Never East of 11! That’s my motto, much to the chagrin of my wife. I never want to travel. I never want to even go to the grocery store, for pete’s sake ! And who would if they lived where we live, just a hop and skip from Lake Jocassee. And yet here we are, traveling again from one wild place to the other, as we do most every January. This year we are exploring the coastal plain of South Carolina, a wild joy of a place, to be sure. But still… I blame my angst squarely on Clemson’s wondrous ornithologist/poet/author, Drew Lanham, and on loons, an every year mood-killer as we prepare to depart. Just a short while before leaving, we spent the morning with Drew well up the Howard Creek arm of the lake, watching loons, horned grebes and bald eagles, while ravens called out in the distance. I returned that morning ready to cancel all our January travel plans, but then I have a trophy wife, whose travel plans I dare not contradict. So here we are, happily at Hunting Island, ready to head out to watch black skimmers fly just barely above the water’s edge. We’ll be back in a while.~B