Sunday, February 19, 2017

Into the Wild

     Over the weekend we attended SEWE (pronounced see-wee), the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition, held every year in Charleston in late winter, although with temperatures in the 70s it feels like late spring to me.

Cooking demonstration
     The city's Gaillard Auditorium is filled with booths and tables selling and promoting all kinds of hunting and fishing gear, as well as outdoor-themed clothes and artwork. The art center exhibits wildlife paintings and photographs. Marion Square features bird and reptile exhibitions, cooking demonstrations, music, food, handmade crafts and locally grown products.

Young owl
     I confess I am not a hunter. The last time I shot a gun was when I was about 14 and visited my uncle up in rural Connecticut. The last time I went fishing was with my son when he was about six years old. And the last time I went camping was with a girlfriend in 1973. But I am an armchair environmentalist, and so SEWE is a fun thing to do . . . although I do wonder: Is it possible to be an environmentalist and then go out and shoot wild animals to death? Well, that's a question best left to people smarter than I am.

Three-year-old American alligator

    Anyway, another venue over by the Ashley river offers more food, more music, plus flyfishing and gun dog demonstrations. But the capstone event, for me, is the dockdog competition.

The dog is launched
     Any breed can be entered. Each dog gets two tries. And the winner is the dog who jumps the farthest off the dock.

Going for it
     Each handler gets one minute to set the dog, throw the shuttle and have his dog leave the platform.

Soaring over Charleston

     They mark the distance at the point the base of the dog's tail hits the water. Most of the dogs jump 14 to 19 feet. A few jump over 20 feet. And the winner of the event I saw landed at some 28 feet off the board. That's one giant leap for dogkind!

Flying high

     And just so you know I am indeed in the south, here is proof:

Bluegrass music

     And if you're still not convinced, here is proof positive:
Certified Southern fare


Wisewebwoman said...

Wow those dogs!

Envious, quite, of where you are. I am dying for relief from winter. Even briefly.


Tabor said...

Crawfish...yep missing that.

Anonymous said...

Ah, yes, crawfish ettouffe. Yum!

Celia said...

The crawfish ettouffee got my attention too. What a great place for a winter visit.

Olga Hebert said...

Yes, you surely are in the South!
Of course, I am in the south as well, but the part where I am more likely to go back to VT with a Michigan accent than any kind of drawl, y'all.

DJan said...

That last sign doesn't seem to have anything on it I am familiar with! :-)

Anonymous said...

Enjoy it.

retirementreflections said...

I'm not sure about the 'fried alligator bites'....but I definitely would have loved to see the Dock Dog Competition!

Stephen Hayes said...

Great pictures. I also don't hunt and consider myself an armchair environmentalist.

still the lucky few said...

Lucky you! Enjoy that wonderful climate, and of course, the crawfish—and the ettouffee, whatever that is!

Carole said...

Looks like fun! I just can't bring myself to try alligator. Charleston sounds like a nice place to visit, and maybe a nice place to live.

Kathy @ SMART Living said...

Hi Tom! Hmmmm....I agree? Sort of strange to think of an environmental celebration that includes hunting but I guess hunters can appreciate wildlife for different reasons that the most of it. LOVED the dog jumping contest! And I tried crawfish exactly once and didn't care for it. Still, it looked like a fun way to spend the day. Glad to see that you and B are having fun. ~Kathy

Barbara said...

I would have loved the dog jumping. I'm not to big on the hunting fishing thing either but I do love nature and conservacy. Like you, I'll leave it to the big brains to figure out how it works together. Sounds like Charleston has been a nice getaway.