Friday, August 31, 2007

Millipede or Centipede?

The metric system is still confusing to some.

"How can you tell a centipede from a millipede? Although similar in having many legs, centipedes and millipedes are vastly different organisms and only distantly related. They suffer from a dearth of knowledgeable specialists, both now and in the past, and from erroneous information that has been passed on by word of mouth." Centipedes and Millipedes with Emphasis on North America Fauna by Rowland M. Shelley

According to Mr. Shelley, if the animal has one pair or two legs (one on each side) per segment that are clearly visible on the sides of the body, if the last legs extend backwards behind the body, if it runs fast and bites or tries to bite, the animal is a centipede. However, if the animal has two pairs or four legs (two on each side) on most segments that do not extend, or extend very slightly beyond the sides of the body, if the last legs do not extend backwards behind the body, if it moves slowly and does not attempt to bite, the animal is a millipede.

The millipedes in the images belong to the order Polydesmida, which has about 28 families. As noted by Mr. Shelley above, this is an area that could use some research. Many people think of milipedes as having a much more rounded body than those shown in the images, which is why this order aquired the name "flat-back millipedes." Mr. Shelley notes that the species in this order are often highly colorful, with vivid red, orange, blue, and violet pigmentations in spotted or banded patterns.

This order has the most species and is only one with cyanide in defensive secretions. By the way, the two millipedes are not involved in a cyanide-laced struggle to the death...they're mating.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Mystery Orchid

Becky, a former seasonal naturalist at the Audubon Center at Francis Beidler Forest, came off the boardwalk with an image of a flower she wanted identified. Naturally, it was not a flower that is frequently seen and the combined knowledge of the staff could only narrow it down to the orchid family. Several field guides were checked, but no matches were found. The Internet may have plenty of dark, dangerous alleys, but it sure makes it easy to identify unknown specimens.

After referring to Richard Porcher's original flora survey of the Francis Beidler Forest, we began searching the Internet using Google's image search option. Entering Tipularia discolor in the search field brought up a large selection of images that matched the ones we took near #2 on the boardwalk. Our mystery orchid is the native Cranefly Orchid, which can be found from Texas to Michigan and east to the Atlantic Ocean.

Bonus points if you can identify the three-leaved plant in the background!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Let's Hear It For The Seeps!

Dr. Dan Tufford, Department of Biological Sciences at the University of South Carolina, has an interest in watershed ecology and water resources management. Along with Steve Bennett, herpetologist for SC Department of Natural Resources (SC DNR), they have been studying the hydrology and salamander communities for seeps at the Francis Beidler Forest and the Wannamaker Nature Preserve near St. Matthews. The boards in the image are placed and then revisited once salamanders and other fauna have sought shelter beneath them.

Seeps are small, poorly-understood wetlands that occur at the base of slopes, generally at the outer edge of a floodplain or stream corridor. They are supplied by groundwater flow from adjacent sloping land.

"There is a need to better understand the characteristics, functions, and landscape matrix within which seepage wetlands occur so that we can know their ecological roles, rather than infer them as is currently the situation. Filling the knowledge gap about these wetlands is particularly urgent at this time. The Coastal Plain is under increasingly intense development pressure. Although these wetlands may be ubiquitous in a particular landscape, individually they are frequently quite small and are perceived by many to be unimportant, and thus expendable. A lack of knowledge of the ecological and environmental roles of these wetlands makes it difficult to argue persuasively for their protection. "--Tufford, Nelson, Bennett (SC DNR), Harrison (CofC)

Today, Dr. Bud Badr, Chief of Hydrology; Dr. Bill Clendenin, State Geologist, and Dr. Ralph Willoughby, geologist, all from SC DNR, were present to visit the Beidler Forest seep sites and to hear a research proposal from Tufford and Bennett. The proposal calls for geologists to determine the geologic profile for the land around the seep and for hydrologists to create a model to determine the area around the seep necessary to maintain water flow within the seep. As noted in the paragraph above, a better understanding of "characteristics, functions, and landscape matrix within which seepage wetlands" is critical to understanding how to protect these specific wetlands.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


The new school year has begun, but it's not only students that are busy learning. An average of 300 teachers and aspiring teachers attend the semiannual Geofests hosted by the South Carolina Geographic Alliance (SCGA).

