SC Reptile and Amphibians

RECENT OBSERVATIONS

November 2003

Gene's notes

Tuesday (11-04-03), I saw 2 DOR snakes while driving to work. One was a large Mole King and the other a medium Eastern King. They were less than 100 ft apart on the road. This evening, temperatures remained warm. I drove local roads for a while, finding AOR an adult Brown Snake.

Friday (11-21-03), while driving to work I spotted a Turkey Vulture warming itself in the morning sun.

Saturday (11-22-03) morning, I started walking across a pasture on my farm to get a closer look at what appeared to be a large paper hornet's nest in a distance treetop. My dog was with me. I had a pair of binnoculars, but not my camera. I had not gone far before I spotted a young Raccon. It is unusual to see a Raccoon in daylight so I studied it. It seemed absorbed with foraging for something in the grass. It did not notice me, so I backed away and returned to the house. After leaving the dog and getting my camera, I returned to the Raccoon. Just in case the Raccoon was rabid, I also took a hooked stick. I found the animal still foraging where I had left it. I was able to approach with 40 feet without it noticing me. After about 10 minutes, it caught a whiff of me, looked around nervously, decided that it was dangerously exposed, and began making its way to the edge of the field. It liesurely ambled up a nearby tree. Until I walked over to the tree, I do not think it ever saw me. Oh yes, it was a large hornet nest.

Sunday (11-23-03) morning, my granddaughter caught 2 juvenile Anoles that had sheltered in her sandbox. In the afternoon, I saw a female Harrier Hawk hunting in one of the pastures and a young White-tailed Deer browsing at the pasture edge.

Wednesday (11-26-03), I found a dead Hairy Woodpecker on the lawn of my office building. It had died by flying into the glass walls of the building. This was one of only a few victims that I have found this Fall. Last Fall, I found several dozen stunned or dead bird, mostly Warblers.

Thursday (11-27-03), my family celebrated Thanksgiving with a delicious, bountiful meal at my brother-in-law's home. At home that evening, I found a Upland Chorus Frog on the patio.

Gene Ott

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Joey's notes

Week ending 11-30-03

The weather is finally reflecting the season. Cold nights, cool/mild days. You can still see Green Anoles basking in sunny areas during the warmer times of the day.

Monday (11-24-03), Happy Birthday to Brother Jeff Holmes!

Thursday (11-27-03), Happy Thanksgiving. I worked, thankful to have a job in these trying times. I was also thankful for family and friends, health and happiness, good times in the field and classroom, a beautiful State, a strong Country, and a wonderful Church. So much to be thankful for!

Friday (11-28-03), Heard and saw several Wild Turkey in the forest on campus this morning. Enjoying the day after Thanksgiving! Upland Chorus Frogs were the herps of the day. We found two, and used them as feeder items for some small Garter Snakes in the classroom.

Saturday (11-29-03), Brother Jeff Holmes, traveling Herper, Conservationist, and Singer/Songwriter, was in South Carolina for a few hours. We had the Holmes Thanksgiving meal at the home of our sister, Jackie. She is a wonderful cook and provided a great meal, completed with WILD Turkey, and venison. Tasty animals! I am sure the Pilgrims did not cook theirs any better.

Week ending 11-23-03

The year is winding down, but it hardly seems that the holidays are almost upon us. Days are still warm. I have yet to pack away the sneakers, shorts, and t-shirts. My coat is around here somewhere but I seldom look for it/need it. Most days a Dragonfly will still zoom by, decorating the now bleak outdoors.

Monday (11-17-03), Nothing to mention.

Tuesday (11-18-03), Driving a backroad in Laurens County around sunset on a warm and stormy day, I came upon a male Mole Kingsnake as it died on the pavement. The victim of a prior vehicle. At over 38 inches, it was one of the biggest I had seen lately.

Wednesday (11-19-03), The weather seemed a bit confused. It started rainy and warm. Around noon it was quite clear and sunny, but another system whipped through and by 2 PM it was again stormy, with heavy rains, and thunder. Odd weather, indeed!

Thursday (11-20-03), The weather was warm, in the mid 70 s, and simply beautiful! I could not ask for more on my birthday. Number 42, but hey, who is counting? I did have a student hand-grab a nice Swamp Darner (Dragonfly) that had zoomed too close.

Friday (11-21-03), Again, the weather was simply beautiful. Warm and sunny. No time to prowl for herptiles but I am sure they were about.

Saturday (11-22-03), Sunny and 79 degrees F! A beautiful day and I am off work! I went to the waterfall, to see if I could find any Tiger Beetles. Cicindela repanda would be a nice find. Unfortunately, I struck out. I did get a very nice Dragonfly, a species I had never caught there, the Fawn Darner. Rambling about I also found a fresh DOR Black Ratsnake. Birds? Hooded Mergansers, Canadian Geese, and a Harrier.

Sunday (11-23-03), Saw another Harrier as we drove to Church. Some geese and a basking turtle were in a little wetland area we passed as we went on errands, in the early afternoon.

This nice weather cannot last much longer!

Week ending 11-16-03

Sunny or warm days still produce loads of Green Anoles and Fence Lizards, You can even see Dragonflies with a little luck on the nice days. Itís just that the cool days are cooler and cooler and more frequent also! Not much longer and the Chorus Frogs, Spotted Salamanders and some other very neat Amphibians will be breeding. Mud Salamanders and Marbleds should be going now!

Monday (11-10-03), Rather cold.

Tuesday (11-11-03), Warmer. Shorts and T-shirt worked just fine.

Wednesday (11-12-03), Again warm.

Thursday (11-13-04), Cooler. Long pants, warmer shirt, and a coat were essential in the early morning.

Friday (11-14-03), Cold. Coat and gloves very important when driving to work at 6:30 AM.

Saturday (11-15-03), Warmer.

Sunday (11-16-03), Nice and mild. Saw some Hooded Mergansers on the pond, a Dragonfly by the waterfall, and even found a fresh Mole Kingsnake DOR!

Those Mergansers were a sign of the season! Better get used to it!

Week ending 11-09-03

Very little action this week. Lots of Green Anoles and Fence Lizards still moving. Chorus Frogs are easy to find. A few Dragonflies have zoomed by, but that is about it. I can report about the seasonal trends in the weather.

Monday (11-3-03), Mild, somewhat wet.

Tuesday (11-4-03), Mild and rainy.

Wednesday (11-5-03), It was mild and rainy, but I did see a Dragonfly!

Thursday (11-6-03), Warm, it was partly cloudy and even rained a bit.

Friday (11-7-03), Again, warm and pretty.

Saturday (11-8-03), A very nice day. Cloudy but very nice. I cleared off an area in the very back of the yard, near the woods. I took the grill, my son and I set up tents, and gathered firewood. Come sunset, some friends came over. We lit the fire, cooked some hot dogs, roasted marshmallows, and had a great time! My son, one of his friends, and I even spent the night. Camping in the yard!

Sunday (11-9-03), Another cooler day. Definitely changing seasons. Happy Birthday to my sister Jackie!

I will admit that I could have caught snakes or Tiger Beetles, had I invested the time, but this week I just did not get the chance to look.

Joey Holmes




December 02, 02003
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