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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I found the yellow rat snake pictured below while walking to the ferry from the golf cart parking area. The person next to me nearly jumped out of her skin (She shall remain nameless to safeguard her dignity. No, it wasn’t Judy, she loves snakes). Most of the snakes on Dewees are very helpful to humans. They get rid of rats! and mice.

It’s amazing to me that rat snakes can climb trees, pilings and other vertical surfaces.

Yellow Rat Snake

Yellow Rat Snake

Tomorrow, a salute from the shore will be filmed again… we will head to Ancient Dunes Walk after the golf cart parade and ice cream to participate in this.  Helicopters will start filming at noon.  Let’s show them some Dewees support!  And this time, they will be F-16 Vipers!  According to salutefromtheshore.org,

Tomorrow at 1:00 pm, FOUR F-16 “Vipers”  from the 77th Fighter Squadron “The Gamblers” of the 20th Fighter Wing based at Shaw AFB will fly over the entire South Carolina coast.  We will capture as much footage of the flyover as possible from the air and from the ground for inclusion in a video that will be posted for all to see.

WHEN IS THE SALUTE FROM THE SHORE ? The Flyover starts July 4th at 1:00 PM.

WHERE IS THE SALUTE? The Salute will be visible from every beach in South Carolina. It will start at the NC state line at 1:00 and fly south, ending at Hilton Head Island at 1:20. However, be sure to arrive early to prepare your Salute so we can capture you on video from the Air! Helicopters will be filming certain areas starting as early as noon.

The VFW post on Isle of Palms will also feature a videographer on the ground who will video “Salutes.”

Got to the “How to Salute” page on our website for details on how to Salute from the Shore!

Remember, this is all about honoring our armed forces, and we want them to hear from you and see pictures and video of YOUR Salute to our armed forces on Independence Day.

Don’t you just wish you could arrive on the island and, by some magic, arrive to a house stocked with the first night’s meal, breakfast, and lunch?  That way, you could settle in to the island, arriving on the first ferry you could catch?

Well, NOW YOU CAN!!!

Call Becky at 843-628-9755

Introducing Becky’s grocery delivery.  Becky, a long-time member of our island community, is willing to stock your kitchen with some basics for you.  The prices include delivery, and you can arrange for things you don’t see listed– just ask her!

Dewees Island Food Delivery for Weekly Rentals –

Package A:  Conventional Option:  $80 Organic Option:  $90

1 dozen Eggland’s Best eggs

1 loaf Pepperidge Farm bread*

12 oz HT Traders Ground Coffee

Land O Lakes Butter – Spreadable w/ Canola Oil**

1 qt Land O Lakes Half & Half

16 oz container Assorted Precut Fruit (Add $3 for 32oz container) ***

½ Gallon Milk (add $1.50 for 1 gal and 2.50 for 1 gal Organic)

½ Gallon Simply Orange Original, Pulp Free Orange Juice****

Package B:  Conventional Option:  $140 

Same as above with the addition of:

6 ct Lender’s Pre-sliced “Bagel Shop” Bagels:  Plain or Blueberry   

Philadelphia Plain or Garden Vegetable Cream Cheese Spread (Reduced Fat Options Available)

1 lb Boars Head Deli Sliced choice of Honey Maple Turkey, Black Forest Ham or Roast Beef (add $3)

½ lb Boars Head Deli Sliced choice of Vermont Yellow Cheddar, Baby Swiss or White American

16 oz pkg Cape Cod Potato Chips of Choice or Rold Gold Tiny Twists Pretzels

10oz Sabra Classic or Roasted Red Pepper Hummus and Stacy’s Multigrain or Simply Naked Pita Chips

Peter Pan Peanut Butter

5 lb bag Red Delicious or Gala Apples

Smucker’s Grape or Strawberry Jelly

12 pack Coke or Diet Coke

Package B:  Natural / Organic Option:  $150

Same as Package A “Organic Option” with the addition of:

Harris Teeter Naturals Organic Plain or Ancient Grain Bagels

Organic Valley Plain Cream Cheese

7 oz Applegate Farms Pre-sliced Organic Roasted Turkey Breast or Organic Uncured Ham (add $7 per addl pkg)

14 oz pkg Harris Teeter Organic Blue or White Tortilla Chips

5 lb Organic Red Delicious or Gala Apples

Harris Teeter Naturals Organic Peanut Butter

Harris Teeter Naturals Organic Grape or Strawberry Jelly

The following items are all natural but not organic:

Mrs. Renfro’s All Natural Mango Habanero Med. Salsa or Wholly Guacamole All Natural Guacamole

12 Pack La Croix Natural Lime, Cran-Raspberry or Original

Package C:  $195

Same as Conventional Package “B” with the addition of:

Small Vegetable Tray (Large Tray add $7)

6 oz can Planters Mixed Nuts

1 DiGiorno Rising Crust Four Cheese or Pepperoni Pizza

2 Bottles Rayun (Rapel Valley, Chile) Choice of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah, Cabernet or Merlot

12 pack Bud Light, Michelob Ultra, Heineken or Yeungling Bottled Beer

*Sourdough, Whole Wheat or Multigrain.  Organic Option:  20oz La Brea Organic Wheat Loaf or 16oz Harris Teeter Naturals Organic Wholegrain Bread.

**Organic Option:  16 oz Harris Teeter Naturals Organic Salted or Unsalted

** *Pre-sliced organic fruit not available.  Organic whole fruit options vary in price and by season. Please inquire.

*** *Organic orange juice not available.

Special Requests / Additional Items priced accordingly.   