The fall Geofest is scheduled for September 8th at the Geography Department building (Callcott)on the University of South Carolina campus. A registration form can be found here. A small registration fee covers lunch, an armfull of posters, maps, lesson plans, and other materials, plus lesson and content presentations by teachers and university staff. This is an especially valuable opportunity for new teachers short on lessons, experience and professional contacts.

Mark Musselman, education director at the Audubon Center at the Francis Beidler Forest, will make a lesson presentation describing a unit of study on bird migration. The lesson incorporates art with students using decoupage to personalize the journals in which they will comment on various wildlife or editorial cartoons that they have seen or have created. Language arts are incorporated through research on birds and their habitats plus the numerous journal entries and responses. Data collected during the migration activity are used to bring mathematics into the lesson through charts, graphs, percentage change in populations along with migration distances measured using Google Earth. Geography is inescapably covered throughout. Besides having the opportunity to be scientist gathering data during the migration activity, students can help professional scientist gather data through observations at classroom bird feeders and during international efforts like the Great Backyard Bird Count (coming in Feb!).

Audubon's mission is to conserve and restore natural ecosystems, focusing on birds, other wildlife, and their habitats for the benefit of humanity and the earth's biological diversity. That is extremely difficult if the citizens of this country and the rest of the international community do not understand these various natural systems work and are connected.

Image from a presentation by Matthew Jeffries, Audubon International Alliances Program

Monday, August 27, 2007

Mystery Vine

Looking beyond the computer and out the window at the Audubon Center at the Francis Beidler Forest, we saw a White-eyed Vireo (Vireo griseus) eating a purple fruit hanging from a vine. As we could not identify the plant from the office, even with binoculars, we went outside for a closer inspection. On the way back, we collected the empty Hooded Warbler (Wilsonia citrina) nest (see blog) for use in our education program.

After removing a section of the vine and returning to the office, nobody on the crack staff could identify it from memory. We check Richard Porcher’s A Guide to the Wildflowers of South Carolina, but did not see anything like our vine. Next, we went to the Internet in search of a dichotomous key. A dichotomous key poses a question regarding the subject (plant, rock, bird, fish, etc.) that you are trying to identify. For example, "Are the leaves simple?" If yes, you might be sent to question #2. If no, you might be sent to question #20. There you will find another question with only two possible answers. Each answer will lead to another question until only one possible answer remains. That would be the identification of your subject.

In our case, we found our answer at the end of question #31 although we did not need to answer 31 questions. Our mystery vine is Yellow Passion-flower (Passiflora lutea), which is referenced in Porcher’s book but not pictured. According to Porcher "the common name comes from the resemblance of the floral parts to the story of Christ’s Passion; the styles resemble nails; the 5 stamens, the wounds Jesus received; the purplish corona [of the related Passiflora incarnata], the bloody crown; the 10 perianth parts, the 10 disciples (Peter and Judas being absent); the coiled tendrils, the whips for scourging; the pistil, the column where Christ was scourged; and the flower in the background of dull, green leaves represents Christ in the hands of His enemies. Interestingly, the flower’s life is generally three days."

Friday, August 24, 2007

Three-legged Box Turtle

Shellie is the resident three-legged Eastern Box Turtle (Terrapene carolina). Box turtles have the ability to pull in their head, legs and tail and using their hinged plastron (bottom portion of the shell) tightly secure themselves within their shell. Prior to arriving at the Audubon Center at the Francis Beidler Forest, Shellie apparently was unable to pull in his (yes, Shellie is a male) left rear leg and lost it to a predator. Predators of young turtles include racoons, dogs, foxes, cottommouths, copperheads, and rodents. However, once a box turtle has reached adult size, few can swallow it whole or break into the shell.

The age of a box turtle can be estimated by counting the rings of the scutes (sections) on the carapace (upper portion of the shell). Box turtles can easily live to 30 years and as reptiles they likely live longer than that. Shellie appears to be 10 years old.

