SC Reptiles and Amphibians


February 2005

Gene's notes

February was cold, wet, warm, and sunny. The Upland Chorus Frogs began the annual serenade. By month's end, Spring Peepers had joined in full voice. An occassional Southern Leopard Frog could be heard, and, maybe, an American Toad.

During the last week of February, we recieved a lot of rain which thoroughly wet the soil and filled vernal pools. On Saturday (02-26-05)night, my granddaughter and I visited a vernal pool located atop a hill near home. The frog chorus was almost deafening. Temperatures were quickly dropping to the low 40s F. It took about 10 minutes of looking, but we finally got the hang of spotting the little frogs.

I've checked my favorite Worm Snake coverboards, but have not seen any yet. Anoles scurry about the cabin on warmer days.

Most every night this month, an Opossum has been visiting our new home to eat any left over cat food. It was pretty scruffy looking at first, but now it is plump and its fur luxurious. Most be good 'Possum food, too. My granddaughter enjoys watching it through the glass door. The Opossum takes no notice of her.

Sunday (02-27-05), my granddaughter caught her first herp of the year, a Green Anole.

On March 18-20, 2005, the Palmetto Sportsmen Classic will be held in Columbia. There will be a herpetological booth with exhibits and specimens. A number of SC herpetologists and amateurs will be manning the booth.


Joey's notes

Week ending 02-06-05

Not much to say this week. It is winter and all the misery and boredom it provides are in full force.

Monday (1-31-05), Average winter day. I did get to the YMCA and walked on the treadmill for a full hour. I got a nice surprise when I got home and checked the mail, a CICINDELA JOURNAL with a nice article I wrote. New County Records for Tiger Beetles in SC.

Tuesday (2-1-05), Still winter. At the Y, I tried walking in a different pair of shoes and only made it 30 minutes and had a blister on each foot.

Wednesday (2-2-05), Happy Ground Hog Day. I am all for any holiday that celebrates these chubby rodents! We had a little sleet mid-morning, but there wasn’t much and it was too warm to accumulate. After work I did not even try to go to the Y. I’ll be darned if I am walking with these blisters!

Thursday (2-3-05), It was cool and rainy. I did get back to the Y and put in 40 minutes on the treadmill.

Friday (2-4-05), A pretty day. Anoles came out and Upland Chorus Frogs called.

Saturday (2-5-05), Pretty, but I was busy with yard work, then taxes.

Sunday (2-6-05), I made it to the pond for a walk. Saw 5 Ringneck Ducks and 3 Wood Ducks, as well as Anoles and Ground Skinks. Chorus Frogs called. I did 45 minutes on the treadmill. Cooked on the grill for a Super Bowl supper.

So winter depression is heavy on my heart. It must be, if I have nothing better to mention than my feeble attempts at weight loss and fitness. I would like the YMCA better if it had a snack bar. At least doughnuts and coffee! Spring cannot be far away.

Spring, we are waiting........

Week ending 02-13-05

Typical week of SC winter weather and activity.

Monday (2-7-05), A nice warm day! Shorts and a t-shirt were plenty during the day but a jacket felt good in the morning and evening. Animals were enjoying the weather also. Anoles were basking in sunny spots. Chorus Frogs called from wet spots. Under a piece of tin the students and I found an Eastern Worm Snake.

Tuesday (2-8-05), Again it was warm and shorts were just fine. Anoles and Chorus Frogs did their thing, and in the evening I heard some Spring Peepers calling. Beautiful!

Wednesday (2-9-05), Warm and rainy. I could have been out seeing loads of Amphibs, but had other business. Mice business. Delivered a bag of 100 frozen mice to a colleague at his office on the Wofford Campus in Spartanburg . We had a nice visit, as usual, and amid our conversations we poured over maps and longed for warmer days we could spend drifting down dirt roads and flipping tin! Soon! There were two deer and a rabbit in the yard when I got back home.

