“Our spring has come at last with the soft laughter of April suns and shadow of April showers.”
— Byron Caldwell Smith
Without a doubt, spring is a glorious time of year to pursue outdoor passions. Nature enthusiasts come in all flavors — from the dedicated gardener, to the athlete, to the hunter — and this issue has a little something for them all.
We are often guilty of forgetting about the treasures lying close at hand, and the Congaree National Park, in our own backyard, is certainly one of them. Whet your appetite for visiting this woodland wonderland of virgin cypress, tupelo, and pine this spring through our feature on page 62. Plan an excursion to enjoy the lime green of new April foliage as you meander the boardwalk over the swampy morass and explore the many miles of trails through the woods and along the riverbanks. And don’t miss our “Et Cetera” piece on the synchronous fireflies on page 120, a truly spectacular phenomenon that we are lucky enough to look forward to each May.
Tom Ryan offers a nostalgic picture of tranquility on page 28 where he explores his love of canoes, kayaks, fishing, and most importantly, paddles. Turkey hunting may seem like a similarly tranquil pastime, as the hunter literally tries to become one with nature … but as any avid hunter knows, engaging in a game of live chess with a wild turkey can unleash the body’s full stores of adrenaline.
For me, the deep, rattling gobble of an approaching tom sends an exhilarating shock up my spine every time.But the game all starts with a good turkey call, and for John Tanner, a worthy call is a lot more than how it sounds. The turkey hunting novice and experienced enthusiast alike will enjoy learning on page 68 more about the works of art that he crafts for the moment leading up to the ultimate checkmate — that of either a harvested turkey or a busted, befooled hunter.
For those pursuing adrenaline of a different sort, explore the Palmetto Baseball League on page 32 and the exciting level of play and sportsmanship that young boys are exposed to through this wonderful organization in our community. Lastly, for those seeking the refuge and oasis of your gardens this spring, turn to Jim Kibler’s article on page 98 to incorporate true South Carolina heirlooms into your vegetable plot this year and to Amanda McNulty’s insightful piece on growing lilies on page 92.
Wherever your passions lead, I hope you are able to enjoy some fresh air this spring!