(Part 1) Get Outside Hilton Head!

It’s finally fall on Hilton Head Island. Get out your lightweight fleece vests. Get ready to shuck some oysters. And get paddling with Outside Hilton Head.

“Fall is harvest season on the Lowcountry waters,” says Mike Overton, owner of Outside Hilton Head. “The creeks and inlets are bubbling with life. Do not be surprised to have a shrimp jump into your kayak, to see the tail of a red fish, or dolphins strand feeding.”

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The Wings of Autumn

WHEN SHADOWS GROW LONG and the temperature cools, you will see a flurry of bird activity on Hilton Head Island and throughout the Lowcountry. By September, many species of birds begin migration—their mass exodus to wintering grounds. They will wing en-masse thousands of miles to exotic climes like the Yucatan or Paraguay. Other species migrate to the Island’s beaches and wetlands from faraway climes such as the Arctic tundra.

Birds migrate in order to eat. When their supply of nutrients in their summer territories dwindles, they must find new feeding locations elsewhere. For instance, avian species that consume invertebrates, such as insects, spiders, worms and crabs in Canadian marsh mud or tidal pools often show up on Hilton Head Island by late October. Warblers, vireos and other bug-and-berry-eating birds depart the Island and migrate south this time of the year.

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Part 3: Training for Hilton Head Island’s Upcoming Races

Getting in tip top training shape for one of Hilton Head Island’s upcoming races does not have to be all work and no play. I have been enjoying learning more about training supplementation and nutrition–and even lost a few pounds in the process.

According to John Curwen of Go Tri Sports there are some key points to properly fueling your body.

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The Colorful Ocean

THE OLIVE TINGE of seawater off Hilton Head Island may surprise first-time visitors here. Why isn’t the water crystal-clear, like Waikiki Beach or the Bahamas, for instance?  There is a perfectly natural reason for this condition, and it bodes well for the ecological health of surrounding waters. Gifts from the Ocean Garden In the Atlantichttp://geography.about.com/library/cia/blcatlantic.htm […]

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Spanish Moss: The True Story

LIKE RIP VAN WINKLE’S BEARD, Spanish moss hangs in silvery-gray strands from weathered live oaks. Newcomers are quick to ask: “Doesn’t that ‘fungus’ kill the tree? The short answer: no and no. Spanish moss is not a fungus (or a moss, for that matter!) and it doesn’t harm the tree. In fact, lacy plant just may be the key to the survival of coastal forests.

A well-traveled member of the pineapple family, Spanish moss (Tillandsia usneoides) ranges from coastal Virginia to Argentina. It is an “epiphyte,” or air plant that only hangs from branches to take in sunlight, rainwater, and nutrients in dust.

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Part 2: Training for Hilton Head Island’s Upcoming Races

I have a confession. For the longest time I bought running shoes and wine with the same motto in mind–“If the design looks good, buy it.” Obviously, I knew very little about running and wine-ing and went on a purely aesthetic guess. After learning a few things the hard way, both my feet and my dinner guests will not longer need to suffer.

And nor do you. As far as footwear is concerned, get on course with Ryan Stefonick of Go Tri Sports. Stefonick–an accomplished triathlete who will readily admit, “Shopping for a proper pair or running or walking shoes can be overwhelming”–will hold your hand through finding the perfect fit for your feet.

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Part 1: Training for Hilton Head Island’s Upcoming Races

Ok, I’ll be honest. I don’t like running. I feel like:

* Between balancing family, work and a profound appreciation for sleep, there is never a good time.
* Anything outdoors that does not include a fan and an iced cold drink should not include me.
* My IPod has a bad sense of humor–it always wants to shut down when I’m up for a run.
* With every passing year it gets more and more difficult to get back in shape and quite often my feet suffer from cementitis–a strange condition in which your feet feel like someone have poured wet cement over them.

But I do like training for a race. Training negates all the aforementioned hurdles. Training is empowering. Training is what will attract tens of thousands of people nationwide to the Lowcountry to compete in several upcoming races.

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The Bridge to Sustainability

WHAT DOES “SUSTAINABILITY” MEAN? It’s a popular moniker these days, like “green” and “natural.” But how can you prove if something is sustainable or not? Today’s post shows what sustainability looks like. Sometimes it even wears concrete.

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina is a bustling resort and residential community. It has a colorful history and a rich ecosystem with vast salt marshes, old-growth forests, primordial wetlands, and plentiful wildlife. And this isle has about 34,000 full-time residents plus several million tourists per year. And in the “the season” (May-September), we have traffic.

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Trees Boost Your Bottom Line

GREEN IS THE COLOR of Hilton Head Island. From the air, from your car and bike, from the fairway, from your patio: you can see that this place is the Kingdom of Trees. Thanks to stewardship of open space by developers and the Town of Hilton Head Island, the Island landscape is now a maturing, productive forest. From its grand live oaks and majestic tupelo gums to the palmettos and pines whispering in the wind, the community trees provide valuable goods and services for us all.

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Healthy Family Reunion Vacation Ideas

Driving the 8+ hours back from my family reunion this past Sunday, I was just remarking to my husband how exhausted and unhealthy I felt when my mother called to say she had already booked a place for next year. I had to laugh. We both did.

And although family vacations are a montage of unhealthy options–from margarita mix that’s the same color as comic book nuclear waste to stampeding kids that prohibit even the soundest sleeper from getting his/her Zs–I know that next time we pile 11 adults and 7 small children in a beachfront rental I’m coming prepared.

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