Content about nature

A Velvet "Ant."
Mark Musselman/USFWS

An old name for this insect is a "Cow Killer" ant; some folks call it a Velvet ant. But, it's actually a wasp that packs a painful sting.

A Writing Spider with its egg sac.
Joyous! via Wikimedia Commons

The signs are there, if you take the time to look.

Smooth Earth Snakes

Oct 11, 2016
A Smooth Earth snake.
Greg Schechter/Flickr

Not a common snake in South Carolina, adult Smooth Earth snakes are often mistaken for "baby" snakes because they are so small.

The Glass Lizard

Oct 11, 2016
An Eastern Glass lizard.
Bert Cash/Flickr

A listener finds a strange looking creature that, at first, he thinks is a snake. But, it's a lizard.

A Really Big Slug

Oct 7, 2016
Limax maximus
Didier Descouens, via Wikimedia Commons

The limax maximus is a European slug now thriving in South Carolina. And it is truly one big slug!

Fishing Spider with Egg Sac
Ron Knopik/USFWS

The Fishing Spider catches fish and insects for food. And the female carries its egg sac in her jaws.

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Hickories, tulip poplars, catalpas, gingkoes and other deciduous trees owe their yellow and golden fall colors to the presence of chemical compounds called carotenoids and flavonoids that served as accessories to   the life-giving cycle of photosynthesis that takes place in green leaves. Now that the shorter-lived chlorophyll molecules, responsible for the green color in leaves, are declining in concentration, these longer-lived compounds are becoming visible to us.

A Brown Widow spider.
Roy Niswanger/Flickr

The Brown Widow spider is venomous, though not as potent as the Black Widow.

Red-banded Hairstreak (Calycopis cecrops) in Stone Mountain Park, Georgia.Photo taken in the summer of 2007.
Matt edmonds, via Wikimedia Commons

This beautiful butterfly is quite small.

Puss Caterpillar

The Puss Caterpillar looks soft to the touch. But those "hairs" will sting you.

Fall Colors

Oct 3, 2016

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Some of the colors that make autumn leaves so beautiful have actually been in the leaves all along, but only become visible in the fall. Their presence was masked by the chlorophyll molecules held in structures called chloroplasts. Chlorophyll absorbs red and blue light to power the process of photosynthesis – the chemical reaction that turns carbon dioxide and water into carbohydrates – the ultimate source of all food we eat!

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Although persimmons have consistently beautiful and early fall foliage, they aren’t often highly valued by homeowners but people who plant them as a food source for wildlife and soil stabilization properties know their importance. The ripe fruits are relished by deer, possums, foxes, and raccoons and people – although you have to wait until they’re so soft you can only eat them with a spoon.

Poems for Fall

Sep 30, 2016

Rudy shares some Autumnal poems: "Each in his own tongue," William Herbert Carruth; "Autumn," author unknown.

The Ring-neck Snake

Sep 29, 2016
A Southern Ring-neck Snake.

The Southern version of this snake has an interrupted ring around the neck, while the northern one has a solid ring.

Hickory horn devil caterpillar
Terri Sumpter

Once you see one of these, you won't forget it.

Freshwater Bryozoan.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

Bryozoan Colonies are common in fresh water.  

The Groundsel Tree

Sep 26, 2016
A Groundsel Tree
Homer Edward Price/Flickr

The Groundsel Tree, sometimes call a Sea Myrtle, is spreading across South Carolina.

The Velvet "Ant"

Sep 23, 2016
A Velvet "Ant."
Mark Musselman/USFWS

This insect is a wasp, but, it's sometimes called a Velvet Ant because of the resemblance of the wingless female.

Welcome to the Equinox

Sep 22, 2016

Happy Autumnal Equinox!  

Good Camouflage

Sep 21, 2016
The larva of a Lacewing Butterfly. The dead carcasses of its prey together with its molts and dirt are massed on its body to camouflage.

The larva of the Lacewing Butterfly carries a lot of "trash" around, but, it's for camouflage.

A Thread-Waisted Wasp
Jon Richfield, via Wikimedia Commons

A listener spots a Thread-Waisted Wasp stuffing a caterpillar into a hole in the dirt. The caterpillar, paralyzed but alive, will provide food for the wasp's larva when it hatches.

A female wolf spider with her babies.
Valerius Geng, via Wikimedia Commons

The Wolf Spider carries her egg sack on her back. And, for a while after the eggs hatch, her young will hitch a ride with mom.

An Eastern worm snake (Carphophis amoenus).
Kara Jones/Flickr

The Eastern Worm Snake, which burrows, can be mistaken for worms.

A Potter Wasp nest.
Sharon Suzuki-Martinez/Flickr

The Potter Wasp makes nests that look a lot like a human-made, clay pot.

Running Club-Moss, Lycopodium clavatum L. Location: Appalachians; Shenandoah Mt.
Jason Hollinger/Flickr

  A listener spots  "Ground Pine,"  or "Ground Cedar," which is actually a moss, commonly called a Club-Moss.

A black (melanistic) Eastern Hognose Snake.
Patrick Coin via Wikimedia Commons

The Hognose Snake, Heterodon platirhinos, come in several colors: reds, greens, oranges, browns, to melanistic (i.e. black).

Imperial Moths mating.
National Park Service/Kent Walters

  Many listeners are reporting sightings of the beautiful Imperial Moth in South Carolina, often in mating pairs.

Gulf Coast Spiny Softshell Turtle
James Harding/

The Gulf Coast Spiny Softshell Turtle leaves the water to lay eggs.

The Blobs

Sep 8, 2016
Freshwater Bryozoan.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

These jelly-like blobs can be found in clean, freshwater habitats. Called Bryozoans, they are actually colonies of very small animals.

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

The female Southern Black Widow spider is black with the red, hour-glass shaped marking on its back. The male--which is no danger to humans--has a red stripe on its back. And the Northern Black Widow has different markings all together.