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Stokes: A primer for readers just passing through our neck of the woods

One of the advantages of writing this column is having the privilege of communicating with readers. Comments are welcome and often serve as a reminder that I don't know half as much as I think and maybe even less than I thought.

For the faithful followers, I extend my appreciation. For new readers of these ramblings, bear with me. This column is about the outdoors, including those areas that may hang around the fringe.

I truly have the best of both worlds as a participant and a scribe. I write because I enjoy doing so, and you are the reason I am here.

Often a reader indicates a preference, which I try to accommodate. If you have a request send an e-mail to, I will be happy to oblige.

Remember, the only rule that is constant is that everything is different. Let's share the experience. We are only limited by the boundaries we set for ourselves.


Since a good many visitors from north of the Mason-Dixon mark our fair community during their travels, we should make them aware of a few things they may encounter.

Allow me to elaborate.

  • We have four seasons in the Lowcountry -- not quite summer, almost summer, still Summer and construction. Please bear with us. We will try to make your visit as comfortable as possible.
  • During your visit, there are a number of festivals which may interest you. The themes of the festivals are representative of the community in which they are held.
  • Most are named after a fruit, insect, chain of events, particular shellfish or animal. Be wary of those you choose to attend, you may be asked to participate.

  • There are more than 5,100 types of snakes on earth. Some believe many reside here in the Lowcountry. I haven't counted them as I my prefer to stay closer to the long end of the hoe. Most prefer not to be disturbed, try not to do so.
  • We have alligators, some big, some not so big. The small ones can't be trusted and big ones are given a wide berth. Please do not feed, harass or be a nuisance, and they will let you take all the photos you want, from a distance.
  • We have illegal aliens among us -- wildlife that has crossed the border. One troublesome varmint is the armadillo. This swift footed, iron clad, throwback to another generation has caused a bit of havoc. Please do not entertain them. We hope they will continue their march and be gone.
  • Our insects are like those in other regions, with one exception: They have teeth and are called No-See-Ums. But don't let their cloak deceive you, they bite hard, deep and forever. Keep as many as you want and take them with you. We have enough to share.
  • We also use a bit of slang you need to be familiar with to move more easily among us. We use the word y'all which means you, both of you or everyone. The plural of y'all is all of y'all.
  • We enjoy a hearty breakfast, but there is no lunch, only dinner and supper. Lunch is what we do to our boats at the landing.
  • We measure distance in minutes not miles, and we know the difference between "pert near" and "a right far piece." When at all possible stay on the hardtop, you may get a bit confused otherwise.
  • So enjoy your stay and try the local cuisine. Grab yourself one of those okra rolls, a shrimp burger or a bowl of Frogmore Stew. Hesitation is expected, but seconds and to-go boxes are the norm.

    All of the above are observations from a Lowcountry individual that thinks beyond the box. To do otherwise would be uncivilized, or as my father would say, "You can't judge the depth of a well by the handle of the pump."