SC REPTILES & AMPHIBIANS
OBSERVATIONS: JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1999
Week Ending February 28, 1999:
This has been an interesting week. We got about 1.5 inches of snow on Wednesday (Feb 24th. It was still cold on Thursday. Saturday was very pleasant; I found ground skinks under boards and green anoles sunning themselves. I readily netted red-spotted newts from the weeds in isolated, perennial pools. My son netted salamander larvae from the same pool where we found newly hatched larvae in November. My best guess is they are marbled salamanders. Found a lot of egg masses in the wetlands. We found green frogs, leopard frogs, chorus frogs, and a fowler's toad in the water. My son found an American toad under a log. Sunday, the frogs were still active and the painted turtle came out to sun on the rock in the pond. Spring is near!Gene Ott
Tommorrow is March! I recall March 1, 1980. I was at the fire tower, in the middle of Okeetee (Jasper Co, SC) and was almost snowed in! We had 7-8 inches here in the upstate and a rather fair snowfall there on the Okeetee club! It made for a long drive home! On March 1, 1995 (15 years later, to the day) I caught a racer, 2 copperheads, 2 mud turtles, a garter, 4 marbled salamanders, and a corn! Jasper county continues to amaze me.
Slow week this week, Was in the central (santee-ish) counties on Tues (2-23) but it was far to cold to even flip tin. There have been a few anoles around, and a few ground skinks. In the frog world, the peepers/upland chorus frogs are still calling any warm day. On Friday, I heard the leopard males chuckling in the shallows near the pond and saw a lot of egg masses in that same area (masses appearing to be ranging from new to almost ready to hatch). In Columbia on Sat (2-27) and saw a large (southern?) toad basking at the entrance to a hole.
Saw a harrier today, first one of the season. I usually see them by Christmas but this year they have not been around. One of my favorite birds.Joey Holmes
January 1 - February 21, 1999:
The relatively mid temperatures which have predominated in Piedmont South Carolina during these winter months have kept the amphibians active. In mid January I found a Marbled Salamander and a Southern Two-Lined Salamander on the roadway during a night rain. Frogs and toads have been singing during most all of February...southern leopard frogs, chorus frogs, and others which I have not yet learned to recognize.
In early February, a Painted Turtle sunned itself on the rock in the middle of our pond. On February 6th I found two Ground Skinks under boards. One was regrowing its tail. I found the one with its tail (or one very similar) under the same board again on February 21st.
Week Ending February 21, 1999:
Spring is but a few weeks off. Lord, I'm glad for that. We got dusted with snow last night but it's all gone now! Weather has been cooler, herping slow. Chorus frogs singing in the warmer times of the week, and we (my students and I) picked up 44 cricket frogs on Wed (2-17-99). I stepped on an anole by accident outside my classroom on Sat but the scarlet king enjoyed it anyway. A few other anoles, a few ground skinks. Slow week.Joey Holmes
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