Shellie eats a variety of fruits and vegetables, but his favorites foods are watermelon, blackberries, blueberries, tomatoes, and earthworms while taking a warm bath! Sections of the boardwalk have been covered in ripe Muscadine Grapes (Vitis rotundiflora), so we brought some in for Shellie as a side to his tomatoes. Through the glass, Jake the Greenish Rat Snake (Elaphe obsoleta x quadrivittata) intently watch the food delivery even as she (yes, Jake is a female) digested eight mice that she consumed over the last two days.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

More Blooms

While checking the water gauge at Mallard Lake, which is two miles downstream from the Audubon Center at the Francis Beidler Forest, we noticed a red flower blooming at the edge of the water. The Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis) is named for the bright red robes worn by cardinals in the Catholic Church. The flower's deep, narrow blossoms make it impossible for most insects to pollinate, so the Cardinal Flower depends on Ruby-throated Hummingbirds (Archilochus colubris) to complete that task. At one point the plant was used for medicinal purposes, but frequent deaths from overdoses has relegated this plant to poisonous status. Though possibly deadly, it is highly adaptable and will not die even in the over-watered pot of a black-thumbed gardener (Melanohallex phytocheirus).

While focusing on the blossom, objects in the background were blurred and appeared smaller than they actually were. The 8-foot alligator (blurry, light spot at the end of the blossom) was keeping an eye on us. In a matter of minutes, five smaller alligators had joined the first in a game of reptilian charades..."Icebergs! Over 90% are below the surface!" A Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) patiently patrolled the shore and fish slapping at the water's surface kept a steady beat.

Oh, yeah. After 30 minutes of enjoying nature...the water level was 3.04' and rising from last night's rain.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Bloomin' Weather!

Obviously, some living things like it this hot! Reports that the wiregrass (Aristida stricta) was blooming on the Audubon South Carolina land that was burned last December brought us out into the heat with the camera. Wiregrass has anything but a flashy flowers, which are tiny and close to the stalk. The fruit they produce is a yellowish grain. The flowering seedstalks are rare and occur ONLY after a fire. Last December's fire has produced over 30 acres of flowering wiregrass!

Finding a wiregrass plant to photograph required only a few steps from the air-conditioned truck. However, after a few quick shots of the wiregrass, we observed numerous other plants flowering within dropping distance should we faint from the near-record heat.

The purple blooms are Ironweed (Vernonia angustifolia), which is a member of the Aster or Sunflower family. The are common in the open, dry, sandy areas like the burned over Longleaf Pine (Pinus palustris) restoration tract. The large clusters of white flowers are Broad-leaved Eupatorium (Eupatorium rotundifolium), which is also a member of the Aster or Sunflower family commonly found in Longleaf Pine flatwoods or savannas. The yellow flowers are St. Peter's-wort (Hypericum stans), which is a member of the St. John's-wort family and another disciple of Longleaf Pine flatwoods or savannas.

Finally, the bright white flowers are Tread-softly (Cnidoscolus stimulosus), which is terrific advice in this weather. This member of the Spurge family prefers xeric landscapes such as the sandy, dry, open area that is characteristic of this tract of land. The root is reported to be an aphrodisiac, though the stinging hairs on the plant can inflict a painful rash. So how does that work? It's not bloomin' hot enough for us to find out.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Daniel Island River Sweep

Audubon South Carolina volunteers and Daniel Island, SC residents will be participating in the 19th annual Beach Sweep/River Sweep scheduled for Saturday, September 8th from 9 a.m. until 12:00 noon.

We’ll clean the shorelines of Daniel Island along the Wando River by the Children’s Park. Due to scheduling conflicts, we will be getting a week's headstart on thousands of people across the state when they participate in South Carolina’s largest one-day litter cleanup of beaches and waterways. Last year, nearly 5,000 South Carolinians helped remove 33.5 tons of litter and debris from our state’s rivers, swamps, beaches, lakes, marshes, and creeks!

Here are the highlights from the last year's Daniel Island cleanup:

  • 9/16/06, 9 am - 11 am
  • 46 people working (1 Audubon employee, 10 Daniel Island residents, 35 non-resident Charleston County School of the Arts parents, students or staff)
  • 75 trash bags
  • approx. 800 lbs of trash (including 2 truck tires, landscaping mesh, paint buckets, railroad rails, man-size buoy)
  • the vast majority of the litter consisted of beverage containers followed closely by food containers and utensils
  • 2.0 hrs of work to clean 0.5 mile along the Wando River edge of Daniel Island (most of this was City of Charleston Parks Department property)
  • trash was divided into recyclable and non-recyclable piles and removed to the appropriate facility by the City of Charleston

All participants should meet at the Children’s Park on River Landing Dr. at 9:00 a.m.

