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Walking the Boardwalk at the Beidler Forest

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On our visit to the Beidler Forest manager Matt Johnson spotted five snakes – three water moccasins and two banded water snakes. To distinguish between them, see if the eyeball is round and therefore a non-venomous water snake rather than the moccasins’ slit-eyed pupil. But that means using binoculars or getting too close for safety!

Of course, at Beidler you can enjoy spotting snakes without worrying as you are walking on a mile and a three-quarter quarter length boardwalk that shows very different mini ecosystems of the overall flooded forest, some areas had more tupelo and cypress trees, in other slightly drier areas lots of ground palmettos flourished. Other pockets had swamp elm and pumpkin ash, the woody shrub Virginia sweetspire which was in full beautiful bloom, and on fallen logs where sunlight reached and soil accumulated, grasses, sedges, and even some yellow wildflowers.

Amanda McNulty is a Clemson University Extension Horticulture agent and the host of South Carolina ETV’s Making It Grow! gardening program. She studied horticulture at Clemson University as a non-traditional student. “I’m so fortunate that my early attempts at getting a degree got side tracked as I’m a lot better at getting dirty in the garden than practicing diplomacy!” McNulty also studied at South Carolina State University and earned a graduate degree in teaching there.