SC Reptile and Amphibians


July 2002

Week ending 07-28-02

Gene's notes

I spent most of the week adapting to my new medications. I returned to work for Thursday and Friday.

On Friday ((07-26-02) we got a soaking rain late in the afternoon. It was really needed. After dark, I looked for frogs on the road near the big creek. I found Green Treefrogs, immature Southern Leopard Frogs, immature Fowlers Toads, and one immature Eastern Narrowmouth Toad.

Since next weekend is in August, I think I'll let this week end July's observations. It has been a lean month for herps. Hope August will be better.

Gene Ott


Joey's notes

Another blazing-hot week. Mostly dry, we had a few brief storms. Very localized stuff. We still need serious rains. Have not found much in the way of wildlife.

Wednesday (7-24-02), Looking around campus, we found a Brown Snake and a Red-Bellied Snake.

Friday (7-26-02), Again, on campus, we found a couple of baby Midland Watersnakes. After work, I zipped over to Newberry county and collected a Tiger Beetle (Cicindela rufiventris) and a female Cow-Killer (Velvet Ant).

Saturday (7-27-02), my son and I spent some time in the cow pasture by the river. No great discoveries but fun to be outdoors.

I collected a few assorted Beetles, here-and-there, this week. Nothing odd or unusual. I do hope the weather changes soon. We need some relief from the drought and heat.

Joey Holmes

Week ending 07-21-02 (including weeking ending 07-14-02)

Gene's notes

Lately I have not been able to devote much time to herping or the web site. This week and last, I was undergoing many medical tests. I think my doctors have me on a good track for wellness now. My wife and I celebrated our 34th wedding anniversary while I was in the hospital. Although I received very good medical treatment, the hospital was not the best of locations for a celebration. However, our anniversary was a great milepost to celebrate anyplace.

Steve Bennett, SC State Herpetologist, informed me the Spotted Turtle has been designated a "Species in Need of Management in South Carolina." With this designation comes regulations upon the possession and sale of these turtles in SC. Detailed information is available online (click on the word information).

My only interesting herp observation for these 2 weeks was a River Cooter trying to dig an egg hole at the edge of the pavement on a road near home. Through my hospital window, I spotted a Chipmunk, Cottontail Rabbit, Mockingbirds, and Brown Thrasher. I hope my wife will allow me to herp a little this next week.

I thank Kevin Enge with the Bureau of Wildlife Diversity Conservation of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission for letting me know that I had miss identified a neonate Eastern Hognose Snake as a Southern. I have now corrected the entries.

Gene Ott


Joey's notes

This week has been a real scorcher! Hot and dry! We really need some serious rain.

Monday (7-15-02), Did a "Snake and Lizard" talk for the group of Irish Children that came to Spartanburg for the summer. GREAT kids! Always nice to meet new friends (and see some old friends) from distant lands.

Tuesday (7-16-02), Work, Found some Yellowjackets while gathering some feeder worms. Got one sting. On a better note, we did catch two Brown Snakes.

Wednesday (7-17-02), My dear sweet wife's birthday, AND, our 19th wedding anniversary! I have appreciated and loved every day of it!

Thursday (7-18-02), Off work, I had family errands to attend, but ended up at the Botanical Gardens at Clemson University. I enjoyed seeing Swift Setwings and Prince Baskettails prowl at a small pond. Dragonflies are wonderful to watch.

Friday (7-19-02), With a bit of time and a hot day, I darted into Cherokee County and collected some Cicindela rufiventris (new county record).

Saturday (7-20-02), My son and I joined a group of Entomologists doing a survey of insects at a small State Park (Goodale State Park) in Kershaw County near Camden. We met some wonderful folks and saw some cool insects. Dragonflies were great but it was nice to collect Tiger Beetles in the Sandhills. C. abdominalis were common, we found C. punctulata, but best of all were my first C. gratiosa. Awesome! We also went on up into Chesterfield County where we easily collected Tiger Beetles (C. punctulata and C. gratiosa) and Dragonflies. We were home by 4 PM. Later in the evening, I picked up an Eastern Worm Snake while doing some visiting in-laws down in Laurens County.

