SC Reptiles and Amphibians


July 2007

Gene's Notes:

July was warm and dry.

As expected, blackberries were at their height of ripeness in the river bottoms. Win picked some and made us a cobbler. I even picked some. The birds, such as this Indigo Bunting also enjoyed the berries.

Our vegetable garden produced heavy crops of squash, corn, beans, peppers, and corn. I spent much of my time working the garden. I irrigated from one of the small branches on the farm. The lack of rainfall began to take a toll. The effect of landuse changes on the environment was evidenced in the other, larger branch on the farm. In the last two years, much of the property in the watershed has been converted from forest to homesteads. This winter some of the the timber in the upper watershed was clear-cut of timber. The branch stopped flowing near the end of the month. I cannot remember this happening during the 27 years we have lived at the farm.

On July 17th, Win made a presentation on snakes to the 4-H2O Camp sponsored by the Clemson Cooperative Extension Service. It was held at the Plum Branch Yacht Club on Lake Thurmond in McCormick County. I was free that day and decided to go with him. We arrived a little early, so I amused myself by searching the shoreline. It was bright midday. Win did not have a water snake with him for the presentation. I hoped I would get very, very lucky and find one for him. No such luck, but I did find a Green Heron and a large Gar fish also prowling the shoreline.

Near the end of last month, I caught a gravid Brown Snake that I kept. On July 13th, she birthed 18 babies. Two were still born, but the rest were healthy. I released mom and babies into our flower garden. Maybe they will stay around and help keep the slugs under control.

During July, I saw numerous DOR Black Rat Snakes. I also found DOR: two Garter Snakes, Copperhead, two Roough Greensnakes (one with eggs), a Mole Kingsnake. I found AOR: two Garter Snakes, a Brown Snake, and a juvenile Black Rat Snake.

Win and I found a couple interesting beetles. Dragonflies and butterflies abounded.

Gene Ott


August 08, 2007
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