Content about nature

Alligator Bones?

May 11, 2017
A decaying sturgeon carcass at at the VCU Rice Center. It was killed by a boat strike.
Tom Woodward, via Flickr [CC BY 2.0]

A listener finds some strange, pitted bones on the beach. Alligator? Not a bad guess, but, the bones are actually "scutes" from an Atlantic Sturgeon.

Hovering Moths

May 10, 2017
Nessus Sphinx Moth
Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren, via Wikimedia Commons

There are several species of moth in South Carolina that hover like hummingbirds when feeding.

Raptors don't always eat all of their prey.  

A Killdeer with its nest and eggs.
Mykola Swarnyk, via Wikimedia Commons

Killdeers sometimes make their nests--not much more than depressions in the ground--in some risky places.

A Smelly Import

May 5, 2017
Starfish Stinkhorn Mushroom
Mike Young - Creative Commons Wikipedia

The Starfish Stinkhorn mushroom was introduced into South Carolina from Australia.

Cecropia Moths

May 4, 2017
A Cecropia Moth
Linda Tanner [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Not often sighted in South Carolina, the Cecropia Moth is spectacular.

Sea Hares?

May 3, 2017
A Black Sea Hare.
PedroPVZ,[CC BY-SA 3.0] via Wikimedia Commons

Sea "Hares" are actually mollusks that have no shell.

Wool Sewer Gall

May 2, 2017
 Cotton Candy Plant, a.k.a. the Wool Sower Gall, on an Oak sapling.
Anita Gould, [CC BY-NC 2.0] via Flickr

This appropriately named gall occurs in White Oak trees.

A juvenile Red Tailed Hawk.
Brocken Inaglory [CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons]

A tale of two birds.

Rudy shares some of the sights from a recent nature walk.

Atamasco Lily

Apr 24, 2017
Atamasco Lily (Rain Lily), Badin Upland Swamp, Uwharrie National Forest, North Carolina.
Wasrts, via Wikimedia

Not really a lily, this plant is a member of the Amaryllis family.

Slime Molds

Apr 21, 2017
The "Scrambled Egg" slime mold.
Siga [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

These fungi are mobile at first, then they settle down to reproduce.

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."