An Audubon South Carolina staff member will be at the site to provide directions, trash bags and water. Participants should bring work gloves and be prepared to get their feet wet and muddy. Sturdy, closed-toe shoes are recommended along with sunscreen, hats, and insect repellent.

The statewide event is organized by the S.C. Sea Grant Consortium and S.C. Department of Natural Resources. Beach Sweep River Sweep is held in conjunction with The Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup. The 2006 results for this site can be found (line 32) here and images can be found here.

If you would like to participate at this site or need further information, including maps and directions, please contact: Mark Musselman at Audubon South Carolina (843) 462-2150,

Friday, August 17, 2007

Swamp Parasites

Today's topic became clear as the staff dashed once again from the parking area to the nature center in order to minimize their exposure to the biting flies that have persisted well beyond their anticipated departure date.

The flies (deer, horse, and yellow) are from the family Tabanidae. The males are easily identified because their eyes are connected while the eyes of the females are widely separated. However, after smashing the fly between the palm and scalp in response to a painful bite, it is difficult to ascertain if the eyes were originally connected. It will undoubtedly be a female, because as with mosiquotes, it is only the females that bite humans and other animals.

The flies are ambush predators. They lie in wait in shady area until they perceive a meal passing by. Darker clothing in motion appears to be the most attractive to the flies. Using their scissor-like mandibles, they can inflict a wound deep enough to cause bleeding. They also add an anti-coagulant to keep the blood flowing. A group of 20-30 flies feeding on a cow for six hours can remove 100 cc of blood! Beef cattle can lose substantial weight and dairy cattle milk production can be dimished. Audubon staff members can receive concusions when swatting at their tormentors while carrying briefcases or coffee mugs! DEET is an effective repellent as is the personalized fly trap. Don't wear this on a first date.

Other swamp parasites include the mosquito and a leech specializing in turtles (see images).

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Habitat Loss

While carpooling to work over the last year, we've notice the incredible growth around Summerville and its unceasing march toward Cypress Swamp (headwaters of the Ashley River). Ridgeville is all that stands between Cypress Swamp and Four Holes Swamp, which is home to the Audubon Center at the Francis Beidler Forest.

The reported slowdown in the housing market may be a factor in the acres of land cleared off of Old Orangeburg Road with but three partially-completed homes upon it. The land, however, is already a moonscape. Down the road, land continues to be cleared.

Habitat loss is a major threat to species of all sorts, but especially birds. Not only do birds have specific habitat requirements for breeding and foraging, many travel vast distances between their wintering grounds and their breeding grounds. These long-distance travelers need habitat along the migration route to rest and replenish their energy. Flying over South Carolina, Four Holes Swamp looks like a giant, green vascular network drawing life-giving water into the spectacularly-diverse swamp habitat. The swamp calls for birds to stop, rest, or set up home. Many do, but the land around the swamp is becoming less and less green.

While preparing a lesson for the upcoming South Carolina Geographic Alliance Geofest teacher workshop, I came upon this editorial cartoon by Bruce Beattie of the Daytona Beach News and Journal. I think the birds would be the first to ask, "Do you really need that many within 10 miles? Do you really need a new Eckerd across from the new Walgreens? Is that an effective use of natural space?"

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Storks & Corks 2007

The 4th annual Storks & Corks event at Silver Bluff Audubon Center & Sanctuary drew plenty of storks and stork-watchers.

The fundraising event, held August 11, featured over 200 wading birds in the ponds at Silver Bluff, and watchers took advantage of numerous spotting scopes, long-lens cameras, and binoculars to focus on these magnificent birds. A fortunate break in the searing heat provided pleasant summer conditions for the birds and for the viewing.

Afterwards, stork-watchers retired to the visitor center to pop the corks on four varieties of wine (all with bird labels, of course), while bidding on an exquisite selection of Wood Stork and other bird photographs. A fun time was had by all, and proceeds from the event are returned back to Audubon South Carolina’s efforts to protect the endangered Wood Stork.

Text by Paul Koehler, images by Jeff Mollenhauer

Kiwanis of Moncks Corner

Mark Musselman, education director at the Audubon Center at Francis Beidler Forest, presented maps and images of Beidler Forest at this morning's Kiwanis of Moncks Corner meeting. Feel free to contact the staff if your group or organization is interested in a presentation at your location or a guided program here in the swamp! We'll head right over!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Family Visit

On their way to a military assignment in Italy, Mike and Carla Anderson stopped by to see the boardwalk interpretive signs donated in memory of Mike's late grandparents, Lloyd and Margaret Cone.

