Rudy Mancke

Host

Naturalist Rudy Mancke served as naturalist and co-host of South Carolina ETV's NatureScene which began it's long run in 1978. His field trips, broadcast nationwide, have earned him a legion of dedicated viewers. Rudy's knowledge of the complex inner-workings of different ecosystems and his great admiration for the natural world make him the perfect guide. In fact, the National Wildlife Federation and the Garden Club of America honored his commitment to resource conservation with special awards. Since retiring from SCETV, Rudy has gone on to teach at the University of South Carolina, Columbia.

Before coming to television, Rudy served as the natural history curator at the South Carolina State Museum for 10 years, and was a high school biology and geology teacher. He earned a degree at Wofford College, attended graduate school at the University of South Carolina, and received honorary doctorate degrees from the College of Charleston, Winthrop College, and Wofford College.

Rudy Mancke currently hosts NatureNotes on both SCETV and South Carolina Public Radio.

Contact Rudy Mancke

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NatureNotes
SC Public Radio

Rudy shares some words from "the poet."

Sunday is Earth Day

Apr 20, 2018
A little girl holding sign at a march. The sign depicts the earth and is captioned, "We need to understand."
bones64 [CC0 1.0]/Pixabay

A time to celebrate our home world.

Carpenter Bee.
Bob Peterson [CC BY-SA 2.0] via Wikimedia Commons

Carpenter Bees and butterflies...

Cormorant fishing the Indian River Lagoon, Florida.
Andrea Westmoreland [CC BY-SA 2.0] via Flickr

You may see large numbers of these birds hunting for fish this time of year.

Coyote or Red Wolf?

Apr 17, 2018
A red wolf at the Land Between the Lakes recreation area in Kentucky.
Jim Liestman [CC BY-NC-ND 2.0] via Flickr

A sighting by a listener raises a question of identity.

A Black Squirrel?

Apr 16, 2018
NatureNotes
SC Public Radio

The Fox Squirrel is larger than the Eastern Gray Squirrel. Both varieties can produce black, or melanistic, offspring.

Eastern Tent Caterpillars in their tent.
J. R. Carmichael [public domain] via Wikimedia Commons

The Eastern Tent Caterpillars are out in force this time of year.

Is it a Water Moccasin?

Apr 12, 2018
Banded Water Snake
Tom Spinker [CC BY-NC-ND 2.0] via Flickr.

A couple spotted a snake sunning in Francis Beidler Forest...

The Luna Moth

Apr 11, 2018
Luna Moth - Actias luna.
Lynette Elliott [CC BY-NC 2.0] via Flickr

There are two broods of Luna Moth each year in South Carolina.

Gall Wasps

Apr 10, 2018
 A gall wasp (Cynipidae) oviposits into an existing oak gall.
Alex Wild, University of Texas at Austin, "Insects Unlocked" project. [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

Varieties of Gall Wasps often have strict preference for the kind of plants they chose to host their young.

Oconee Bells

Apr 9, 2018
Oconee Bell Flower - Devils Fork State Park.
Jason AG [CC BY-NC-ND 2.0] via Flickr

The Oconee Bell is a rare flower of the southern Appalachians found only in a few locations in the mountains of North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia in moist wooded areas along streams.

Caterpillar of the Great Leopard Moth.
Bill Bumgarner [CC BY-NC-ND 2.0] via Flickr

This moth is unusual in that it over-winters as a caterpillar.

NatureNotes
SC Public Radio

A listener finds two animal skulls and skeleton and turns to Rudy for help identifying.

Royal Paulownia

Apr 4, 2018
Royal Paulownia blossoms.
Famartin [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

These trees come from China, but, have been used as ornamentals in the South U. S. for many years.

The excavated soil and entrance hole to a Mining Bee's nest.
Rosser1954 [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The Mining Bee is solitary, but builds nests in "colonies."

Cedar-Apple Rust

Apr 2, 2018
Cedar-Apple Rust (Gymnosporangium juniperi-virginianae).
Howard F. Schwartz, Colorado State University, Bugwood.org

A listener finds an "orange, tentacled, 'blob'" on Cedar.

Eastern Garter snake, Florida.
Glenn Bartolotti via Wikimedia Commons

These snakes emerge from hibernation early in the Spring.

NatureNotes
SC Public Radio

Opossums are South Carolina's only marsupials.

Red Bellied Snake.
Todd Plerson [CC BY-NC-SA 2.0] via Flickr

These small snakes are pretty common in backyards.

Balls of Silk

Mar 27, 2018
Basilica Orbweaver with Egg Sacks.
Katja Schulz [CC BY 2.0] via Flickr

A listener in West Columbia finds silk covered "balls" hanging from a tree limb.

NatureNotes
SC Public Radio

Pulling weeds from a flower bed, a listener finds the vertebrae of a bony fish. 

A female Red Bellied Woodpecker.
Mike's Birds [CC BY-SA 2.0] via Flickr

The Red Bellied Woodpecker was first described by naturalists in the colony of Carolina. Its scientific name is Melanerpes carolinus.

NatureNotes
SC Public Radio

A listener finds two varieties of Northern Water Snake sunning together.

NatureNotes
SC Public Radio

Rudy shares some of Longfellow's poetry, "If Spring Came but Once a Year."

Happy Vernal Equinox

Mar 20, 2018
NatureNotes
SC Public Radio

Today is the first day of Spring, 2018!

"Scrambled Egg" slime mold.
Siga [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The common name for this mold is pretty darned descriptive.

A wren asleep on the porch.
pamelaleavey.com [CC BY-NC 4.0]

You'll often find Carolina Wrens "hiding" in the corner of porches.

The Pearly Wood-Nymph

Mar 15, 2018
Eudryas brevipennis, Pearly Wood-Nymph.
Jose Amorin [CC BY-NC-SA 2.0] via Flickr

A listener spots a moth on her porch, and it's not one that's often seen, though it lives throughout the state.

A "Crazy Bug"

Mar 14, 2018
Backswimmer (Family Notonectidae)
(c) Olaf Nelson [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

South Carolina has two, very similar "water bugs," the Water Boatman and the Backswimmer, both found in fresh water.

A Dolphin Vertebra?

Mar 13, 2018
NatureNotes
SC Public Radio

A listener finds vertebra on the beach on the Isle of Palms...

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