SC Reptiles and Amphibians


May 2008

Gene's Notes:

Monday, May 5th, Win found an AOR Redbelly Water Snake. After dark, I walked around the farm pond with a spotlight. The Cricket Frogs, Bullfrogs, and Fowlers Toads were singing. In the water I spotted a half dozen Mud Turtles cavorting and a large Snapping Turtle.

Tuesday, May 6th, as I returned home from Greenville, I saw a DOR Mole King Snake, a DOR Corn Snake, and an AOR Redbelly Water Snake. Most of the Redbelly's tail was missing. In my vegetable garden, I saw my first local Six-lined Racerunner Lizard of the year.

Wednesday, May 7th, on local roads I saw a DOR Mole King Snake, a DOR Black Rat Snake, and an AOR Black Racer. Win found an AOR young Eastern King Snake in McCormick County. My daughter reported catching a Black Racer near her back door in downtown Abbeville.

Friday, May 9th, Win and I went on a South Carolina Assiociation of Naturalists (SCAN) field trip to the Savannah River Site near Aiken, SC. We did not see any wild herps of special interest, but being with people who know their plants and bugs was educational. The staff at the Savannah River Ecology Laboratory (SREL) showed us some of their captive herp specimens, including Old Stump, a large Alligator that is missing its left front foot.

Beautiful flowers abounded throughout May. Below are the Tulip Tree (aka Yellow Poplar) and Flame Azalea.

Win presented a program on herps at Wesley Commons in Greenwood on Friday, May 16th. I accompanied him as an assistant. The program was well attended and received. Win presented a slide program and live specimens.

I ordered myself a new digital camera, a Fuji FinePix S8100fd. The camera has 10 megapixel capture and 18 power optical zoom. I am having to learn how to make adjusted settings, rather than relying upon the standard automatic settings. The camera is very sensitive to light intensity and contrast. I am still learning. I have made some excellent images and some real bad ones. It has greatly enhanced my capability for capturing bird images.

On Tuesday, May 20th, my grandson, Weston, and I caught a few lizards and toads around my home. We spotted this large Northern/Midland Water Snake basking on a limb above a small pond on the farm.

May 23rd through 26th, Win and I attended the annual herping and ecology educational outing, "Under a Low Country Moon 2008". The event is sponsored by Jeff Holmes. The outing takes place in the Francis Marion National Forest. Win and I help as guides. This year's event was extended until Memorial Day and included a tour of low country ghost houses for those so inclined.

The outing is always a lot of fun, fellowship, and education. For example, while trying to pose an Eastern Ribbon Snake for a photograph, I learned first hand that it will spin its body like an Alligator when it perceives that it is being constricted. Win photographed this beautiful Spreading Pogonia.

I will post more detailed notes about this year's outing later.

During May I saw many DOR snakes, including local Corn Snakes. Unfortunately, I did not accomplish my personal goal of finding a live local Corn.


June 10, 2008
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