It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

I know the phrase is usually held for Christmas, but you just can’t help thinking that this phrase was meant for the beginning of spring in South Carolina! With the yellow jessamine (Gelsemium sempervirens) blooming from the trees, alongside theOconee Bell at Devils Fork dogwoods, it’s nature’s way of telling us, it's time to come out and play!

This year, spring just couldn’t wait and arrived a little early.  Apparently, Mother Nature does not use the Gregorian calendar!
Spring is a time for renewal and growth.  From the coast to the mountains the longer days are accompanied with wonders that you will not want to miss. Early signs of spring are the arrival of the Shortia galacifolia, commonly known as the Oconee Bell.  It is one of the rarest wildflowers in the US that shows off each year at Devils Fork State Park along the trail bearing the same name. Once the “Bells” announce spring is here, a host of wildflowers seem to materialize from their winter slumber to provide accents to the trails and forest of your state parks.

Wildflowers are not the only things blooming in the spring.  The trees do their share of brightening up a forest and shouting that spring is here.  All of these signs from nature tell us that it’s time for us to shed the jackets and head to the parks, whereKayaking on the Edisto at Colleton adventure, beauty and new memories await.

This spring there’s lots to do.  How about a Park Palooza at Myrtle Beach State Park, or Living History Day at Musgrove Mill State Historic Site. At the center of spring is Easter one of the most popular weekends of the year in state parks.  Be sure to attend one of the many events taking place Easter weekend, from sunrise services to egg hunts.

Take a cue from nature. It’s time to brighten things up.  Time for renewal and to re-charge the batteries. It’s time to get outside and make some memories. The pollen will soon be gone and there will be no excuses! 

I missed the Oconee Bells last year, and they are first on my list this spring.  Make sure to check out the dogwoods at Little Pee Dee State Park, yellow jessamine at Santee, azaleas at Charles Towne Landing, wildflowers on a trail at Table Rock and of course a campfire and some star gazing. This year I want to hike the Kings Mountain/Crowder’s Mountain Connector, and hike to Rainbow Falls.  I plan to kayak the Edisto between Colleton and Givhans Ferry and see the sunrise on the coast. Looks Like I’ve got to get busy!

About that early spring;  I’m not complaining for with spring’s early arrival brings warmer temperatures, beautiful wildflowers and tree blossoms. it also brings great opportunities to explore and enjoy your state parks.  It looks like I’m going to need those few extra weeks this year!

See you in the parks,
Phil