Lloyd grew up in the swamp. Before his death, he graciously shared many of his stories with the staff of the Francis Beidler Forest.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Patient Spider

This morning, the view out of the office window at the Audubon Center at Francis Beidler Forest was slightly obscured by the overnight arrival of a Black-and-yellow Argiope (Argiope aurantia).

Except for the characteristic "writing" in the middle of the web, the deadly silk is nearly invisible. The zig-zag webbing is called a stabilimenta, because it was originally believe to aid in stabilizing the web. There are several hypotheses regarding the purpose of the stabilimenta, but the strongest appears to be that the highly visible threads prevent birds from flying through and destroying the web. Also, only diurnal (in the day) spiders add the stabilimenta to their webs.

This Black-and-yellow Argiope is quite patient. During a day of observation on her web just beyond the computer screen, she has moved exacty twice. Once to pounce on and quickly devour a tiny flying insect and once to pounce on, wrap up, and slowly drain a medium-sized fly. The rest of the day has been spent as seen in the image. Patiently waiting for the next meal to fly through what likely appears to be an opening in the forest though, the web and clean glass would demonstrate otherwise.

She needs to be careful. There are plently of tube-building Mud Daubers in the area and they can easily take the spider as food for young when they hatch. If fact, one JUST attacked but found itself on the wrong side of the web. The argiope is located between the web and the window. Her location on the web appears to have been a life-saving decision!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

American Redstart

The action never ceases outside the office window at the Audubon Center at the Francis Beidler Forest. However, today was a first for the year. An American Redstart (Setophaga ruticilla) with yellow feathers was spotted foraging quickly for insects in the nearby trees. They fan their tail to flush the insects and often catch the prey in flight. It could have been a female or a first-year male, but it departed before a positive identification could be made.

This is the second earliest first-sighting of a fall migrating American Redstart here at Beidler Forest. This bird is on its way to Central American, the Caribbean, or northern South America. It will need plenty of food for the trip. We hope it likes its food hot, because it is pushing 100F today!

Child Killed in Snake Shooting

As noted in The Post and Courier excerpt from yesterday's paper (see image), a 5-year-old child was killed in Oklahoma after a police officer shot at a snake in a tree.

This is a tragedy for many reasons. First and foremost, a young child is gone and the loss will weigh heavily on both the family and the police officer. Second, the accident was avoidable, since the snake in a tree was not an immediate danger to anyone. There was time to call animal control and have the snake safely removed if nearby residents insisted. Third, a snake in a tree in Oklahoma was not likely a venomous snake and therefore would not be a danger, immediate or otherwise, to humans. Fourth, even the most basic hunter/gun safety class points out that one must account for individuals or property down range from the target.

Snakes perform a vital role in ecosystems around the world. In the United States, an individual has a 1:10 million chance of dying from a snakebite. The vast majority of these bites are diamondback rattlesnakes with the vast majority of those being the western variety. Neither variety are likely to be up in a tree and neither are likely to bite unless provoked.

The King, the Mice and the Cheese by Nancy Gurney and Eric Gurney points out the folly and unintended consequences of removing an unwanted species from the the environment. In the story the king wanted the mice removed since they were eating his cheese. He had cats chase away all the mice, but then was unhappy with the behavior of the cats. The king had dogs chase away the cats, but then found the multitude of dogs to be an issue. After elephants called to remove the dogs began to destroy the palace, the king invited the mice to return to remove the elephants(because we all know how elephants hate mice) . The king and the mice then agreed to coexist.

Venomous snakes are certainly a danger to unwary pets and small children and should be safely removed from the area. However, every snake is not a danger warranting extermination!

Monday, August 06, 2007

Too Hot For Snakes!

If you believe Hollywood, besides logging frequent-flyer miles, snakes occupy every crevice in the swamp! Can you spot at least one snake in the image that is not on the sign? We'll wait...still waiting...some more waiting. No? Well, we can't see any snakes either. That's because it is Too Hot For Snakes...not to be confused with the albums of the same name.

