Mon-Fri, throughout the day

Naturalist Rudy Mancke, host of ETV's NatureScene, shares his knowledge of plants and wildlife each weekday on NatureNotes. These 1-minute snippets offer you a chance to find out about diverse topics having to do with the natural world. From the inner workings of our world's ecosystems, to plants & animals unique to South Carolina, to tips on beautiful sites to visit, you'll learn more about the world around you on NatureNotes.

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"Water Turkeys"

Sep 4, 2017
NatureNotes is a production of South Carolina Public Radio.
Wknight94 [CC BY-SA 3.0] via Wikimedia Commons

Then Anhinga is sometimes called a Snake Bird, or a Water Turkey because of its long neck.

Beech Blight Aphids

Sep 1, 2017
Grylloprociphilus imbricator - Beech Blight Aphids, on American Beech (Fagus grandifolia).
Fritz Flohr Reynolds [CC BY-SA 2.0] via Flickr

Beech Blight Aphids have a nickname: Boogie Woogie Aphids.

Spittle Bugs

Aug 31, 2017
A spittlebug nymph, paritally uncovered.
imarsman [CC BY-NC-ND 2.0] via Flickr

The Spittle bug nymph blows bubbles in sap to hide under.

Lampshade Spider

Aug 30, 2017
Lampshade spider (Hypochilus pococki) at Oconaluftee, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Swain County, North Carolina, USA
Ryan Kaldari, public domain. via Wikimedia Commons

When viewed from the side, hanging under a rock, this spider's web reminded a listener of a lampshade. Its common name: Pocock Lampshade spider. They commonly build their webs under overhangs and in caves.

Green Dragon

Aug 28, 2017
Green Dragon (Arisaema dracontium)
Tie Guy II [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Green Dragon has one leaf that divides into up to 17 leaflets.

Immature White Ibis

Aug 25, 2017
At sunrise, an adult white ibis teaches her child the fine art of synchronized foraging along a mud flat. These two were part of large flock that spent the night on Munyon Island at John D MacArthur Beach State Park in Florida.
Bob Peterson [CC BY 2.0], via Flickr

The immature White Ibis will eventually molt into white plummage.

A juvenile Southern Black Racer.
Kevin Enge/Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's Fish and Wildlife Research Institute

The adult Striped Racers are black. Juveniles have a blotch pattern.

Brown Widow Spiders?

Aug 23, 2017
A Brown Widow spider.
Roy Niswanger/Flickr

Yes, there are Brown Widow spiders, as well as Black Widows, living in South Carolina. Both are harmful to humans.

Century Plants

Aug 22, 2017
Agave americana in bloom.
Alvesgaspar [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Not all of the plants we call Century plants live for 100 years. However, they are long-lived. 


Aug 21, 2017
The path of the August 21, 2017, total solar eclipse.

A total solar eclipse, visible in South Carolina, is an opportunity to study the sun.

Spiny Backed Orb Weaver
Markrosenrosen/Wikimedia Commons

This remarkable spider is native to South Carolina.

A Cicada Killer Wasp with a Cicada.
Bill Buchanan, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

These solitary wasps rarely sting a human being.

The Snake and the Frog

Aug 16, 2017
Eastern Garter snake, Florida.
Glenn Bartolotti via Wikimedia Commons

This common snake was found in a pool near Columbia, along with  a bullfrog.

A Gulf Coast Spiny Softshell turtle.
James Harding/

The Gulf Coast Spiny Softshell turtle is more common that the other Softshell found in South Carolina, the Florida Softshell turtle.

The Devil's Walking Stick in flower.
James H. Miller & Ted Bodner, Southern Weed Science Society,

This plant is common on the fringe of woodlands, often on roadsides.