The beach north of Osprey Walk has been accreting for more than a year. The changes are most pronounced in the area about 200 yards north of the walkway where the sandbar welded onto the front beach. A significant number of plants, especially grasses, have grown in the area of accretion. Eventually this should lead to the development of new dunes.

Sand has also started building up at Osprey Walk and in the golf cart parking lot at the walk. The new sand is soft and carts were starting to get stuck. The POA staff put down a layer of mulch, but the area still wasn’t hard enough to support carts. The staff came up with the innovative idea of using portable boardwalks. This solution has worked quite well. Golf carts can drive reasonably well in the parking area, even though there hasn’t been much rain.

The only issue now is that the entry onto the walkway is getting buried by blowing sand. Most people are stepping onto the side of the boardwalk in an attempt to avoid the soft sand. If the dune continues to build, the POA may eventually change the configuration of the walkway.

Osprey Walk July 1 2011

Last week, there was a hold-up on Old House Lane, as an odd traffic jam of bicycles, heavy equipment, and golf carts carefully maneuvered around a female Eastern Diamondback Terrapin as she attempted to find a suitable place to lay eggs.

Turns out we are not alone.  Ginny alerted us to the fact that National News outlets reported that yesterday a large number of terrapin (reported numbers range from 150 – 200) crossed a runway at Kennedy airport, snarling air traffic.  According to the Wall Street Journal,

At first, workers tried to remove the reptiles one by one between takeoffs. Pilots and air-traffic controllers at times struggled to suppress laughter as they radioed back and forth about the incursion, according to a recording of transmissions that was posted on liveATC.net.

The turtle news broke on Twitter Wednesday morning, when JetBlue Airways posted a message on the incident. When users asked why this caused delays, the airline said: “Running over turtles is not healthy for them nor is it good for our tires.”

Kennedy Airport is adjacent to Jamaica Bay wildlife refuge, and the turtles were heading from a marsh to lay eggs on a sandy beach on the other side of the runway.  Eventually the runway was shut down and the turtles were transported by pick-up truck to their preferred nesting destination.  The New York Post’s article, amusingly titled Yo, get the ‘shell’out of the way!, found some humor in the situation,

“We got a couple turtles storming the access road here off our right,” the pilot of JetBlue 102 said at 9:05 a.m. “Can we really use the word storming about a turtle?” another pilot chimed in.

CNN titled their report, Mating Turtles Shut Down Runway, but I am guessing there is a biological error here.  Terrapin nest in the sand, but mate in the water, and mating likely took place weeks ago in the water.  The video is worth watching, because there are actual photos of the turtles on the tarmac.

We took a video of the one we were watching, who never did find a suitable spot that day, but you can see how she digs and searches for a suitable spot.  We followed her for an hour; you can see the highlights in under a minute.

Dewees Island has been the site of other terrapin projects:  We headstarted some in our nature center and released them, we tied up traffic watching them hatch, and we have monitored nests.

Last weekend, island community members and guests were invited a spectacular inaugural event for the newly formed Dewees Island Conservancy.  The event was a sunset cocktail party at the Moser’s home on Saturday, June 18th.

Huge Kudos to Ginny and Art!  The smoky haze lent an air of mystery, the wineglasses sparkled in the evening air, and the hosts put on an amazing spread:

gazpacho…pickled shrimp in pineapple boats…Moroccan chicken skewers…marinated smoked salmon…savory cheesecake…piquillo crab dip…array of cheeses, crackers, fruits, dips, spreads and crudites, feta stuffed cherry tomatoes, sweet grilled pineapple, grapes & plums with honey yogurt sauce, lemon bars,ChocoVine, cocktails, wine, and a peaceful inlet sunset view.


Conservancy Board Chair Diane Kliros recognized Craig Watson from US Fish and Wildlife, and Joy Brown from the Nature Conservancy, both of whom are valuable and instrumental partners in the formation of the conservancy and issues of wetlands and habitat reconstruction.  A couple from the community donated $10,000 and issued a challenge to the community– if 5 more people each donate $10,000 or more before the end of 2011, the donor will add an additional $10,000.  The event raised somewhere around $40,000 so far.

Send your tax-deductible donations to Jim Anderson, Treasurer, Dewees Island Conservancy, Box 33, 295 Dewees Inlet, Dewees Island, SC 29451.  You can also use on-island mail.

The mission of the Conservancy is:

To further and protect the purposes and intent of the conservation easement held by the State of South Carolina over the land and inland waters comprising Dewees Island, prohibiting or limiting activities detrimental to drainage, flood control, water conservation, erosion control or soil conservation, or fish and wildlife habitat preservation and along with any other acts or uses which are incompatible with the preservation and maintenance or the island in its natural state, and to support public interest in protection of the areas encompassed by that conservation easement (the “conservation area”) and the waters surrounding those areas.  This includes conserving the natural resources of the conservation area, including the marshes and all areas lying between Dewees Inlet, the Atlantic Ocean, Capers Inlet and Bullyard Sound, including all of the property and marshes, as well as the creeks, streams, and bars lying within such area and bounded as aforesaid, seeking within the such area to conserve the land, water, beaches, marshland, woodland and open spaces, and the native plant and animal life therein; to protect the air and waters surrounding the area against pollution; and to maintain and preserve the unique scenic vistas of this region.