Content about nature

An American Oystercatcher.
The Lilac Breasted Roller [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The pliable beak of the Oystercatcher is a good tool for reaching into bivalves.

In South Carolina you will find both the Southern and the Northern Ring-Necked Snakes.

Remembering Thoreau

Jul 17, 2017

July 12 marked the 200th anniversary of the birth of Henry David Thoreau.

Amazing Transformation

Jul 14, 2017
This Cicada is in the last stages of molting.
Jodelet / Lépinay [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The last stage of development for a Cicada is from nymph to adult, when it sheds its shell.

House Centipede
Bruce Marlin via Wikimedia Commons

The House Centipede is common in South Carolina. As the name implies, it is often found in dwellings.

An Eastern Newt in the "red eft" stage.
Jason Quinn, via Wikimedia Commons

The Eastern Newt is a salamander which goes through a "land stage," leaving the water to live for a time on land.

The Brown Scorpion, or Carolina Scorpion, is most common in the Piedmont and Mountains of South Carolina. 

A melanistic Hognose snake.
Natalie McNear [CC BY-NC 2.0] via Flickr

Hognose snakes usually have a pattern of blotches on their skin. Some, however, are "melanistic," having a nearly solid color.

Rudy reads from The Vision of Sir Launfal, a poem by James Russell Lowell.


Jul 6, 2017
The Eastern Whippoorwill, a.k.a. Chuck-Will's-Widow
Dick Daniels [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

This bird nests on the ground. It calls at night.

Bark lice
Andreas Kay [CC BY-NC-SA 2.0] via Flickr

Bark Lice have a habit of gathering in groups.


Jul 4, 2017
A male Dobsonfly
Vilseskogen [CC BY-NC 2.0] via Flickr

Male Dobsonfly have large mandibles that they use to grasp females during mating.

An adult Black Rat Snake.

Black Rat snakes mating and laying eggs around this time of year will see the eggs hatch in the fall.

The Regal Moth

Jun 30, 2017
A Regal Moth, a.k.a. Royal Walnut Moth.
Kadoka1 via Wikimedia Commons

These moths pupate in the ground, sometimes for as long as two years.

Male Lyssomanes viridis jumping spider feeding on a nematoceran from Greenville County, South Carolina, USA.
David E. Hill [CC Atribution 3.0] via Wikimedia Commons

This spider doesn't spin a web to trap its prey. It "jumps" it.

A Yellow Rat snake.
Cliff from Arlington, Virginia, USA, via Wikimedia Commons

When this snake is mature it will feed on birds and mammals. They feed on amphibians when they are young.

A Yellow-Crowned Night Heron with Its prey.
Peter Wallack [CC BY-SA 3.0] via Wikimedia Commons

A Charleston couple finds Yellow-Crowned Night Herons nesting in a backyard tree.

A couple shares pictures from their automated game camera. The pictures include a shot of a coyote "recycling" a faun.

A Tale of Three Species

Jun 23, 2017

A nature lover shows Rudy a photo of three different species of snake--apparently hibernating in the same space!

Nature Tracks

Jun 22, 2017

Rudy leads a nature tour at the South Carolina Railroad Museum.

Happy Summer Solstice!

Jun 21, 2017

There will be more daylight today than any other day of the year.

Fence Lizards

Jun 21, 2017
An Eastern Fence Lizard found in Douthat State Park is a state park located in the Allegheny Mountains in Virginia.
Jarek Tuszynski [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The Eastern Fence lizard is found throughout South Carolina.

Land Lobster?

Jun 19, 2017
Lagniappe crawfish.
Susan Adams, U.S. Forest Service

Of the nearly 500 species of crayfish found in the world, approximately 350 are found in the United States, that’s nearly 70 percent of the world’s crayfish fauna - most of which is concentrated in the southeast.

Water Snake Intergrades

Jun 16, 2017
Northern Water Snake
Big iron, via Wikimedia Commons

The Midland Water Snake and the Northern Water Snake are "intergrades" of the same species.

Sea Oxeye

Jun 15, 2017
Homer Edward Price [CC BY 2.0] via Wikimedia Commons

This native plant lives in the ecotone (transition) between salt water and high ground.

Rudy recounts his day at the Blue Wall Birding Festival at Table Rock State Park.

A listener reports an odd object washed ashore on the beach at Hilton Head Island. It's the egg casing of a Horse Conch.

Adult Eastern Smooth Earth Snake,Patapsco Valley State Park,Baltimore Co., MD.
David Heise, via Flickr [CC BY-NC 2.0]

Eastern Smooth Earth Snakes appear to be moving into South Carolina. The juveniles often hide under rocks.

Imperial Moths

Jun 9, 2017
Imperial Moths mating.
National Park Service/Kent Walters

A listener finds a mating pair of Imperial Moths amongst some fallen leaves.

Wait...Is That an Ear?

Jun 8, 2017
The bud scale of a Magnolia.
Coleur, via Pixabay [CC0]

Found: what looks like a lopped off ear of some animal. But, what is it, really?