Reptiles are ectotherms, which means they cannot maintain sufficiently-warm internal temperatures and must rely on the surrounding environmental conditions to raise their body temperature. We often think of reptiles as needing to warm themselves when it is too cool, but we seldom think of reptiles needing to cool themselves when it is too hot. With temperatures pushing 100F away from the coast, today is indeed too hot for snakes.

While walking around the 1.75-mile boardwalk, not a single snake was spotted. This does not mean that they have evacuated the swamp. The snakes are surely there though simply out of sight in the cool recesses under logs or in the many hollow trees. Although Hollywood exaggerates the size of the reptilian population in the swamp, now would be a great time to visit if you prefer to see you swamp sans snakes!

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Litter Trashes Everyone!

Four Holes Swamp is a wonderously beautiful place. Within Four Holes Swamp, the Francis Beidler Forest is literally a place unlike any in the world. Its 1800 acres of old-growth forest have NEVER been cut. It is part of the mission of Audubon South Carolina to ensure the protection of both. Therefore, while checking our water level gauge, it was discouraging to see the disrespectful way some in our state treat this place and our other natural areas.

The litter shown in the images is but a sample of the human garbage strewn along the banks from Bridge Lake at the US Hwy 78 crossing to the swamp's terminus at the Edisto River upstream from Givhans Ferry State Park. In the swamp, the majority of the litter appears to be generated by those who have come to the swamp to enjoy the peace and solitude one finds when connecting with nature through fishing. And yet, they repay the resource for the pleasurable experience by leaving their worm tubs, fishing line, beverage containers, food wrappers, and cigarette debris.

The natural resources in our state belong to us all and we should all be offended by the poor treatment some citizens inflict upon us. Us because, as students learn when they visit the Francis Beidler Forest, the litter is visually offensive to visitors and residents alike and because litter in the swamp seldom remains in one place. High water will eventually take it downstream to the Edisto River, into the ACE Basin and out into the Atlantic Ocean to be washed upon the shores of community beaches and high-priced real estate.

Litter Trashes Everyone!

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Golden Silk Orbweaver

If you haven't noticed them up to this point, the female Golden Silk Orbweaver's (Nephila clavipes) ever-increasing size is now difficult to miss! The male, at 1/4 the size, is still easily unnoticed (see image of pair).

The Golden Silk Orbweaver is a tropical to subtropical species and likely cannot survive cooler winters beyond the warm, humid states in our area. The female contructs her web out of a thick, yellow silk that feels like a face full of cotton candy when one walks unwaringly through the woods. The spider dines on flying insects that become caught in the web, which is repaired each day with half of the web being completely replaced.

Although the Golden Silk Orbweaver is sometimes referred to as a "banana spider," it should not be confused with the highly-venomous Brazilian Wandering Spider (Phoneutria fera), which also carries the moniker "banana spider." Unless they've stowed away on a banana bunch, the Brazilian spider would not be found in our area.

Spiders, love them or hate them, they eat plenty of insects!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Geocaching Travel Bugs

Four geocaching travel bugs were activated at the Audubon Center at the Francis Beidler Forest. A variety of educational activities will be designed around the travels of the Audubon Food Chain.

Geocaching is an outdoor adventure activity for Global Positioning System (GPS) users. Individuals and organizations set up caches all over the world and post the cache locations on the Internet. Geocachers use the latitude/longitude coordinates that are provided to find the caches. Discovering a cache may provide the visitor with a wide variety of rewards from small trinkets to spectacular views off the path beaten by tourists.

The travel bugs will each follow their own randomly selected path as determined by the geocachers that move the bug from one cache to another. As a group, the travel bugs form a simple food chain (Butterfly => Frog => Snake => Hawk) with the arrows showing the direction the energy flows as one organism is eaten by another. The travel bugs will be released some distance apart to allow the prey an opportunity to avoid the predators. As they travel, hopefully, the bugs will highlight the need to protect habitat so that food chains and the more complex food webs are not distrupted with the loss of member species.

The closest cache to the Francis Beidler Forest is For the Birds near the main gate. Do you know where the best playground is in Summerville? Hint: It's near the Plantation Cache and you would never accidentally drive by it. How well did you pay attention in Language Arts? Test yourself with Southern Lit Primer! Did you know this path existed? Hidden Charleston: Gateway Walk. How about a game of battleship in Charleston Under Seige!?

Who ever said that exercise and education couldn't be fun?