Nature

Legless Lizards

Jun 14, 2019
The Eastern Glass Lizard is a common legless lizard.
Bert Cash/Flickr

Legless Lizards, unlike snakes, have eyelids and ears.

Eastern King Snake

Jun 13, 2019
An Eastern King Snake
Paul [CC BY-SA 2.0] via Flickr

The chain-like pattern on this non-venomous snake can help identify it.

Black-bellied Whistling Ducks - Boynton Beach, FL
Michael Klotz [CC BY-NC 2.0] via Flickr

The range for these birds has only recently expanded into South Carolina.

Vaejovis carolinianus - Southern Unstriped Scorpion.
Glen Peterson [CC BY-NC-SA 2.0] via Flickr

The Southern Unstripped Scorpion lives mostly in the mountains and Piedmont. The stripped scorpion can occasionally be found on the lower Coastal Plain.

Broadheaded Skink

Jun 10, 2019
Broad-Headed Skink (Eumeces laticeps).
Peter Paplanas [CC BY 2.0] via Flickr

These very large lizards feed on insects and spiders.

Ag and Art

Jun 8, 2019

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Clemson Agribusiness Agent Ben Boyers and his partner Strauss Shiple of the Old English District Tourism Commission have exciting events planned in ten South Carolina counties for each of the five weekends that we have coming up in June., Ag and Art Tours. Here is a quote from their website: The South Carolina Ag + Art Tour is a free, self-guided tour of farms and markets featuring local artisans at every stop!

Mating Luna Moths

Jun 7, 2019
Luna Moths, mating
Judy Gallagher [CC BY 2.0] via Flickr

A listener spots two of these large moths that are mating.

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Elderberry stems are semi-woody, the interior is filled with pith. The late John Fairey, renowned botany professor at Clemson, told his students that this pith was collected and used to pack delicate scientific instruments and by repairmen to hold tiny parts of watches, back in the day when people actually fixed mechanically-run timepieces.

Patent Leather Beetle

Jun 6, 2019
Patent Leather Beetle, Odontotaenius disjunctus
Katja Schulz [CC BY 2.0] via Flickr

The shiny exterior of this beetle gives rise to this common name.

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Professor Greg Reighard, Clemson researcher and international fruit specialist, explained that elderberries are primarily wind-pollinated. Although the flowers are extraordinarily showy, which you think would be a sign that they are attracting all sorts of pollinators, don’t produce nectar so insect visitors are only be collecting pollen.

"A Good Snake Day"

Jun 5, 2019
A Brown Water Snake
birdphotos.com via Wikimedia Commons

A listener had an abundance of snake sightings in Francis Beidler Forest...

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Elderberries grow in Australia Europe, Japan, parts of south America and in North America into the far east coast reaches of Canada and across the entire United States. The species with black fruits, Sambucus canadensis are the ones we find in our part of the country, which is fortunate, as the blue berries are toxic. Actually, all parts of the plants contain toxic compounds but when heated the ripe black berries make delicious wine or a pie.

Gray Catbird

Jun 4, 2019
A Gray Catbird.
Matthew Petroff [CC BY 2.0] via Flickr

The Gray Catbird is in the same family as the Mockingbird.

A Melanistic Eastern Hognose Snake
Hunter Desportes [CC BY 2.0]via Flickr

A listener finds a melanistic Hognose snake in Pickens, a place where this variation is not usually found.

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Some people have horrible commutes; highways clogged with traffic and slow moving traffic even with speed limits of 70 miles per hour. My hour spent traveling from St. Matthews from Sumter is mostly a delight as I pass fields filled with row crops growing vigorously on those Fort , red clay enriched soils. Then I cross the Congaree and head into a long flat traverse with more fields and woodlands until I descend into  the Wateree flood plain.

