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.

Ways to Connect

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.

Eastern Garter Snake

Dec 8, 2016
Eastern garter snake, Florida.
Glenn Bartolotti via Wikimedia Commons

The Eastern Garter Snake is usually first of the snakes in this area to come out in the Spring and the last to go into hibernation in the Fall.

The Camel Cricket

Dec 7, 2016
A Spotted Camel Cricket.

The Schultz family wants to know what kind of arthropod is hanging out near their backdoor.

A Spotted Orbweaver.
National Park Service

The Spotted (Forest) Orbweaver that a listener saw under the eaves of his home was in a place that these arachnids aren't usually found.

Earthstar Scleroderma

Dec 5, 2016

A listener reports a fungus she can't identify.

Happy Arbor Day!

Dec 2, 2016
Stock photo of a tree.

The date for Arbor Day varies across climate zones.

An Ailanthus Webworm Moth.
Ryan Hodnett [CC SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

This moth is a wide-ranging, introduced species.

"A Beautiful Fellow"

Nov 30, 2016
An adult Black Rat Snake.

A listener spots "a beautiful fellow" in the dog park.

It's Not a Lizard

Nov 29, 2016
A Southern Red-Backed Salamander.
Greg Schechter [CC 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Salamanders have wet skin and no scales. Lizards have dry skin and scales.

Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae),  Krohn conservatory, Cincinnati, OH.
Andrew C/Flickr

The Cloudless Sulpher is a large butterfly that flies in the fall of the year.

A female Broad-Tailed Hummingbird.
Peter Wallack [CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons]

Western Hummingbirds do migrate as far east as South Carolina in the Winter. So, clean those feeders and re-hang them and you might get some visitors.

This Thanksgiving take a walk outside with your family.

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

A listener spots a bird having its "breakfast" in the middle of a busy street in downtown Charleston.

Columned (Columnar) Stinkhorn Mushrooms.

A listener finds some eggs in mulch near his house. One has opened to reveal a "crazy" sight.

Eastern Cottenmouth

Nov 21, 2016
An Eastern Cottonmouth Snake, agkistrodon piscivorus
Geoff Gallice, Gainesville, FL; via Wikimedia Commons

Most water snakes in South Carolina are non-venomous. The Eastern Cotton mouth is one of the exceptions.

The Carolina Mantis

Nov 18, 2016
A female Carolina Mantis.
Happy1892, via Wikimedia Commons

A listener spots South Carolina's State Insect: the Carolina Mantis.

A Long "Tailed" Wasp

Nov 17, 2016
An Ichneumon wasp ovipositing through wood.
Richard Bartz, via Wikimedia Commons

Ichneumon Wasps can penetrate wood in order to lay eggs.