort to withdraw 1.5 million gallons of groundwater a day from the Middendorf aquifer, one of the coast’s deep, ancient and threatened aquatic repositories. The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control approved a water plan, (despite assurances that they would entertain further discussion before proceeding), and thus set the stage for action on Google’s pending permit.
Mt. Pleasant Waterworks (and the Conservation League) have opposed…