Sunday (7-21-02), Picked up another Eastern Worm Snake under debris in Laurens County.

Not much else to say. Have a good week.

Week Ending 07-14-02:

I am late this week getting this report out, but then, I do not have a lot to report. There are lots of neat insects (Beetles & Moths) available, but Snakes are rather hard to find. Perhaps I should re-phrase that: with the heat of summer on, Snakes are hard to look for. We did brave the heat and found a Red-Bellied Snake one day on campus. Other herps are out. We saw the first baby Skinks and Anoles this week (our Skink eggs in the Classroom hatched). With slightly cooler temps and rains, several Eastern Box Turtles were seen crossing the road on Sunday morning. Found a couple of DOR Ratsnakes also.

Like I said, not much going on.

Joey Holmes

Week ending 07-07-02

Gene's notes

I spent Monday thru Thursday on vacation in the Garden City Beach area. Most of the time was devoted to family and learning how to use my new digital camera. I had a lot of fun introducing my 18-month old granddaughter to new experiences such as playing in the surf and sand, sight-seeing, and watching fireworks on the 4th. The beach nearest the house where we stayed was undergoing sand renourishment. A dredge excavated sand from the accreting inlet side of the pennisular and was pumped as a water slurry through temporary surface piping to the oceanside beach. The project ran around the clock and was unsightly and noisy. Renourishment was needed but it made for some unusual beach scenes. There were a couple of ultralight airplanes being flown from nearby locations. One was wheeled and the other had pontoons. I would love to be able to fly one of these machines. My granddaughter, daughter, daughter-in-law, and I visited Alligator Adventure in North Myrtle Beach. I believe my granddaughter liked the ducks the best. Friday was devoted to the trip back home.

There were not many herps to see in the heavily populated beach areas. A few Green Anoles and an occassional Racerunner were spotted. My daughter-in-law and I visited Huntington Beach State Park on the morning of the 4th. People were pouring into the park like at a football game. The rangers were busy directing traffic. We saw the Alligators in the causeway pond. We also saw a Great Blue Heron catch and eat a small snake. We were too far away to ID the snake, but it had a yellow belly. Perhaps it was a Glossy Crayfish Snake. Anyway, it is Great Blue Heron now.

Back home on Friday evening and Saturday, I saw several DOR snakes, including Black Snakes, 2 Rough Green Snakes and a Copperhead.

Sunday (07-07-02) I went out in the heat of the afternoon, principally to photo dragon flies. I found a Black Racer hunting near the spring.

Gene Ott


Joey's notes

So it is July? It is hot. It is dry. I happen to think that at this point in my life I have enough sense to know how to enjoy the seasons. I am enjoying this one a lot from the air-conditioned comfort of inside. But, I do manage to brave the heat occasionally and find interesting animals.

Monday (7-1-02), Work. We collected some small crayfish in the creek behind my classroom. The Glossy Crayfish Snake ate 5. I should remember to film or photograph the little fellow eating. Few people have witnessed such.

Tuesday (7-2-02), Found a Tiger Beetle (Megacephala virginica) in Laurens County. My first M. virginica. Neat beetles.

Wednesday (7-3-02), Work.

Thursday (7-4-02), Happy 4th of July! After work I took a nap (indoors in the air conditioning of course).

Friday (7-5-02), In the classroom, our Everglades Ratsnake dropped about 15 eggs. The kids really enjoyed watching eggs come out of a snake.

Saturday (7-6-02), While in Athens, Ga, I took a few minutes to catch and release a Dragonfly (Eastern Pondhawk) so that I could say, "I have caught dragonflies in Georgia." Missed out on the Tiger Beetles.

Sunday (7-7-02), I went to the pond after dark. Found Cricket Frogs, Green Treefrogs, Bullfrogs, and small Southern Leopard Frogs in good numbers. Caught a nice Redbellied Watersnake. Got close enough to a female Wood Duck to reach down and touch her. She was hiding in tall grass beside the water.

I found a good many other assorted animals, Toads, Lizards, etc. Collected quite a few beetles, but most were not anything important enough to be listed here (lots of female Stags, Regal Moths, Imperial Moths, etc). Just a mid-summer week.

Joey Holmes

July 30, 2002
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