Content about nature

The "Snake Bird"

Apr 20, 2017
NatureNotes is a production of South Carolina Public Radio.
Wknight94 [CC BY-SA 3.0] via Wikimedia Commons

The Anhinga is sometimes called a "Snake Bird" because it swims with its long, slender sticking out of the water.

The Fishfly

Apr 19, 2017
Judy Gallagher [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The Fishfly is a member of the Alderfly and Dobsonfly group of winged insects.

Brain on the Beach?

Apr 18, 2017
Sea Pork
Andrea Westmoreland/Flickr

A listener reports a find on the beach that is a bit unsettling.

Itty Bitty Baby

Apr 17, 2017
A baby Eastern Mud Turtle.
National Park Service

When first hatched, the Eastern Mud Turtle is pretty tiny.

A black (melanistic) Eastern Hognose Snake.
Patrick Coin via Wikimedia Commons

This snake gets its name because of its upturned snout.

Trillium in Flower

Apr 13, 2017
Little Sweet Betsy (Trillium cuneatum). Found in the forest along Hamby Creek at the I-85 Southbound Rest Stop in Davidson County, North Carolina.
Philip Bouchard via Flickr

Trillium is one of the harbingers of Spring in South Carolina.

Sphinx Moths

Apr 12, 2017
Nessus Sphinx Moth
Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren, via Wikimedia Commons

Warm days mean Sphinx Moths will emerge.

A Rare Photograph

Apr 11, 2017
A Bobcat.
Len Blumin [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Some listeners share a rare, daylight photo of a Bobcat with Rudy.

Wheelbug Eggs

Apr 10, 2017

Wheel Bug eggs are barrel shaped and clustered in masses.

Double Crested Cormorant fishing.
Andrea Westmoreland [CC BY-SA 2.0 ], via Wikimedia Commons

When the shad are running in South Carolina rivers, the Double Crested Cormorant is out fishing.

Redbud Tree
Dcrjsr [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

A listener who is new to South Carolina asks, is this tree native or invasive.

A Toothy Grin

Apr 4, 2017
A bowfin skull.
Chesapeake Bay Program via Flickr

The bowfin, or mud fish, is the lone descendant of a group of prehistoric fish.

These Seeds Have Wings

Apr 3, 2017
A Silver Maple Samara
USGS Bee Inventory and Monitoring Lab via Flickr

The Silver Maple Tree's seeds have samaras, "wings" that help the seeds travel on the wind.

A Copperhead Snake?

Mar 31, 2017
A Midland Water Snake, Nerodia sipedon pleuralis.
Peter Paplanus [CC BY 2.0], viaFlickr

Often mistaken for a Copperhead, the Midland Water snake is harmless to humans.

Giant Bark Aphids

Mar 30, 2017
Giant Bark Aphid, Longistigma caryae. Rock Creek Park, Washington, DC, USA.
Katja Schulz (CC BY 2.0)

Common in the Carolinas, this insect hibernated through winter, becoming active when the weather warms.

Learning What's Inside

Mar 29, 2017

Much can be learned about a dead bird by performing a necropsy.

Bowl and Doily Spiders

Mar 28, 2017
Several Bowl and Doily Spider's webs wet with dew, on a trail in the Adirondacks, between Long Pond and Bessie Pond, St. Regis Canoe Area.
Marc Wanner [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

This spiders create webs with bowl shapes over a relatively flat plain of silk, reminiscent of a "doily."

Winged Termites

Mar 27, 2017

Winged termite reproductives this time of year indicate a colony nearby.

Some Thoughts on Spring

Mar 24, 2017

"The Poet" shares some thoughts on the joy of Spring in the woods.

Redbud Tree
Dcrjsr [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The Redbud tree starts budding in the Lowcountry before it does elsewhere in the South Carolina. It is a harbinger of Spring, which arrives first in the southern part of the state.

An American Bald Eagle
Yathin S Krishnappa via Wikimedia Commons

The Bald Eagle does, in fact live in the state throughout the year. This time of year they are nesting.

Brown Watersnake

Mar 21, 2017
A Brown Water Snake via Wikimedia Commons

The Brown Water Snake is more common now in the Piedmont that it was.

Today is the Vernal Eqinox...spring is here!

An Opossum
Roy Guisinger/Coffee, via Pixabay

The Opossum has the most teeth of any land mammal in South Carolina.

Cannonball Jellyfish (Stomolophus meleagris) washed up on the beach at Fort Fisher, North Carolina.
Mr.TinDC, via Flickr

The Cannonball is one of the most common Jellyfish, and is food for the Leatherback Sea Turtle.

The Great Kiskadee

Mar 15, 2017
Great Kiskadee (Pitangus sulphuratus)
Bernard Dupont, via Flickr

Bird lovers have spotted a species new to South Carolina, which usually ranges from South America to the Gulf Coast.

Solitary Bees

Mar 14, 2017

A listener notices "little mounds" appearing on his lawn and wants to know the cause.

A Long-Lived Spider

Mar 10, 2017
Southern House Spider, Kukulcania hibernalis, at Congaree National Park, SC.
Theresa Thom, via Wikimedia Commons

Most spiders live for about a year. The Southern House Spider can live for up to three years.


Mar 9, 2017
Mistletoe in a Silver Birch Tree.
© Andrew Dunn, 2.0

Mistletoe is a parasite that grows on trees. It's especially easy to spot when a tree has shed its leaves for the winter.