Content about nature

The Tale of a Tail

May 31, 2017
A Five-Lined Skink.
Virginia State Parks [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

A listener spots a lizard with an odd tale. Is it a mutation?

Bard Owls

May 30, 2017
A Bard owl.
Trish Hartmann

This is one of two species of dark-eyed owls in South Carolina.

Black-Seed Spear Grass

May 29, 2017

A listener has a childhood story to tell about this grass.

Cooper's Hawk

May 26, 2017
A Cooper's Hawk.
Linda Tanner via Wikimedia Commons

This hawk is a year-long resident of South Carolina.

Snake Snack

May 25, 2017
A Yellow Rat snake.
Cliff from Arlington, Virginia, USA, via Wikimedia Commons

A listener reports seeing a snake eating a Mourning Dove whilst hanging upside down from a tree.

Odd Looking Insect

May 24, 2017
An immature Orange-Tipped Oakworm Moth.
Evan Raskin [CC BY-NC 4.0]

A listener spots an insect scurrying along the ground. It has tiny wings compared to its body. Is it an immature moth?

The Mayflies Are Out

May 23, 2017
A March Brown Mayfly.
Richard Bartz, via Wikimedia Commons

These insects live as nymphs in lakes, pools, and ponds. The adults emerge to live for only 24 hours.

Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher

May 22, 2017
A Blue-gray Gnatcatcher.
Kelly Colgan Azar, via Flickr [CC BY-ND 2.0]

This migratory species builds nests that resemble those of Hummingbirds.

A Visitor on the Sea

May 19, 2017
A male Bobolink in full breeding plumage at the Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge in Florida.
Andrea Westmoreland [CC BY-SA 2.0] via Flickr

A visitor receives a visitor on his boat; a Bobolink pauses in its long migratory flight. These birds can travel as many as 6,000 miles from their South American homes to their breeding grounds in the northern U.S. and Canada.

Glass Lizards

May 18, 2017
An Eastern Glass lizard.
Bert Cash/Flickr

The Eastern Glass Lizard is a legless species, often mistaken for a snake.

Rudy shares verses on Spring from Thomas Hood's "Song."

Beware the Man-of-War

May 16, 2017
A Portuguese Man-of-War, washed up on a beach on San Salvador Island in the Bahamas.
James St. John [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Even the dried carcass of a Portuguese Man-of-War, lying on the beach, can sting.

A flowering Chinaberry tree.
Paolo Fisicaro, via Wikimedia Commons

Chinaberry trees are in flower. These non-native plants were often planted in the 19th century on home sites.

Discecting a Snake

May 12, 2017

An animal's carcass can tell a lot about it, in the right hands.

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 [CC BY 3.0 US] via 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
"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.