Moths and Yucca

Jun 1, 2019
Making It Grow Minute
SC Public Radio

Hello Gardeners, I'm Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Some hummingbird moths, so named because of their size, visit yucca flowers at night to enjoy their nectar. But the important pollinators are yucca moths. Relatively small white insects, the female moth enters yucca flowers and uses special mouthparts called tentacles to collect pollen, which she rolls into a ball to transport. She lays her eggs in the ovary of a yucca flower, and then places some of the fresh pollen onto the female stigma.

NatureNotes
SC Public Radio

Parasitoids emerge from a cocoon, confirming a hypothesis...

Making It Grow Minute
SC Public Radio

Hello Gardeners, I'm Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Some yuccas deservedly have the name Spanish Bayonet or dagger because of the sharp points at the ends of their leaves. But we have two native yuccas that are much less threatening and still have beautiful blossoms. Both Yucca filamentosa and Yucca flaccida are smaller and have somewhat softer foliage than their big relatives, and flowering stalks that top out at five feet. The leaves have threads, filaments, along the leaf margins, like fabric unraveling.

Spanish Bayonet

May 30, 2019
Making It Grow Minute
SC Public Radio

Hello Gardeners, I'm Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Like Yucca aloifolia, Spanish Bayonet, the plant called Spanish Dagger, Yucca gloriosa, also is native only to the lower southeastern states. Although it has a similar size and flower display, its leaves aren't quite so stiff and have a less lethal point at the end. John Nelson tells me the margins of Yucca gloriosa leaves are smooth and won't cut your fingers.

Mystery Caterpillar

May 30, 2019
NatureNotes
SC Public Radio

A listener finds a caterpillar he cannot identify...

Making It Grow Minute
SC Public Radio

Hello Gardeners, I'm Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Many people who have cut grass with push lawnmowers think that there should be a special place in the hell for yucca plants, as they have backed into them and suffered a painful stab wound. As a matter of fact, an Australian hospital reports it has treated dozens of persons with serious ear injuries incurred while working around yucca plants. The most dangerous yucca we have in South Carolina is Yucca aloifolia, or Spanish Bayonet.

Painted Bunting

May 29, 2019
A female Painted Bunting.
Dan Pancamo [CC BY-SA 2.0] via Wikimedia Commons.

The range of this species on South Carolina is expanding.

Trees in Flower

May 28, 2019
NatureNotes
SC Public Radio

There are lots of trees flowering in South Carolina right now...

Making It Grow Minute
SC Public Radio

Hello Gardeners, I'm Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Right now, striking plants that are grown in many yards, and in cemeteries, and along roadsides are capturing our attention. Yuccas are tough, hardy plants that can persist for years and years without care and right now are blooming their hearts out. With flowering panicles that can be three feet by two feet and supported on stalks that can reach twelve feet in height, their masses of showy white blossoms top the charts for the WOW factor.

NatureNotes
SC Public Radio

There is not much in life that compares with walking with friends and family in the woods, especially this time of year.

Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher

May 24, 2019
A Blue-gray Gnatcatcher nest.
USGS Bee Inventory and Monitoring Lab [Public Domain Mark 1.0] via Flickr

This bird uses lichens on the outside of its nest, which is good camouflage.

Pine Snakes

May 23, 2019
A Pine Snake
Glenn Bartolotti [CC BY-SA 4.0], from Wikimedia Commons

This constrictor spends a lot of time underground and is not often seen in South Carolina.

Sweetshrub

May 22, 2019

This aromatic plant is found in the Mountains and Piedmont of the Carolinas.

A Fish on the Beach

May 21, 2019
An atlantic sturgeon brood fish at the Bears Bluff National Fish Hatchery, SC.
James Henne/USFWS [CC BY-NC-ND 2.0] via Flickr

A listener finds part of a sturgeon washed up on the beach at the Isle of Palms...

"Snake Birds"

May 20, 2019
An Anhinga.
Wknight94 [CC BY-SA 3.0] via Wikimedia Commons

When the Anhinga is in the water, hunting, its head and neck is reminiscent of a swimming snake.

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