From The Blog

Eye on Bobcats: BBC Show to Film on Kiawah

You may spot one out of the corner of your eye, sneaking into the brush. You may see the glow of one’s eyes from your headlights at night. You may see one lounging in a tree, taking a mid-day nap. Or, you may not see one at all.

The bobcat is one of Kiawah’s more elusive inhabitants. Being mostly nocturnal, though venturing out during the day more in the fall and winter months, catching a glimpse of one is a rare treat. This April, a British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) show, Deadly 60, will not only attempt to catch a glimpse of these shy predators, but to get up close and personal with them as well.

Deadly 60 is an educational wildlife series aimed at children 6-12, distributed globally by BBC Worldwide. The host, Steve Backshall, travels the world on the hunt for amazing animals to put on his top 60 predators list. The animals may be dangerous to people (lions, king cobras), or deadly only to their prey (moles, squirrels). The show examines how animals are deadly in their own worlds and how they adapt.

The production crew will be on Kiawah the first week in April to film an episode for its third season (air date for the episode was not available at time of publication). The episode will follow Town of Kiawah Island Biologist Jim Jordan out into the field as they radio-track a female bobcat in order to get a closer look at what makes bobcats such successful predators.

Bobcats are able to go for long periods without food, but will eat heavily when prey is abundant. During lean periods, they will often prey on larger animals that they can kill and return to feed on later. Bobcats hunt by stalking their prey and then ambushing it with a short chase or pounce. Their preference is for mammals about 1.5 to 12.5 pounds but their main prey varies by region.

The Deadly 60 series is produced by the Natural History Unit of the BBC. This unit has an established expertise in wildlife film-making. The BBC’s Natural History Unit has produced highly acclaimed programs such as LIFE, Planet Earth and Blue Planet. For more information on Deadly 60, visit www.bbc.co.uk.

From a handful of cars put on display by a few friends to an annual event with grand aspirations, the Kiawah Island Motoring Retreat (KIMR) has seen quite an evolution over the years. The event, taking place April 21 at Night Heron Park, may have humble beginnings, but hopes to ultimately become one of the must-see car shows in the Southeast.

Cars in the Park
Conceived by KICA member Russ Warren and implemented by KICA Community Services, the KIMR has come a long way from its origins. Beginning in 2004 and originally called Cars in the Park, the casual car show originally featured 25 vehicles and just a handful of local car lovers. Thought it may have started small, event supporters had big dreams, envisioning a grand event to rival shows such as the Concours d’Elegance, held annually in Amelia Island, Florida. Event Coordinator Jessica Richardson says, “This event has grown exponentially since its inception. In 2010, we had approximately 300 attendees and 60 cars. Though the 2011 event was a rainout, we had a lineup of over 100 vehicles and an anticipated attendance of approximately 500 people. The event has definitely branched out over the years, but it still remains true to its roots, appealing to car lovers of all ages.”

2012 Brings Growth, Change
Dateline 2012. The event is still under the umbrella of KICA, though much has changed. Now known as the Kiawah Island Motoring Retreat, the “casual show” has grown to a full-time event, directed by a group of association members consisting of KIMR Committee Chair Keller Staubes, Bill Blizzard, John Wilson and Russ Warren. With the help of the Town of Kiawah Island via Accommodations Tax support and funding, the organization is now able to promote the event throughout the Southeast. Estimated attendance is a minimum of 750 car enthusiasts, and approximately 100 collectible cars will be on display. While formal judging will come later, there will be several “People’s Choice” awards given at a reception for the car owners following the event. After the show and before the reception there will be a parade of the show cars to the Ocean Course and back to the Sandcastle. For those few who are not excited about cars, there will be live music at both events and vendors including glass blowers, basket weavers, artists, a manufacturer of small hand-crafted boats, and others from the local community. Behind the scenes, KIMR acquired its own public relations firm to further expand its reach, and development director to solicit sponsors and vendors. The Director of Development Marcia DeLoof brings a vast array of knowledge and experience to the event. She has been involved in the development of the world-renound Meadow Brook Concours d’Elegance auto show near Detroit. The KIMR has also benefited from the generosity of Kiawah Partners in providing support for the Cassique gala event as well extensive marketing support. Additionally, several local firms are among a growing list of sponsors.

Eye Towards the Future
Though things have been going well for the event in recent years, KIMR organizers are hoping for more. The ultimate goal is to bring the retreat to a level that parallels the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, a show that annually attracts over 25,000 spectators who indirectly generate significant contributions to local charities. Planning is already underway for next year with KIMR hoping to add a car rally that tours the Sea Islands, as well as a sponsored golf tournament. The event committee plans to not only have a great car show, but to also help support the local community.