Fall Leaves

Oct 13, 2017

Those fall leaves make this time of year special, but once all the leaves have fallen, what should you do with all the debris in your yard?  While leaves contain a large amount of nutrients, leaving them on your grass traps moisture, inhibits sunlight, and harbors insects, all of which could kill patches of your lawn.  So what should you do with those leaves and pine needles? 

A Minute with Miles
SC Public Radio/Mary Noble Ours

The harpsichord, the keyboard workhorse of the Baroque period, is an instrument with a problem:  varying the touch on the keys has absolutely no effect on volume or tone quality.  Depress a key gently or pound on it, it doesn’t matter — the note will sound the same. 

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. It sounds like a tabloid headline – man and dog frantically escape from huge flying wasp! But it’s a true story—I got an email from a gentleman saying that he and his dog was dive bombed by a hummingbird sized wasp that sent them fleeing into the safety of their house.

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"R" is for Ransier, Alonzo Jacob [1834-1882]. Lieutenant governor, congressman. Born in Charleston to free persons of color, Ransier acquired a common school education, and clerked in a Charleston shipping firm. After the Civil War he became active in politics and was elected to the General Assembly from Charleston County. In 1868 he became chairman of the Republican State Executive Committee and also served as a presidential elector for Ulysses S. Grant. In 1870 he was elected lieutenant governor and two years later represented the Second District in the United States Congress.

A female common yellowthroat.
Tnolley [public domain] via Wikimedia Commons

The female common yellowthroat songbird is harder to identify than the male, especially in its first year.

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"M" is for Marlboro County [480 square miles; population 28,818]. Marlboro County was formed in 1785 and named for the Duke of Marlborough. Its boundaries have remained virtually unchanged since then: bounded on the west by the Great Pee Dee River; on the north and northeast by North Carolina; and on the Southeast by Dillon County. Prior to European settlement, Cheraw Indians lived in the area. During the 1730s, generous land policies attracted Welsh settlers from Pennsylvania. The county's rich loamy soils have produced a variety of crops including corn, indigo, and cotton.

With the business world almost completely reliant on computers, it should come as no surprise that the market for IT services is strong and growing.  Which is why our next guest decided to launch his own business in this industry two years ago.

Mike Switzer interviews Tim Larson, owner and CEO of Aurora IT Services in Lexington, SC.

Farmer Bill Coburn directs his border collie Lucy to herd sheep using vocal and whistle commands.
Laura Hunsberger

At Windy Knolls Farm in Laurens County, Bill Coburn raises ducks and sheep. He’s retired from farming, but he still spends time on one of his favorite occupations: training border collies. The shaggy mid-sized dogs have a natural instinct to herd animals, and Coburn says he’s been working with them for nearly 30 years. He still shows his border collies regularly at demonstrations throughout the southeast, and at the State Fair, he will show the dogs in action for a few select afternoons. South Carolina Public Radio's Laura Hunsberger has the story for this South Carolina Focus.

A ride at the South Carolina State Fair, 2016.
Susanna Berggren

With October come two certainties: Trick-or-Treaters will be abroad on the 31st, and the South Carolina State Fair will attract thousands to Columbia.  In this edition of Walter Edgar's Journal, from May 5, 2016, Dr.

So, you’re thinking about updating that bathroom.  You’ve learned about dual flush toilets, low flow faucets and shower heads, and maybe you’re thinking about hitting the flea markets this weekend in search of reclaimed items that you can use in your fresh bathroom.  Have you considered going a step further by installing more green elements like motion sensors for light sources so that the lights will automatically turn off when no one is in the room?  

Atonal Music

Oct 12, 2017
A Minute with Miles
SC Public Radio/Mary Noble Ours

Atonal music is music that isn’t written in a key, music that doesn’t follow the traditional rules of harmony. But although the term “atonal” tells us what a piece isn’t, it doesn’t tell us what it is. Many different styles and musical languages, whether harsh or lush, cool or intense, simple or complex can be described as atonal.

Cicada Killer Wasps

Oct 12, 2017

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow.  Recently, a Sumter County Master   noticed silver dollar-sized holes in her yard with soil piled up at one end and wondered if it was a mole or vole burrow, but there weren’t any of the usual above  ground runs you’d expect to find. At the same time, she found a dead wasp on her porch and brought that to the office. Bingo! She had already solved the puzzle herself.

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"P" is for Palmetto Bug. Three hundred million years ago, cockroaches [or palmetto bugs] made their first appearance on earth. While thousands of species have developed and become extinct since then, the cockroach thrives. The palmetto bug is the largest of three different species of cockroaches that infest our homes. It may grow to be one and a half inches in length and has reddish-brown wings. Both males and females have fully developed wings and can run fast and fly. A single female can produce 150 offspring in a year.

A female two-striped walking stick with a male on its back.
Mary Keim [CC BY-NC-SA 2.0] via Flickr

The male two-stripped walking stick is much smaller than the female.

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"L" is for LeConte, Joseph [1823-1901]. Geologist. Educator. After graduating from the University of Georgia, LeConte studied medicine in New York. Returning to Georgia, he established a medical practice in Macon. He later studied natural history at Harvard and became a faculty member at his alma mater. In 1856 he joined the faculty of the South Carolina College as professor of natural history. He was popular with students, took an active part in the cultural life of Columbia, and published articles on geology, religion, art, and education.

