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Mister Bill's tower stand

We walked slowly along the embankment in the dark. The pond to our right was smooth and silky in the soft moonlight. The air was cool and clean. At the cotton field, we stopped. There was no detectable wind. We spoke softly then moved on. The … more

Every scar tells a story

He turned off the highway onto the big, wide, sandy road, looked over at me and said, "you can drive." I was 14 years old and more than ready. We changed places, and he talked me through the steps of operating a stick shift. The truck was an old … more

When to plant bulbs in the fall? Science, nature offer some clues

To ensure that bulbs planted in the fall will bloom in early spring, timing is important. Plant too soon, and the bulbs might rot in rain-saturated ground. Plant too late, and they won't have time to build enough energy for flowering. A soil … more

A Saturday at the club

I could hear someone speaking to my son Clayton, and when I turned around to look I was surprised to see Mister Thomas. I hadn't heard anyone drive up, and I just assumed it was someone that had walked over from one of the campers on the riverbank. … more

Young fisherman enjoys his catch for lunch, dinner

PHOTO PROVIDED Helms Horton, 7-year-old son of Scott and Leslie Horton, poses with his channel catfish caught at his grandparents' pond in Alcolu. He proudly ate his catch for lunch and dinner the next day. more

Young fishers bag 14 catfish at Lake Wateree

Rocky and Remy Cotterman caught 14 catfish at Lake Wateree recently while fishing with their grandpa. more

There will be other mountains to climb

"I've leased the land to someone else," she said. I was stunned. All I could think to say was "Why?" Her answer was also a surprise. "Well, I didn't think you wanted the land anymore." Before I could think, I blurted out, "What on earth … more

Fall's a great time to plant trees, shrubs

Fall is a good time to plant trees and shrubs - the best time, in fact, for most of them. Whether purchased through the mail or locally, these plants are available in three ways: BARE-ROOT "Bare-root" trees and shrubs are grown in the … more

'Fields of death' are on the decline across our state

I was driving back from a speaking event in Lake City, the town that reinvented itself thanks to art and the vision and financial support of Darla Moore. Lake City was a tobacco town once, but we all know why tobacco fell out of grace. Well, don't … more

A change of seasons

The whispering pines over my head and behind me sang a melody that I love to hear. There was a nice breeze that flowed from the west, with low white, wispy clouds scudding across the sky to the east with an imagined urgency. There was a veil of thin … more

False katydid enjoys warm weather in Sumter

A Fork-tailed Bush Katydid nymph, a type of false katydid, sits on a "Jazz Hands" bush in a Sumter yard on Wednesday evening. According to austinbug.com, these nymphs can often be seen feeding on flowers, and they have black and white antennae … more

Deer, elk harvested out of state must meet guidelines

South Carolinians planning out-of-state trips to hunt big game this fall should be aware of restrictions on importing deer and elk parts into the Palmetto State. The S.C. Department of Natural … more

Plants can be poisonous to pets, livestock

Not all plants are wholesome for foraging animals. Certain species of milkweed, for example, that are highly valued as host plants for the dwindling monarch butterfly population are extremely poisonous to pets and to range animals like sheep, … more

A new critter on the landscape

I saw one on a deer drive in the Lowcountry a few years ago. I was surprised because they are nocturnal and seldom venture out in the daylight hours. I've seen them south of Lake Marion for a few years - as roadkill. Lately, I've seen some killed on … more
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