Nature Notes

Herein I type random things I’ve learned for my memory’s benefit [and in case I lose my notes], but you can have a look, too!

7/11/2011 – The Gray whale in the Klamath River is marking her 15th day there! Need to find the name of the catnip-looking stinky plant.

6/15 – The awesome little bug that covers itself in large amounts of lichen or white fuzz is the larva of the lacewing! It eats aphids.

5/27 – Been in the throws of school programs.  Caught a small puff fish in the seine net during one program. Haven’t found the species’ name yet. Currents have been so strong that we caught all of 3 fish the next day.  Found a mole crab with eggs and spotted my first wild loggerhead sea turtle at Breach Inlet!

4/7 – Below is a small collection of critters spotted at Caw Caw Interpretive Center.  These were all taken the day I realized my camera was malfunctioning, so the quality is off.

The yellow flower is from a bladderwort–quite a few are blooming in the old rice fields right now!  It is a carnivorous aquatic plant, eating small inverts like water fleas and mosquito larvae by luring them into small bladders or sacs, entraping and digesting them.

The moth is a Fall Webworm (Hyphantria cunea) adult.  They come from the catepillars that live in the tents found on tips of branches.  Here in the South the adults merge from March until October.

Ribbon snakes are a member of the garter snake family but have tails that make up 1/4th of their body length.  The one in the picture is a juvenile, not sure if it’s an eastern or southern.

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4/5 – It’s snake time! Three on a short walk today, including a rough green tree snake that we held and two large black rat snakes that we did not hold.  Two snakes yesterday at Middleton Place Plantation. Osprey currently on nest at Caw Caw.  Heard marsh wrens at James Island County Park and just missed three dolphins and one otter! Dolphins were strand feeding.

3/26 – Sea Pansies and Comb Jellies are bioluminescent. Anchovies and Atlantic Silversides look very much alike. The Silverside’s mouth is terminal and superior. Gulls have black wing tips because melanin prevents wear. Cedar waxwings fly in a very smooth fashion while in flock, like a flowing river; compare to redwing blackbirds that make sudden sharp turns, like river rapids.

3/25 – Water moccasins can be light-colored! Yellow bellied Sliders pop up using one front leg when disturbed.

3/24 – Water Oaks often have long scars on trunks; trees rot commonly before 50 years old. Northern Parula sound like they run out of breath [see USGS site].

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