SC Reptiles and Amphibians


September 2007

Gene's Notes:

The hot, dry weather continued throughout September. We received one significant rain of about 0.5 inch. Daily high temperatures were mostly in the range of 80 to 95 degrees F. Herp activities continued to be severely limited. I found a clutch of about a dozen and a half Black Rat Snake eggs with nearly fully developed embryos that were dead from desiccation. One egg had hatched egg and a shed skin was nearby.

On September 29th, Win and I participated in the bioblitz for Paris Mountain State Park near Greenville, SC. The bioblitz was organized by Valerie Carter-Stone, Resource Management Biologist, with the SC Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism. Valerie's principal job is scheduling and conducting forest burns at the state parks. Win's sister-in-law, Joy, and her son, Ethan, also attended the bioblitz. Overall, the participant turnout for the bioblitz was low. Competition with football probably hurt. Valerie says that she hopes to have additional bioblitzes next year.

Joy is a excellent birder. She and Ethan spotted 36 different bird species. Win and I found a few common herps such as the two Northern Water Snakes shown below.

A special treat from the bioblitz was meeting Jules Fraytet and Ben Gregory, the president and secretary, respectively, of the South Carolina Assiociation of Naturalists. SCAN sponsors monthly field trips to interesting natural sites throughout the state. Win and I hope to attend some of the future trips.

September was month of significant change in my life. Sadly, my mother-in-law passed away ten days after her 101st birthday. She had a long, interesting, and successful life. Happily, I retired from my engineering career. Now I hope I will have more time to enjoy my family, nature, photography, and farming.

Gene Ott


October 27, 2007
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