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

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?

Zebra Swallowtail Butterfly
James Holland [CC BY-NC 3.0 US],

A listener spots a Zebra Swallowtail Butterfly.

A Brown-Headed Cowbird [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

A Brown-Headed Cowbird is a brood parasite.

Wood Storks

May 29, 2018
Wood Stork
Irene Atkinson,

A listener spots a pair of Wood Storks...

Mantis Shrimp

May 28, 2018
A Mantis Shrimp
Roy L. Caldwell, Department of Integrative Biology, University of California, Berkeley (National Science Foundation) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

This shrimp has front appendages reminiscent of the those on a Praying Mantis.

Heart Urchin

May 25, 2018
A Heart Urchin, Brissus latecarinatus.
Philippe Bourjon [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

An interesting find on Fripp Island...

Ring Necked Pheasant

May 24, 2018
A Ring Necked Pheasant
Becky Matsubura [CC BY 2.0] via Flickr

A beautiful bird spotted in Ridgeway--is it native?

The Southern House Spider
Edward L. Manigault [CC BY 3.0 US], Clemson University Donated Collection,

A mighty big spider in the basement...

The White Marked Tussock Moth Caterpillar
Distant Hill Garden [CC BY-NC-SA 2.0] via Flickr

The bristles on this caterpillar can cause allergic reactions in some people.

Lyre Leaf Sage
Scott.zona [CC BY-NC 2.0] via Flicr

Listeners ask about two plants with descriptive common names.

The Snake on the Porch

May 18, 2018
Eastern Garter snake, Florida.
Glenn Bartolotti via Wikimedia Commons

The Eastern Garter snake is common in South Carolina.

The Wool Sower Gall

May 17, 2018
A Wool Sewer Gall.
Jessica Lucia [CC BY-NC-ND 2.0] via Flickr

This fuzzy gall is always found on White Oaks.

The Tulip Tree

May 16, 2018
A Tulip Tree in flower.
Erica Maxine via Pixabay

One common name for this tree is "Tulip Poplar." However, it is not in the poplar family, but in the magnolia.

SC Public Radio

Woodpeckers will sometimes compete for already-existing holes.

Chinese Privet
Chris Evans, University of Illinois,

Privet, or Ligustrum japonicum, is a naturalized plant, and can be hard to control. Its flower has a strong, sweet odor.