My wife and son went off to Beach Camp with the Church Youth Group (my wife as an adult leader, my son as a youth), so this week finds me "Holmes alone".
Monday (6-24-02), With the day off and my folks away, I took to the road. My truck was rolling by 5:15 AM.
I stopped in Lexington County early and flipped some fallen billboards for snakes. No luck.
In Richland County I hunted the intersection of US 76/ US 378 &
SC 263 and found only a few Cicindela punctulata. Down the hill and at the Wateree River, I found a Megacephala carolina under a rock.
Crossing into Sumter county I found a few C. repanda by the water but did not collect any as I already had plenty from that location. Then it was time for the Tiverton Churchyard, with hopes for C. gratiosa and C abdominalis for the first time. Gratiosa was nowhere to be found, but I didn't even get the truck door shut before realizing that abdominalis were everywhere! I could have gotten 75-100! I limited myself to 3 (2 for me and 1 for my nephew). I worked my way down to Sparkleberry. There I found tons of M carolina. Under one rock there must have been 15-20! Again, I collected 3. I also picked up a C. punctulata in the parking lot at St Marks Church.
On to Clarendon County. Having never collected any Tiger Beetles and Dragonflies here, I made my way to Elliots Landing on Lake Marion. Eastern Pondhawk, C. punctulata, and M. carolina were all secured in short order. This was shaping up to be a fun day.
I still wanted a C. abdominalis from Richland, and again hunted the intersection. Nothing. So, I took off on 601 towards Camden (Kershaw County). On the way, I found a little church with a sandy parking lot and achieved my goal.
By the time I hit Kershaw County I was ready for anything, having never caught any snake, dragonfly or tiger beetle there. In a little sandy churchyard on 601 I got a pair of C. punctulata. At the Wateree on US 1 (between Lugoff and Camden) there is a boat landing. My M. carolina was there. My Midland Watersnake was there. And I collected a neat Clubtail Dragonfly. Kershaw done!
On my trip I polished off a lot of cold Pepsi from the cooler, drove about 315 miles, and was back in Laurens (so I could go to the bank) by 5 PM. Hot day. Long day. Good day.
Tuesday (6-25-02), The red-phase Eastern Garter in my classroom had 25 babies. She had been with a normal male. All the babies have normal coloring. The air conditioner in the mouse-house still working. Fingers are crossed.
Wednesday (6-26-02), Again I ventured out after work. No county records existed for a rather common Tiger Beetle (C. punctulata) in Greenwood and McCormick Counties. I had also never collected any dragonflies in McCormick. I accomplished these goals with very little difficulty.
Thursday (6-27-02), Found a female Hercules Beetle at a gas station before sunrise. At work I got a female Giant Stag. Later, goofing off locally, I wasn't home and missed a visit from a colleague. Bummer! By this point in the week I would have enjoyed a visitor.
Friday (6-28-02), My beloved wife and son returned from their trip. I told them that I was tired of going where I wanted to go, eating what I wanted to eat, watching what I wanted to watch, etc. Glad to have them home! My son even brought me a Tiger Beetle (M. carolina) that he had caught
Saturday (6-29-02), Another female Giant Stag Beetle and female Hercules early in the morning. After sunset, while out, we found an adult Black Ratsnake one the road and helped her to safety.
Sunday 6-30-02), Passing through Abbeville, we stopped for a little break and I collected a Tiger Beetle (M. carolina) under a small limb that was lying on the ground.
Been quite a busy week. Lots of really neat animals. I really enjoyed it.