Before Match.com, eHarmony and okCupid there were blind dates, and that’s how Melanie and Bob Jerome met more than thirty years ago. Both are Buckeyes and raised their two sons in Ohio. Rob had a career in data processing and programming. Melanie’s nursing and business degrees coalesced into a fulfilling position as a case management supervisor which she still does remotely from home.
Rob’s father was an outdoors man and imparted that avocation to him along with a familiarity of birds. Being the only boy in the family no doubt helped to build their bond. Melanie was self-taught when she wanted to learn more about the birds that visited the couple’s backyard in Ohio.
They share their love of nature and chose the best of Lowcountry living with their villa at Creek Watch. They look out over Sam’s Creek and the bountiful marsh leading up to the Atlantic; wildlife abounds. Dolphins, alligators and river otters swim in the creek and at least 75 bird species have been spotted from their deck and the nearby boat launch observation deck. The Jerome’s have hosted several Backyard Birding opportunities which never fail to draw an enthusiastic group of birders who are rewarded by the variety of sightings. One of the most unforgettable was the elusive Clapper Rail, a one-off, emerging from the marsh grass only to retrieve its wandering chick—a ball of black fluff that thrilled all. Some other memorable sightings have been the Roseate Spoonbill, Harrier Hawk and Kingfisher. Mel and Rob are a well-matched birding team–she is a spotter and he has become a good song identifier.
Since moving to SI, kayaking has also become a shared pastime expedited by their creek-side location. Travelling is another love. They are looking forward to a Costa Rica trip in the Spring with an emphasis on the island’s beautiful avian life. Rob has been an avid cyclist for thirty years, traveling around the entire country. He has cycling trips in Texas and Florida planned and Melanie has booked a trip to Italy.
Both are on the Turtle Patrol and have assumed Blue Bird Trail coordination from outgoing chair Dean Morr. They are already researching remedies to the predator devastation of nests that we had last year. In addition, Melanie continues secretary duties on the Seabrook Island Birders Board and wherever else she can help the group. She also crafts (technique) greeting cards; and, Rob is using his cycling expertise to repair and tune-up bikes for others.
Let us not forget, they are grandparents of two-year old Leo and caring companions to mixed breed Lilly.
Melanie and Rob are a great example of what makes SIB so rewarding and fun—the members. [In addition to the birds, of course!]
Article submitted by: Donna Lawrence