SC Reptiles and Amphibians


February 2009

Gene's Notes:

February was a mixed month with respect to temperatures. We would have a warm week followed by a cold week. Overall I judge February to be colder than we have had in many years. However, I did get to do a few interesting outdoor activities.

My wife and I took a mini-vacation in mid month. We spent four days at one of the cabins in Hunting Island State Park. The week before our trip had been one of the warm weeks of the month. Our stay was cold and windy all the time and rainy on every other day. It was too raw to spent much time on the beach. I did see Ospreys on a nest, a dolphin hunting in a lagoon, and many Cormorants and Brown Pelicans diving for fish. We ate seafood at nearby restaurants each day as our major event. Very few park activities were open. The park would have been a good stay with more pleasant weather.

In his work, Win assisted in some burns for habitat management during the last week of the month.

Win is participating in the North American Amphibian Monitoring Program (NAAMP) for South Carolina. He monitors a route of wetland areas in Laurens County for calling frogs. I am assisting him as his driver. We made trial run of his route one evening and then on February 25th we made his first official run. A run consists of stopping after dark at each of ten designated locations and listening for singing frogs. On this run, we heard Upland Chorus Frogs, Spring Peepers, American Toads, and Southern Leopard Frogs.

On February 26th I attended a meeting held by the State Park Service at Greenwood State Park seeking input on plans for implementing an All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory for parks. The meeting was well attended and interesting. This project is very ambitious, but the information will be very useful.

On February 28th Win and I joined other members of the South Carolina Assiociation of Naturalists (SCAN) on a field trip to the Lafarge Cement Quarry (also called Blue Circle Pit) in Dorchester County near Harleyville. Most fossils found in this quarry are from the late Eocene epoch (40 to 34 million years ago). It was a cool, wet day but serious rain did not arrive until after noon, allowing us several hours of searching. Win's best finds were sharks' teeth. My best finds were a piece of vertebra from a whale ancestor, the Basilosaurus, and a piece of turtle carapace.

March 26, 2009
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