Content about nature

Spittle Bugs

Aug 31, 2017
A spittlebug nymph, paritally uncovered.
imarsman [CC BY-NC-ND 2.0] via Flickr

The Spittle bug nymph blows bubbles in sap to hide under.

Just when we thought coding schools were becoming passé with the closing of the Iron Yard and other schools, we came across one company who is bullish on the industry and is moving quickly to fill the vacuum left by those who exited.  And they’ve planted a beachhead here in South Carolina.

Mike Switzer interviews Tom Wilson, chief technology innovation officer and an instructor at JRS Coding School in Mt. Pleasant, SC.

Lampshade Spider

Aug 30, 2017
Lampshade spider (Hypochilus pococki) at Oconaluftee, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Swain County, North Carolina, USA
Ryan Kaldari, public domain. via Wikimedia Commons

When viewed from the side, hanging under a rock, this spider's web reminded a listener of a lampshade. Its common name: Pocock Lampshade spider. They commonly build their webs under overhangs and in caves.

A listener reports finding a really large katydid.

Green Dragon

Aug 28, 2017
Green Dragon (Arisaema dracontium)
Tie Guy II [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Green Dragon has one leaf that divides into up to 17 leaflets.

Immature White Ibis

Aug 25, 2017
At sunrise, an adult white ibis teaches her child the fine art of synchronized foraging along a mud flat. These two were part of large flock that spent the night on Munyon Island at John D MacArthur Beach State Park in Florida.
Bob Peterson [CC BY 2.0], via Flickr

The immature White Ibis will eventually molt into white plummage.

A juvenile Southern Black Racer
Kevin Enge/Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's Fish and Wildlife Research Institute

The adult Striped Racers are black. Juveniles have a blotch pattern.

Brown Widow Spiders?

Aug 23, 2017
A Brown Widow spider.
Roy Niswanger/Flickr

Yes, there are Brown Widow spiders, as well as Black Widows, living in South Carolina. Both are harmful to humans.

Century Plants

Aug 22, 2017
Agave americana in bloom.
Alvesgaspar [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Not all of the plants we call Century plants live for 100 years. However, they are long-lived. 


Aug 21, 2017
The path of the August 21, 2017, total solar eclipse.

A total solar eclipse, visible in South Carolina, is an opportunity to study the sun.

Spiny Backed Orb Weaver
Markrosenrosen/Wikimedia Commons

This remarkable spider is native to South Carolina.

A Cicada Killer Wasp with a Cicada.
Bill Buchanan, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

These solitary wasps rarely sting a human being.

The Snake and the Frog

Aug 16, 2017
Eastern Garter snake, Florida.
Glenn Bartolotti via Wikimedia Commons

This common snake was found in a pool near Columbia, along with  a bullfrog.

A Gulf Coast Spiny Softshell turtle.
James Harding/

The Gulf Coast Spiny Softshell turtle is more common that the other Softshell found in South Carolina, the Florida Softshell turtle.

The Devil's Walking Stick in flower.
James H. Miller & Ted Bodner, Southern Weed Science Society,

This plant is common on the fringe of woodlands, often on roadsides.

A Giant Leopard moth, Hypercompe scribonia, 1.25 inches long, in Austin, Texas.
Ronnie Pitman [CC BY-NC 2.0] via Flickr

Listeners report sightings of several of the distinctive moths living in South Carolina.

A Land Planarian.
Martin LaBar [CC BY-NC 2.0], via Flickr

Several listeners have reported sightings of these odd looking creatures. The Land Planarian is a non-native species.

Neoclytus acuminatus - Red-headed Ash Borer, one of the many beautiful wood boring beetles in the Cerambycid group. Collected in Prince George's County, Maryland.
USGS Bee Inventory and Monitoring Lab

The Ash Borer beetle lays its eggs in dead, dying, or freshly cut trees.

Trapdoor Spider Fort Bragg, North Carolina, USA.
Patrick Randall [CC BY-NC-SA 2.0] via Flickr

These dark-colored spiders, common in South Carolina, have a singular look.

A Writing Spider with its egg sac.
Joyous! [CC BY-NC 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Having matured through the summer, many spiders in South Carolina are ready to mate.

The trunk of a Hercules Club tree, in Fisherman Island National Wildlife Refuge.
Chesapeake Bay Program [CC BY-NC 2.0], via Flickr

Hercules Club tree, also known as a devil's walking stick or prickly ash, at Fisherman Island National Wildlife Refuge on Virginia's Eastern Shore.

Lizard Sightings

Aug 2, 2017
Six Lined Racerunner.
Tom Gill [CC BY-NC-ND 2.0], via Flickr

The Eastern Fence Lizard eats insects and spiders

, as does the Six-Lined Race Runner.

A Killdeer Takes a Dip

Aug 1, 2017
A Killdeer with its nest and eggs.
Mykola Swarnyk, via Wikimedia Commons

Report of a bird behaving...strangely.

Rat-Tailed Maggot

Jul 31, 2017
A Rat-Tailed maggot.
Nathan Reading [CC BY-NC-ND 2.0], via Flickr

The Rat-Tailed maggot - Eristalis tenax - is the larvae of the Drone Fly, or Hover Fly. It lives in standing water.

A Big, Beautiful Insect

Jul 28, 2017
A Great Blue Skimmer (Libellula vibrans) in Durham, North Carolina, July 2014.
Rhododendrites (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Common in the Carolinas, the Great Blue Skimmer is one of the largest of the dragonflies in the Southeast.


Jul 27, 2017
James Emery

Webworms are a larvae for moths.

Eastern carpenter bee (Own work), via Wikimedia Commons

The Carpenter bee leaves sawdust behind as it digs its hole into wood. Woodpeckers often pick their way into these holes looking for the bees.

Greater Shearwaters

Jul 25, 2017
Greater Shearwater, or Great Shearwater (Puffinus gravis)
Artie Kopelman via Flickr

Rudy spots a bird that isn't usually seen along the South Carolina coast.

Painted Buckeyes

Jul 24, 2017
Painted buckeye (Aesculus sylvatica), flowers and leaves. Buckeye is especially evident in early spring because its leaves are among the earliest to develop fully. Duke Forest Korstian Division, Durham, North Carolina USA.
Jane Shelby Richardson, Duke University [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Painted buckeyes are wide spread in the mountains and Piedmont of South Carolina. The can sometimes be found on the coastal plain.

Ant lion larva (Myrmeleontidae).
NPS/Robb Hannawacker

The antlions, or ant-lions, are a group of about 2,000 species of insect in the family Myrmeleontidae, found in most warm climates around the world. The larvae, sometimes called "doodlebugs" in the south, leap from their pits to capture their prey.