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.

Ways to Connect

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
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.

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,

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.

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.

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.

SC Public Radio

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

SC Public Radio

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

Happy Vernal Equinox

Mar 20, 2018
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. [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
SC Public Radio

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

Ambystoma maculatum (spotted salamander) egg masses with algae visible inside the eggs at the University of Mississippi Field Station.
Fredlyfish4 [CC BY-SA 3.0] via Wikimedia Commons

A listener finds some strange looking masses in some standing water in a roadside ditch.

A Brand New Moth

Mar 9, 2018
SC Public Radio

A listener finds a moth, newly emerged from its cocoon.