By now, most people are aware of 3D printing.  But what most people are apparently confused about is who actually invented it.  While our next guest is mostly known as the father of modern kayaking, he is, in fact, also the owner of the first patent for 3D printing.

Mike Switzer interviews Bill Masters, kayaker, inventor, and entrepreneur in Travelers Rest, SC.

Instructors and presenters from Richland County's Flood Ready Seniors event. From left to right: Ben Marosites, Natasha Lemon, Winta Adams, and Sharon Long.
Olivia Aldridge/SC Public Radio

If the past two years have taught South Carolinians anything, it’s that disasters are never out of the question, especially during hurricane season. County officials across the state have placed emphasis throughout 2017’s hurricane season on preparing the public for weather-related emergencies, putting their experience responding to the historic flood of 2015 and Hurricane Matthew in 2016 to good use.

"O" is for Oliphant, Mary Chevillette Simms [1891-1988]. Historian. Born in Barnwell County, Mary C. Simms Oliphant was the granddaughter of novelist and historian William Gilmore Simms. In 1917 the state superintendent of education asked her to update her grandfather's history for use as a textbook. It was adopted and revised every five years until 1932 when Oliphant wrote her own school text, The Simms History of South Carolina—which went through nine editions and was used in the state's schools until 1985.

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Unlike the European honey bee which can only sting once, Yellow jackets, which are far more aggressive, have a smooth stinger and can sting you over and over again. Most yellow jacket nests are constructed in the ground, they chew fiber to make cells in which the queen lays eggs, and they are usually partially concealed under decaying tree roots or the protective structure of shrubs and bushes.

We’ve been talking this week about ways to update your bathroom in ways that are eco-friendly and efficient, but that don’t cost a lot of money.  We’ve talked about upgrading your toilet, faucets and shower heads so they use less water, but let’s talk about decorative and aesthetic aspects of your bathroom.  Perhaps you’re ready to overhaul the entire room and you’re looking for cabinets, sinks, and even bath tubs. 


Oct 11, 2017
A Minute with Miles
SC Public Radio/Mary Noble Ours

Serenade is one of those musical terms that has meant many different things at many different times. The term itself comes from the Italian sereno, which is from the Latin serenus, which means “serene.”

Marbled Orb Weaver
Ben Jackson/Flickr

A listener finds a marbled orb weaver spider recycling an Illinois river cruiser dragonfly.

"J" is for Johns Island Presbyterian Church. The Johns Island Presbyterian Church is one of the oldest Presbyterian congregations in South Carolina. Scots minister Archibald Stobo founded the congregation in 1710.The first church, of cypress siding and shingles, was erected in 1719 and remodeled in 1792. In 1822-1823, it was replaced by the present structure—a fine example of wood churches of the Federal period. It bears many similarities to contemporary Episcopal churches, including clear glass windows with semi-circular windows above.

What happens when a divorce lawyer, financial planner, and real estate broker walk into a room? They form a new business that specializes in one-stop shopping for people going through divorce or separation.  That’s what happened recently to our next guest.

Mike Switzer interviews Jamie Minster with Charleston Divorce Services in Charleston, SC.

These ladies have the responsibility of judging baked goods at the South Carolina State Fair, and they take their work seriously.
Tut Underwood/ SC Public Radio

(Originally aired in 2016) - Eating cupcakes, pies, cakes, and cookies is a pleasure for most folks, but for judges at the South Carolina State Fair, it’s also a responsibility.  Judges Laurie Aker and Mae Wells say because baking contestants work hard to prepare their entries, they should also be diligent in evaluating each entry to get the fairest (no pun intended) and most accurate result in determining winners.  Here they give their criteria for judging food, and for a judge’s qualifications.      Aker lists some common mistakes made by some cooks, and judge supervisor Brenda Turner tel

Mammut americanum (Kerr, 1792) - American mastodon tooth (molar) from the Pleistocene of North America. (public display, Cincinnati Museum of Natural History & Science, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA)
James St. John [CC BY 2.0] via Flickr

A listener finds a tooth on Edisto Beach which may have belonged to a mastadon.

The Snake's Last Meal

Oct 10, 2017
A Canebrake Rattlesnake.
Ltshears, via Wikimedia Commons

A necropsy on a canebrake rattlesnake reveals its last meal.

We spend a lot of time in our bathrooms and this is one room where water waste can get out of hand.  There are many things that you can do to mediate this waste like taking a shorter shower or installing a dual flush toilet.  But another thing that you can do is retrofit or replace your faucets and shower heads with low flow versions.  

The Clarinet

Oct 10, 2017
A Minute with Miles
SC Public Radio/Mary Noble Ours

The clarinet was the last of the principal woodwind instruments to join the orchestra. The modern clarinet evolved from earlier forms in the early 1700's—later than the modern oboe, bassoon, and flute—and it wasn’t until late in the century that orchestral composers included the clarinet in their scores with any regularity.

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"N" is for National Guard. The South Carolina National Guard evolved out of the state’s militia. In 1905 the organized militia was renamed the South Carolina National Guard and in 1916 all state militias were converted into a national reserve force.  Guardsmen were activated for the campaign along the Mexican border in 1916. During World War I, most guardsmen were used as replacement personnel. In 1940, the first guard units were federalized and by February 1941 the entire force had been mobilized. Following the war, the Guard was reorganized and gained an air arm, the Air National Guard.