Content about nature

An Oil Beetle
Stemonitis via Wikimedia Commons

The Oil Beetle gets its common name because it secretes oil from its leg joints.

What is the Fungus?

Feb 7, 2017
Columned (Columnar) Stinkhorn Mushrooms.

It's a Columnar Stink Horn Mushroom. Its unpleasant smell attracts insects who then spread its spores.

The Rufous is one of the Hummingbird species that might show up at your feeder.
ArtBrom on Flickr

It's a good idea to keep your Hummingbird feeder full through Fall and Winter.

Gulf Fritillary butterfly
Bob Peterson via Wikimedia Commons

The Gulf Fritillary flies in South Carolina on just about any warm month, no matter what the season.

It's Ground Hog Day!

Feb 2, 2017
A groundhog.
Cephas, via Wikimedia Commons

The Ground Hog can actually climb trees.

Rudy reads from Emerson's Beauty.

The Mediterranean Gecko

Jan 31, 2017
A Mediterranean Gecko.
Nathan Vaughn/Flickr

The Mediterranean Gecko, as the name implies, was introduced to South Carolina. They are now quite common.

Bearded Hedgehog Fungus

Jan 30, 2017
Bearded Hedgehog Fungus
Lebrac, via Wikimedia Commons

The Bearded Hedgehog fungus can cause Heart Rot Disease in Oak trees.

A Jelly Ear Fungus
Lairich Rig,, CC 2.0

The Brown Ear, or Jelly Ear, fungus looks sort of like a human ear. And if you touch it, you'll find it feels like one, too!

Horsehair Worms

Jan 26, 2017
A Horsehair Worm and its former host.
Alastair Rae/Flickr

Because of its appearance, people once thought that these parasites spontaneously generated when a horse hair fell into water.

Ring Billed Gull
Wikimedia Commons

Ring Billed Gulls are common in the Piedmont this time of year.

The Giant Leopard Moth caterpillar.
Chris Goforth/NC Museum of Natural Sciences

The caterpillar for the Great Leopard Moth can grow up to two or three inches in length.

By now, you’ve probably heard about all the plastic particles that plague the health of our oceans, but recent research by scientists at Clemson University suggests that microplastics are only part of the story.  While taking samples of more than a dozen beaches in the Southeast, scientist and associate professor at Clemson’s College of Agriculture, Forestry, and Life Sciences, Alex Chow discovered the presence of not only plastics, but sizable amounts of natural fibers as well.  

Bearded Hedgehog Fungus
Lebrac, via Wikimedia Commons

The Bearded Hedgehog mushroom is edible and often enjoyed by humans.

The Red Bellied Snake

Jan 20, 2017
Red Bellied Snake
Savannah River Ecology Laboratory

The Red Bellied Snake feeds on soft-bodied invertebrates.

Mystery Bone

Jan 19, 2017

Intact, this bone can resemble an animal skull.

The Black Widow

Jan 18, 2017
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

South Carolina is home to both the Northern Black Widow and the Southern Black Widow spider.

The Cownose Ray

Jan 17, 2017
A Cownose Ray
Virginia State Parks (Creative Commons 2.0), via Wikimedia Commons

Rays, like the Cownose Ray, don't have teeth. Instead they have bony plates.

The Brown Water Snake

Jan 16, 2017
A Brown Water Snake via Wikimedia Commons

The Brown Water Snake is no danger to humans, though an older, common name was "Water Rattler."

Bi-Valve Casts

Jan 13, 2017
An opalized Cyrenopsis fossil bivalve
James St. John [CC 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Fossilized casts of inhabitants of ancient seas...

Mole Cricket
Radu Privantu/Flickr

The Mole Cricket is, indeed, an odd looking insect.

A Sheepshead Fish
Tomás Castelazo/Creative Commons 2.5), via Wikimedia Commons

Sheepshead Fish come in various coloration. One thing they have in common is some distinctive jaws and teeth.

Wooly Aphids

Jan 10, 2017
Ovisacs of Wooly Aphids
Michael Montgomery, USDA Forest Service, via Wikimedia Commons

Sometimes called Alder Blight Aphids, these insects don't harm the trees.

Red Shouldered Hawk, Florida.
Alison Miller - Creative Commons 3.0 via

There are a number of differences between a Red Shouldered Hawk and a Cooper's Hawk.

Rudy reads from Phil Robinson's, "In Garden Orchard and Spinney."

Yes, It's Alive

Jan 5, 2017
Freshwater Bryozoan.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

Bryozoan colonies are actually animals.

Migrating Birds

Jan 4, 2017
Two Loons
USFWS/Gary J. Wege

A number of species of migrating birds make a stop in South Carolina in the Winter.

Salt Marsh Periwinkles

Jan 4, 2017
Salt marsh Periwinkle Snails.
Mary Hollinger, NESDIS/NODC biologist, NOAA. (NOAA Photo Library, via Wikimedia Commons)

Marsh Periwinkle Snails feed on organic debris during low tide, but, the don't like to get wet. So, they climb the marsh grass when the tide comes in.

Collared Earth Star
David Lochlin/Flickr

Every living thing is a "producer," a "user," or a "decomposer."  

A walk in the woods is a good way to mark the end of one year and the beginning of the next.