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

Carolina Wrens often come back to the same area each year to nest.


Jul 13, 2018
The larvae of the Dusky Birch Sawfly are often mistaken for caterpillars.
Lacy L. Hyche, Auburn University,

The Dusky Birch Sawfly is a stingless wasp. As the common name implies, its prefered food plant is the River Birch.

A "Mermaid's Bracelet"

Jul 12, 2018
A tube from a polychaete worm, most likely a Plumed Worm, Diopatra cuprea.
Karen Parker, Florida Fish and Wildlife via Flickr

A family finds an object in a tidal pool which one of the children dubs a "mermaid's bracelet." It's actually a tube extending from a Plumed Worm, or Diopatra cuprea, beneath the sand.

Fox Squirrel

Jul 10, 2018
An Eastern Fox Squirrel.
Alabama Cooperative Extension System

A listener spots an odd looking squirrel in Santee...

The Ichneumon Wasp

Jul 9, 2018
An Ichneumon wasp laying its eggs. Inside the wood is the larva of another insect, possibly a Horntail wasp.
Igfugl [CC BY-NC-SA 2.0] via Flickr

The Ichneumon Wasp lays its eggs in the larvae of other insects.

A Scarlet-Winged Lichen moth.
Seabrooke Leckie [CC BY-NC-ND 2.0] via Flickr

The caterpillar of this moth feeds on lichen.

Owl Pellets

Jul 5, 2018
An owl pellet.
gailhampshire [CC BY 2.0] via Flickr

Owl pellets, like the one a listener found, contain the remains of the animals the owl "recycles."

A Black Rat Snake.
Stephen Lody Photography [CC BY-SA 3.0], from Wikimedia Commons

A listener finds a Black Rat snake making a meal of a squirrel. Rat Snakes are powerful constrictors and feed on small mammals.

Vase Vine

Jul 3, 2018
Clematis viorna
By peganum from Henfield, England (Clematis viorna) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

A listener finds a beautiful, bell-shaped "flower" in Pickens County and wonders what they are.

Cliff swallows nesting under a bridge.
Marlin Harms, via Wikimedia Commons

The colonial nesting birds are often found on cliff faces in the western U.S. In South Carolina, you will often find them under bridges.

Deer Flies "Bite"!

Jun 29, 2018
A feeding Deer Fly.
Clemson University - USDA Cooperative Extension Slide Series,

Deer Flies, or Yellow Flies, are out in number this year, especially near water. And, yest, they will "bite"!

Corn snake
Mike Wesemann via Wikimedia Commons

Corn Snakes are often mis-identified as venomous and, unfortunately, killed.

Mating Moths

Jun 27, 2018
A mating pair of Pink-Striped Oakworm moths.
Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources - Forestry,

A listener finds a mating pair of Pink Striped Oakworm moths.

Northern Parula Warbler

Jun 26, 2018
A Northern Parula Warbler.
Dan Pancamo [CC BY-SA 2.0] via Flickr

The neo-tropical migrant breeds in South Carolina, then flies south to tropical climes.

Lady's Tresses Orchids

Jun 22, 2018
A Lady's Tresses Orchid.

If you find one of these lovely plants, it's best left in place if you want it to thrive.

Happy Summer Solstice!

Jun 21, 2018
SC Public Radio

Today is the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere.

An Eastern Lubber grasshopper nymph.
Colinblenis [CC BY-SA 3.0], from Wikimedia Commons

The nymph of the Eastern Lubber grasshopper is almost black, with a yellow stripe down the back.

This Northern Scarlet snake is sometimes mistaken for a Coral Snake.
Glenn Bartolotti, via Wikimedia Commons

If you happen upon a snake with bands of red, yellow, and black that has red and yellow bands touch, the is an Eastern Coral snake. Beware! Otherwise, you may be looking at a "mimic," like the Northern Scarlet snake.

A Killdeer with its nest and eggs.
Mykola Swarnyk via Wikimedia Commons

Wilson's Plover is a coastal bird. Killdeer is an Upland Plover that is common all over South Carolina.

Dinesh Valke [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

A listener spots a  plant in Barbados that is similar to Rattle Bush. The latter was introduced initially in Florida.

The Great Leopard Moth

Jun 14, 2018
The Great Leopard Moth.
Arnstein Rønning [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

This moth is common in South Carolina. It over-winters as a caterpillar and builds its cocoon in the Spring.

A Brown Widow Spider?

Jun 13, 2018
An Orchard Orb Weaver Spider, Jekyll Island, GA.
gailhampshire [CC BY 2.0] via Flickr

The Orchard Orb Weavers have red markings on the belly, but, are much smaller than Brown Widows.

Red-Bellied Watersnakes. An unusual group photo, probably one female in the tangle being pursued by 3 males.
Vicki DeLoach [CC BY 2.0] via Flickr

The Red-Bellied Watersnake is common in South Carolina. They are non-venomous.

An Anhinga.
Wknight94 [CC BY-SA 3.0] via Wikimedia Commons

A listener spots some "crazy" birds at Hunting Beach State Park...

Mullberry Trees

Jun 8, 2018
Leaves and fruit of a White Mulberry tree.
stux [CC0 1.0] via Pixabay

There are two kinds of Mulberry trees in South Carolina. The White Mulberry was introduced. The Red Mulberry is native.


Jun 7, 2018
A Hellgrammite.
Bob Henricks [CC BY-SA 2.0] via Flickr

Not fond of Dobson Flies? You won't like its larval form much better.

Snakes and Lizards

Jun 6, 2018
A Black Rat Snake.
Stephen Lody Photography [CC BY-SA 3.0], from Wikimedia Commons

Listeners report sights of snakes... and of an snake "impersonator."

Spotted Wintergreen

Jun 5, 2018
Spotted Wintergreen in flower, with fruit.
dogtooth77 [CC BY-NC-SA 2.0] via Flickr

Spotted Wintergreen (Chimaphila maculata) is a "lovely little plant."

Cannonball Jellyfish

Jun 4, 2018
Cannonball Jellyfish at Smyrna Dunes Park.
Andrea Westmoreland [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Found on Folly Beach...

A Bard Owl
John Triana [CC BY 3.0 US], Regional Water Authority,

Why would Crows harass Bard Owls?