Week ending 04-06-03
Been quite a week. I even went got to take a little road trip.
Monday (3-31-03), Getting my class outdoors a bit, we flipped tin and looked about. Found a Southern Ringneck Snake, Fowlers Toads, Slimy Salamanders. Later, at home, I checked my tin and found an Eastern Wormsnake. Starting the week off right!
Tuesday (4-1-03), Limited on time, my class checked some tin on campus and found an Eastern Wormsnake.
Wednesday (4-2-03), Feeding in the classroom took a fair bit of our time, but most of the animals are doing well.
Thursday (4-3-03), First Luna Moth of the year under a big light at work. Found yet another Eastern Wormsnake.
Friday (4-4-03), My brother had arranged to have a concert (unplugged of course) and nature tour with the attendees in the national forest near Charleston. I was in on it, and ready for anything. I rambled a bit as I traveled. Making stops in Lexington, Orangeburg, and Berkley Counties. Saw a couple of Black Racers in Orangeburg, but I did not try very hard to catch them. I did get a nice Cicindela sexguttata at one stop in Berkeley county. I arrived at the camping area shortly after lunch. There was nobody there, although a pop-up camper stood at the far end. I ventured out in search of wildlife.
Less than two miles from the camping area I found an Eastern Kingsnake crawling across the road. I took a look, then eased it onto the grassy shoulder. Another two miles and there was an adult Banded Watersnake on the road. Faster than the King, this one escaped into the dark water that fills the roadside ditch.
I rambled a bit more, and collected a few Tiger Beetles. C. sexguttata in Georgetown County, and some C. repandas in Williamsburg and Berkley Counties.
There seemed to be no more reptile action, so I returned to the camping area and set up my (somewhat elaborate) camp. While there, a fellow in a pickup truck pulled in. He tinkered around over at the pop-up camper for 45 minutes or so, then left without saying a word. I did not see him again.
With camp established, I had time to get out of camp and herp a bit more. Nothing was moving, but in passing the camp area later I found some of the folks had arrived for the camping and concert. They set up their camp, and agreed to join me out in the swamp looking for reptiles. We found nothing. Heard a few frogs calling, but no snakes. Time for sleep.
|Saturday (4-5-03), After a morning cup of coffee, my new friends and I went out again. We found a Corn Snake hiding under some rubbish. Venturing over into Georgetown County, we spotted a Banded Watersnake under a bridge, which I caught and released. It was a good score. I had been wanting to add Georgetown to the list of counties where I had caught snakes, and was finally happy to do so. So it went, we saw turtles, chased Tiger Beetles, collected some Dragonflies, and were back at camp by lunch.|
Not content to sit in camp I rambled more and found less, but soon my brother (Jeff) and his people arrived (my wife and son included) and it was time for action. With groups split up and sent into various areas, we covered a good bit of ground. A Banded Watersnakes, a Mud Snake and a Cottonmouth were seen but nothing was caught. I enjoyed pointing out Dragonflies, Slider Turtles and Tiger Beetles. I think the folks in my group had fun.
Then it was time for supper and the show. We grilled our meals and enjoyed the fire. Jeff and Eva Hunter (another talented singer/songwriter) played and sang under the moon and stars. Jeff’s songs were carefully selected. Some were fun songs (great around a campfire). Some were flavored with South Carolina and the outdoors. The audience was small, but represented NC, SC, Ga, Fl, Va, and Tn, After the show we visited and talked for a bit enjoying the evening as the fire slowly died.
|Sunday (4-6-03), The morning brought more field time. We found two Cottonmouths, and heard various frogs (Southern Cricket Frogs, Carpenter Frogs).|
Time came to break camp and scatter. Ten minutes after leaving us, Jeff returned to show us a beautiful baby Timber Rattlesnake he had found crossing the road. Cool animal. He left again and would release the snake where it had been found. Soon the others left too, and again I was alone in camp. The pop-up camper was still there, still unattended.
I somehow found Jeff again, in the forest, and we hunted together for a bit, with no luck. Less than a minute after splitting up (for the last time) I found an Eastern Ribbon Snake on the road but it darted away into the grass and was gone. Then, about a minute after that, there was another Ribbon Snake on the road. This one held still and I was able to pick it up and admire its beauty. I have always liked these and felt fortunate to be lucky enough to spend a minute or two with him.
But, isn’t that the way it is with us? We spend a few minutes together, and then part ways, leaving a lasting impression of times, faces, and places past.
I had a great time, Thanks to all who attended!