South Carolina in May, and I have the week off. Box Turtles, Racers, Ratsnakes, Kingsnakes, Watersnakes, and Copperheads are all starting to move and showing up dead on the roads.
Monday (5-10-04), I mowed the lawn. Noticed two Broad-head Skinks (in different parts of the yard) as I mowed. Nice to have such creatures here close. Later, I had business in Laurens. As I drove towards town, I found a wounded Mole Kingsnake on the road. He had been run over, and would die shortly, but had been active, on the move, at about 4 PM. May means Mole Kingsnakes!
Tuesday (5-11-04), No outdoors time.
Wednesday (5-12-04), I wanted to spend some time afield. I wanted to catch snakes in Lee, Darlington, and Dillon Counties. I had a plan. I would drive to Lee, put out two minnow traps in a wetland area, and hunt a bit. Then do the same in Darlington. Then do the same in Dillon, get a room, clean up, take a nap, and road cruise the evening hours. The next day I could get up, and checking the traps work my way back home. I thought it might be a plan that would work! I had spent a lot of time looking at my maps, knew of a lot of dirt roads, wetlands, and boat landings. It had to work! I got up early and got on the road towards Lee County. I knew a wetland area, near a road and stopped, setting two minnow traps. I then started prowling, and at an old house site, about 2 miles away I flipped a piece of debris to reveal a Copperhead. Great! First score at 8:30 AM! I decided to leave the traps in place, after all, I would have to come right by there on the way home. On to Darlington. I stopped at a fishing lake with a boat ramp. Lots of people were there. I walked by the water, then by the woods and found my second snake of the day, a Corn Snake. He was a nice adult, crawling, out in the open. Super! Second score at 9 AM! I would now have lots of time and 4 traps to put out in Dillon! On to Dillon. At my first stop, off I-95, I found an old truckstop. There, under a scrap of tin, was the Dillon County snake! A Black Racer! Third score, all objectives met by 9:30 AM! I turned towards home. No point in wasting money on a hotel and more gas when I had accomplished my goals. I stopped at an Oxbow lake in Darlington that had a boat ramp. I walked the edge of the lake and soon found a “Greenish” Ratsnake. Cool, doubles in Darlington! I stopped by a little park in Lee, and stopped to move another “Greenish” Ratsnake off the road. Cool, Doubles in Lee. By this time I was beginning to feel a little cocky. Heading into Columbia on I-20, I had a wild thought. Go on to Edgefield County! I started in Trenton and worked my way north. I found a nice set of roads in the northern part of the county and started cruising. A DOR Cornsnake, AOR Box Turtle, Broad-head Skink under some debris. but NO LIVE SNAKES. I did stop and marvel at a small patch of (apparently wild) Palmetto bushes. Pretty neat for northern Edgefield County! I got home at a reasonable hour. I put 550 miles on the car (cheapest gas I saw was $1.73/gallon in Greenwood) and had a great success rate. Now I have caught snakes in 44 of South Carolina’s 46 counties! Now, to just complete Edgefield and Barnwell!
Thursday (5-13-04), I saw a DOR Longtail Weasel in Laurens County near Gray Court. Rambled by the pond after dark and found 2 Northern Watersnakes (caught and released one) and found plenty of Bullfrogs, Gray Treefrogs, Green Treefrogs, Cricket Frogs, and Red-spotted Newts. Nice to spend some time by the water at night.
Friday (5-14-04), No outdoors time
Saturday (5-15-04), Found a DOR Eastern Coachwhip in Laurens County! Only the 3rd Coachwhip I have ever seen in Laurens (dead or alive). Inspired, I came home and checked my tin. Southern Ringneck Snake. Still inspired I went for a little road cruise and found nothing but deer and possums (2 of each).
Sunday (5-16-04), No outdoors time.
It has been a pretty busy week,