SC Reptile and Amphibians


September 2005

September 2005

Gene's notes

September was hot and dry. Locally we had no rain during the month. Most of the state was dry also. Tree leaves turned brown and prematurily dropped. Grasshoppers moved in flurries as I walked through fields. Ambling woodland trails, I held a stick before me like a sword.

This month was excellent for observing spiders, butterflies, grasshoppers, beetles, and other arthropods. Gold flowers and seeds abound.

Early in the month, Win found a young Smooth Earth Snake had taken up residence beneath our outdoor, plastic doghouse. I checked the little snake several times during the month and it was still there. The last time, it was in molt. This was the only snake I saw alive during the entire month!

Gene Ott


Joey's notes

Week Ending 09-25-05

This week has seen some return to my normal life. It is still hot, most days in the 88-90 degree (F) and not a drop of rain. BUT, I did get to spend a wee bit of time outside and it felt GOOD.

Monday (9-19-05), I came back to work after having been off a week. It is late in the year, and the moon is in a bright phase. In spite of the odds against good buggin', I was delighted and surprised to find a female Antelope Stag Beetle, Dorcus parallelus, in the canoe I keep under a big light on campus! Not bad! A good specimen and a interesting date!

Tuesday (9-20-05), Again, at work, I find an interesting Beetle. This time a Tiger Beetle, Megacephala virginica. This week does not seem so bad!

Wednesday (9-21-05), A co-worker and I manage to take some kids off campus for a bit. We hit some of my local spots and walk/prowl and flip some AC. We found a Copperhead under debris in Laurens County and in Spartanburg County we found a Black Racer and saw a watersnake splashing a bit as a frog screamed in terror (as it was being swallowed by the snake). We saw neat Dragonflies, loads of Tiger Beetles, Cicindela repanda, great Butterflies, and even some funky little Dung Beetles (Aphodius). We all enjoyed the chance to get outside and wished more days were like this.

Thursday (9-22-05), After work, I went to the place in Spartanburg County to mow (anybody want to buy a home, shop, 25 acres in good Mole King habitat?) and meet with my friend from Wofford College. He was coming by to get a few odds and ends out of my old Taxidermy shop. Just dusty stuff he may be able to use in his classes or use to trade for other, more useful stuff. It was good to see him and I appreciate his help at clearing out that building.

Friday (9-23-05), Again I am off work, but not to work in the family photography business. This time I was off to go to Brevard for "parent weekend". We drove up to Brevard and met with Hunter at the College. He seemed fine and glad to see us. Instead of the on-campus activities they offered we went to Asheville for a bit. I bought a book, "RATS, Observations on the History and Habitat of the City's Most Unwanted Inhabitants" by Robert Sullivan. Interesting so far. We ate BBQ. We visited Pisgah National Forest where I found a few Tiger Beetles, Cicindela tranquebarica in the parking lot at the Ranger's Station. We stayed a nice B&B in Brevard and slept soundly.

Saturday (9-24-05), We spent a little time on the Brevard Campus and met some of Hunter's friends, ate in the cafeteria, and visited the library. I found some neat books I need to pick up ASAP: "How to Know the Eastern Land Snails" by Burch; "Grasshoppers, Katydids, and Crickets of the United States" by Capinera, Scott, and Walker; "The Reptiles of Virginia" by Joseph Mitchell; "Snakes of the Southeast" By Gibbons and Dorcas; "Snakes of the United States and Canada" by Ernst and Ernst.

These are all going on my Christmas list, and I have been VERY good this year! While in the Mountains we also visited Pisgah NF and splashed a bit in the (very) cool mountain water. Hunter and I turned a few rocks, but no Hellbenders. I did not bring a mask/snorkel and the water temps limited the amount of time I was able to search but it was fun anyway. A good supper in Brevard and we went to the B&B to get some sleep.

Sunday (9-25-05), Nothing major. We said our good-byes and left Hunter at school. We arrived home, unloaded, and caught up with duties here.

So it was a good week. Better than most this summer, and it was good to get outside!

Week Ending 09-18-05

Not much to say. I was off this week, but there was no time to play in the forests. Holmes Photography was working at a local elementary school. Very busy, but the kids are adorable and it the faculty helpful. Other than that all I can say is that it was another hot week in South Carolina.

Week Ending 09-11-05

Another week and I still have not gotten into the swing of herpin or buggin! I feel bad about it, but other priorities rule my life right now. Maybe soon things will change.

I am looking forward to getting back outside and maybe cruising some sand roads (gas prices permitting) to find a Southern Hognose Snake! Wish me luck on that one!

Week Ending 09-04-05

Still busy. Unbelievably busy.

I did find a Southern Ringneck Snake and an Eastern Worm Snake this week. We even found a neat Tiger Beetle, Megacephala virginica. Butterflies are great right now with lots of species to enjoy.

The real news this week is Hurricane Katrina. We have all seen the news reports. We knew it (a super-storm that would devastate New Orleans) was coming and the city was poorly designed to cope with it. Still it has been heartbreaking to see the human suffering and angering to see the incompetence of some (not all) of those in charge. I hope the leaders (local, state, and national) can make wise decisions and help those in need as soon and effectively as possible.

Joey Holmes

October 07, 2005
Contact: South Carolina Reptiles and Amphibians

Return to SC Reptiles and Amphibians Observations Page

Return to SC Reptiles and Amphibians Home Page