Content about nature

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.

A Canebrake Rattlesnake.
Ltshears, via Wikimedia Commons

South Carolina's resident rattlesnake is the Canebrake Rattlesnake.

The caterpillar for the Skiff Moth is green and looks like a seed pod.

A Pink Spotted Hawk Moth.

The Pink-Spotted Hawk Moth is a strong flyer.

A Midland Water Snake, Nerodia sipedon pleuralis.
Peter Paplanus/Flickr

The answer is, "You bet!" The Midland Water Snake is well designed to do just that kind of thing.

An "Eye-Popping" Plant

Nov 9, 2016
Fruit of the Euonymus americanus.
John D. Byrd, Mississippi State University, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

A visually striking plant when it fruits, the is sometimes called Hearts A Busting, or a Strawberry Bush.

The Hognose Snake

Nov 8, 2016
Eastern Hognose Snake
Wikipedia. Creative Commons License

This snake can flatten its head like a Cobra when threatened; but, it's not venomous.

Two Loons
USFWS/Gary J. Wege

Sometimes, all you need is a single bone to identify a species.

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Tony Melton says you should rake leaves off your turf grass as they can insulate the grass, keeping it from going dormant which prepares your turf for winter. But don’t bag them and send them off to the landfill! Leaves are full of nutrients and make great organic matter.

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Rather than sending  the limbs and branches you pick up after a storm to the landfill,  use that material to make a brush pile on your property. Put the largest limbs down first and then come back at a ninety degree angle with similar sized material for the frame work. Then begin to add smaller debris, especially with leaves still attached. Keep the pile as loose as possible.

Banded Water Snake

Nov 4, 2016
A juvenile Banded Water Snake.
Wayne T. 'Tom' Helfrich/Flickr

The bands on this snake are particularly distinct in juveniles.

A Living Host

Nov 3, 2016
A Tomato Hornworm parasitized by a Braconid Wasp.
Stsmith (Own work), via Wikimedia Commons

The Tomato Hornworm is a caterpillare that often plays host the eggs and pupa of Branocid wasps; in the end, though, it's not a good deal for the caterpillar.

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Another type of dead wood that should be left in wooded areas when it doesn’t threaten timber value is large logs. In rural areas bears and turkey vultures can find shelter in them and mice, amphibians, lizards, snakes and such use their rotted interiors or crevices beneath them as places of refuge. One interesting fact is that the humidity associated with these rotting, moist pieces of wood is that is creates micro-environments for such moisture requiring amphibians as salamanders and certain frogs.

Diamondback Terrapin

Nov 2, 2016
A Diamondback Terrapin
Becky Gregory CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

These reptiles can be found in salt marshes on the South Carolina coastal.

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Although tree farmers must keep their stands healthy, a few snags, upright dead or dying trees, usually don’t pose a risk and are critical to the lifecycle of many animals. Primary cavity creators like woodpeckers and brown-headed nuthatchers are the top of a group of animals that benefit from snags. A raft of secondary creatures then enjoy these hollow spaces – such as  Owls, bats and certain songbirds.

Rose-Breasted Grosbeak

Nov 1, 2016
Male Rose-breasted Grosbeak
John Harrison/Flickr

Once you site one of these striking birds, you not likely forget the sight.

Happy All Hallows Eve

Oct 31, 2016

Our modern day "Hallowe'en" has old roots in culture, religion, and nature.

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. If you are fortunate enough to have a woods as part of  your property, you can support wildlife by management decisions. I’ve seen many newcomers who want their pines or hardwoods to be as tidy as their shrub borders – a practice that destroys many places birds, mammals and reptiles need for their lifecycle. Three types of dead wood are critical for a wildlife nurturing woodland.

"Just Teeth"?

Oct 27, 2016

A listener finds a "critter" that seems to have no head, to be "just teeth"!

Octopus in a Pool

Oct 26, 2016
A common Octopus.
Beckmannjan, via Wikimedia Commons

A listener spots an Octopus in a tidal pool.

So, other than the coloring, is there a difference between a "white" skunk and "regular" skunk?

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. There is a huge pine tree fell in my vegetable/flower garden and it broke two sprinklers along with all the other mess. Thankfully, they feed off a well separate from the city water that goes to the house. I’ve got three hoses joined together to keep the large containers we use are bird baths filled with fresh water.

The pupa of a Variegated Fritillary (Euptoieta claudia) Butterfly photographed in a garden in Rock Hill, South Carolina.
Lonnie Huffman, via Wikimedia Commons

The pupal stage of the Varigated Fritillary is a beautiful thing!

Strange Looking Bug

Oct 21, 2016
A Wheel Bug
Ragesoss via Wikimedia Commons

The purpose of the "wheel" or "cog" on a Wheel Bug's back is unknown.

The Eastern Pondhawk Dragonfly
By Ryan Hodnett (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

The Eastern Pondhawk dragonfly used to be called the Green Jacket dragonfly.

A Devil's Walking Stick with fruit.
Franklin Bonner, USFS (ret.), via Wikimedia Commons

Sometimes called the Devil's Walking Stick, Aralia spinosa, fruits in the fall in South Carolina. One look at the stem give you a clue as to how it got some of its common names.

A Green Lynx Spider guarding its egg sac.
The Marmot/Flickr

If you see a Green Lynx spider this time of year, it will likely be a female guarding its egg sac.