Mon-Fri, throughout the day

Naturalist Rudy Mancke, host of ETV's NatureScene, shares his knowledge of plants and wildlife each weekday on NatureNotes. These 1-minute snippets offer you a chance to find out about diverse topics having to do with the natural world. From the inner workings of our world's ecosystems, to plants & animals unique to South Carolina, to tips on beautiful sites to visit, you'll learn more about the world around you on NatureNotes.

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The Black Widow

5 minutes ago
The Northern Black Widow spider is common in the mid-Atlantic states, but also makes its home in South Carolina.
Marshal Hedin, via Wikimedia Commons

South Carolina is home to both the Northern Black Widow and the Southern Black Widow spider.

The Cownose Ray

Jan 17, 2017
A Cownose Ray
Virginia State Parks (Creative Commons 2.0), via Wikimedia Commons

Rays, like the Cownose Ray, don't have teeth. Instead they have bony plates.

The Brown Water Snake

Jan 16, 2017
A Brown Water Snake via Wikimedia Commons

The Brown Water Snake is no danger to humans, though an older, common name was "Water Rattler."

Bi-Valve Casts

Jan 13, 2017
An opalized Cyrenopsis fossil bivalve
James St. John [CC 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Fossilized casts of inhabitants of ancient seas...

Mole Cricket
Radu Privantu/Flickr

The Mole Cricket is, indeed, an odd looking insect.

A Sheepshead Fish
Tomás Castelazo/Creative Commons 2.5), via Wikimedia Commons

Sheepshead Fish come in various coloration. One thing they have in common is some distinctive jaws and teeth.

Wooly Aphids

Jan 10, 2017
Ovisacs of Wooly Aphids
Michael Montgomery, USDA Forest Service, via Wikimedia Commons

Sometimes called Alder Blight Aphids, these insects don't harm the trees.

Red Shouldered Hawk, Florida.
Alison Miller - Creative Commons 3.0 via

There are a number of differences between a Red Shouldered Hawk and a Cooper's Hawk.

Rudy reads from Phil Robinson's, "In Garden Orchard and Spinney."

Yes, It's Alive

Jan 5, 2017
Freshwater Bryozoan.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

Bryozoan colonies are actually animals.

Migrating Birds

Jan 4, 2017
Two Loons
USFWS/Gary J. Wege

A number of species of migrating birds make a stop in South Carolina in the Winter.

Salt Marsh Periwinkles

Jan 4, 2017
Salt marsh Periwinkle Snails.
Mary Hollinger, NESDIS/NODC biologist, NOAA. (NOAA Photo Library, via Wikimedia Commons)

Marsh Periwinkle Snails feed on organic debris during low tide, but, the don't like to get wet. So, they climb the marsh grass when the tide comes in.

Collared Earth Star
David Lochlin/Flickr

Every living thing is a "producer," a "user," or a "decomposer."  

A walk in the woods is a good way to mark the end of one year and the beginning of the next.

Mystery Feathers

Dec 28, 2016
A Pileated Woodpecker.
Joshlaymon[CC BY-SA 3.0] via Wikimedia Commons

A listener finds feathers, evidence of a recent kill by a predator. But, what kind of bird met its end here?

An Osprey in flight.
Gareth Rasberry [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

A listener spies an Osprey in an unusual place: perched on a house.

A Wheel Bug
Ragesoss via Wikimedia Commons

The Wheel Bug lays its eggs this time of year.

When you bring your Christmas tree in from the outdoors you may find some hidden hitchhikers.

The Tersa Sphynx Moth caterpillar has false eye spots.
Benny Mazur [CC BY 2.0] via Wikimedia Commons

Sometimes called a Hornworm, the caterpillar for the Tersa Sphynx moth feed on weedy plants and is common in South Carolina.

Happy Winter Solstice!

Dec 21, 2016

The Winter Solstice is the day with the shortest period of sunlight for the year.

American Bald Eagle
Yathin S Krishnappa via Wikimedia Commons

Yes, there are Bald Eagles in South Carolina, and they are expanding their range.

A checkered Eastern Garter Snake.
Dawson, via Wikimedia Commons

The Eastern Garter Snake is the first to come out in the Spring and the last to go into hibernation in the Fall.

Leaf-Footed Bugs

Dec 16, 2016
A Leaf-Footed Bug
Lyle Buss, Department of Entomology and Nematology, University of Florida

The Leaf-Footed bug is common in South Carolina.

The Gulf Fritillary

Dec 15, 2016
Gulf Fritillary butterfly
Bob Peterson via Wikimedia Commons

A listener finds a beautiful butterfly on Daniel Island.

A juvenile Black Rat Snake.
Mark Moran/

This is the time of year when you may spot a juvenile Black Rat Snake.

Mystery Skull

Dec 13, 2016

A father and sons find the jawbone of an animal...but which species?

You won't see them often--they "fly" at night, mostly. But the Southern Flying Squirrel is common in South Carolina.

You won't see them often--they "fly" at night, mostly. But the Southern Flying Squirrel is common in South Carolina.

The Southern Unstriped Scorpion, vaejovis carolinianus.
Sesamehoneytart, via Wikimedia Commons

Yes, we do: the Southern Unstriped Scorpion (Carolinianus) can be found around the state; and the Striped Southern Scorpion can be found on the coastal plane.