SC Reptiles and Amphibians


March 2009

Gene's Notes:

March demonstrated to us that winter was not over. On March 2nd the Piedmont of South Carolina was blanketed by snow. At the farm, we had an accumulation of 3 inches. However, we had good rains before and after the snow. It was a great watering which went a long way in relieving the surface drought. The farm pond rose about 2 feet. We continued to have cooler than normal temperatures for much of the month. However, in the latter half of the month, flowers were bursting out on pears, plums, and redbud trees.

On March 7th my granddaughter, Greer, and I attended a field trip with the local photography club. It was a relatively warm day and we had a good outing. My friend, Joey Holmes, who used to contribute to the website's natural observations, led the group in a search for salamanders. The target animal was the Spotted Salamander. I let Greer use one of my cameras. She did a great job with making images. I later assembled her images into a slide presentation which she shared with her second grade classmates. Below are two of her images.

The cold did not slow down the amorous adventures of the frogs. Even while it was snowing, the Upland Chorus Frogs continued singing. Besides the Chorus Frogs, Spring Peepers, Leopard Frogs, Pickerel Frogs, and American Toads were singing during the month. I first saw frog egg masses on the 8th. Sliders are soaking up the rays on the rock in the farm pond. I found a male Painted Turtle roaming about on the 19th. Cricket Frogs had not yet started singing, but I found one on a farm stream on the 22nd.

During the week of March 23 through 27, Win assisted in rattlesnake research being conducted by SC DNR in the low country. The work was a pleasant break from his normal duties of performing fisherman surveys. Only a couple of rattlesnakes were found during the week. A good number of other snakes were found. Nearly all specimens were dull, preparing to make an initial shed following hibernation.

On March 28th we recieved another soaking rainfall. The farm pond filled to its design level, overtopping the rock shown in the image above. These rains cannot replace the losses suffered in the groundwater due to the years of drought, but they have certainly refilled the surface waters and soil layers. During a warm, dry week in the middle of the month, I planted some cool weather crops, potatoes, onions, peas, etc. I am hopeful of a good growing season this year.

April 2, 2009
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