Night Hike at Santee State Park

During the first night hike, Mr. Green found a great example of what slithers through the woods, or, as in this case lies too cold to move. Dave is shown showing off his find to any who wanted a “hands on” experience with the creatures of this region.

Mr. Green led us  on two separate night hikes. Being that he had previously worked at the park he had many stories to tell along the way. The hikes were a welcomed addition to the itinerary and a worthwhile experience. The South Carolina moon was full as we followed the trail. We called for Owls, listened and looked for more small eyes straying
back at us from the foliage, and discussed different aspects of work in the Department of Natural Resources.

On the second hike the group was much smaller, only three of us went. Mr. Green was still our guide as we attempted the bike trail which circled Lake Marion, a man-made lake mostly for use in recreation. The crisp air and nearly silent woods were broken up along the way by rustlings of brush and our own conversations. We walked until the sounds of civilization crept into our journey about 2.5 miles in, we had made it about half way through; not bad for a spur of the moment midnight hike that will be remembered
for the rest of my life!

Angel Tree, The longest Living Oak in South Carolina


 Visiting the Angel Oak was an impressively humbling experience. The Oak (Quercus Vrginiane) stands a towering 65 feet tall has a circumference of 25.5 feet and shades an area of 17,000 sq. ft. This 400 year old tree has impressive numbers, but it’s not until you stand underneath its canopy and navigate the twisted spiders of its limbs that you feel her weight and resilience. Admitting I had to stop and attempt to draw this angel before me, even at many hundreds of yards away the full extent fell off the paper, and at my vantage point I was also in perfect line to capture my fellow tree hugging friends circling the tree and playing under its branches.

CSE Group members circling Angel Oak


Seeing this long-standing example of life sustaining against the odds has a certain breathtaking presence all of its own, but adding in that this particular region of South Carolina is prone to fire and hurricane commands respect of the oak’s winning within nature.