Thursday (2-10-05), It was cooler, and while a few Anoles were out, it was clearly not a day for herps.

Friday (2-11-05), Downright cold!

Saturday (2-12-05), Warmer today. The temps got up around 60. I had some time and went to the River Pasture. I looked for Salamanders but found none. Oh well, it was nice to get out and stretch a bit.

Sunday (2-13-05), No time outdoors. It was cooler anyway, and by evening it had started to drizzle.

Another week closer to SPRING!

This has been a typical week of SC winter. Moderately gloomy, gray, muddy, bleak weather, with a few warm days mixed in. Most days the Chorus Frogs call loudly from virtually any wet spot they can find. The frogs are a nice diversion from the misery of winter.

Monday (2-14-05), Blah. Work. Otherwise, Happy Valentines Day to my Sweetheart.

Tuesday (2-15-05), Work. Blah. It was supposed to be warm. I wore shorts. It never really warmed up. Blah.

Wednesday (2-16-05), Warm enough for shorts. We cleaned the Caiman tank. He resents this greatly, and at 4 ft and 25 lbs, he can voice his opinion and folks listen. My students, anyway. At least they listen to something. Mostly I think they just want to see me get bitten. Anyway, all went well and I did not get bittten. After work I went to the pond and enjoyed the frogs. Spring Peepers were loud and calling from everywhere, but I did see two female Southern Leopard Frogs and two small Bullfrogs.

Thursday (2-17-05), Warm during day, but the evening quickly cooled off. Jimmy Buffett did a concert in Columbia, but these days I just hate fighting the crowds and traffic. Staying up late is another hurdle I can seldom take. Hmmm? I might be turning into an “old Fart”. (One of my long-term goals)

Friday (2-18-05), Off work, but worked for Holmes Photography.

Saturday (2-19-05), Again, working for Holmes Photography.

Sunday (2-20-05), Holmes Photography had a booth at a local BRIDAL FAIR. No problem, it was a nasty rainy day outside anyway.

So much for another (blah) week of winter in SC,

Week ending 02-27-05

Still in the grip of winter, and thoroughly bored about it. (This is the point in the year when I start to really whine about winter.)

Monday (2-21-05), I was off work, but helped Mrs. Holmes. The weather was cool and rainy most of the morning, by later afternoon it had cleared, then during the evening a series of thunderstorms moved through. Generally a very soggy day.

Tuesday (2-22-05), Warm and sunny. The temps reached the low 70s! Anoles were easy to find, and Peepers and Upland Chorus Frogs sang in strong chorus most of the day.

Wednesday (2-23-05), Warm and sunny again! Again Peepers, Chrous Frogs, Anoles, and Ground Skinks are either seen or heard most of the day. After work, I stopped by the pond and watched a flock of 22 Ringneck Ducks, mostly drakes, as they paddled about. They flushed at my approach, as did 6 Wood Ducks I had not noticed. One thing that was easy to approach and view (without it flying off) was an Eastern Painted Turtle. My First Turtle of the year.

Thursday (2-24-05), Work, as usual. No time outdoors.

Friday (2-25-05), Another warm day. No time outdoors, but I did drive by the pond after work and saw the flock of Ringneck Ducks were there again.

Saturday (2-26-05), Warm and sunny, but much to do inside, and a Photography job during the evening.

Sunday (2-27-05), Cool rains moved in during the late afternoon.

In spite of the Chorus Frogs, Peepers, Anoles, Ground Skinks, (and I know where and how to easily find Dusky, Two-lined, and Slimy Salamanders), I am really, really, ready for spring. More herps, bigger herps, more diversity of herps, and MORE HERPS!

Just a reminder, the TLC television show “TOWN HAUL” filmed in Laurens in December and January will begin Saturday (3-5-05) night at 10 PM. It is a 6 part series and looks like it will be as fun to watch on TV as it was when it was taped. Tune in and Laurens get its make-over!

Joey Holmes

March 01, 2005
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