Skip to main content

South Carolina

The National Audubon Society's Biedler Forest in South Carolina. I spoke at a conference in Leesburg, Virginia, yesterday, and hey, it's only a seven hour jaunt down I-95 to get into some of South Carolina's coolest swamps, so off I went after the conference concluded. Biedler is an incredible place, and if you're ever in the Carolinas, I'd recvommend putting it on the itinerary.

A White Ibis scrutinizes your narrator from the shady depths of one of the country's finest remaining stands of old-growth Bald Cypress, at Biedler Forest. Swallow-tailed Kites cavorted overhead, Water Moccasins loafed on nearby logs, and the warbler migration is really picking up steam down here.

More southern swamp stuff will follow...

Comments

What a neat place! A couple snakes were sunning themselves when we were there 10 days ago--one may be a copperhead, from our photos. The prothonotaries were neon-beautiful; ruby-crowned kinglets were singing HIGH overhead, and parulas were singing from every tree, it seemed! The barred owl catching crayfish 10 or 15 feet off the boardwalk was truly spectacular.
Brent C. Kryda said…
The southeast is a pretty fascinating place. For a boreal born Canadian it really brings new meaning to the term "subtropical" because it is where broadleaf evergreens really start popping up. Compared to the vast stretches of spruce and fir we are used to up north, it seems so lush and, well, tropical.

Hopefully you caught more than few photos of Baldcypresses. Maybe if we are lucky, a Baldy next to a Water Tupelo! Was there much in the way of Spanish Moss around there?

Popular posts from this blog

The Pinching Beetle, a rather brutish looking bug

The world is awash in beetles, and they come in all shapes and sizes. Few of them can match the intimidation factor of a Pinching Beetle, Lucanus capreolus, though. Those formidable looking mandibles look like they could slice off a finger.

Today was one of those coolly diverse days. I started off down in Fayette County, visiting the farm of a friend. He has restored about 25 acres of wetlands, and the response by the animal community has been nothing short of phenomenal. Blizzards of dragonflies of many species, amphibians galore, and nesting Blue-winged Teal, Pied-billed Grebe, and Sora. Among MANY other things. And all in a short two years. Add water and they will come.

Then, working my way home, I ducked into a Madison County cemetery that has a thriving population of Thirteen-lined Ground Squirrels, and shot images of our native prairie dog. Then, I stopped at a spot along Little Darby Creek, waded on in, and procured some pretty nice shots of various stream bluets and dancers. …

Calliope Hummingbird in central Ohio!

A hatch-year male Calliope Hummingbird strikes a pose. Small but tough, the hummingbird was feeding actively yesterday in 39 F temperatures. It frequents feeders and gardens at a home in Delaware County, Ohio, about a half-hour north of Columbus.

Fortunately, the wayward hummer appeared at the home of Tania and Corey Perry. Tania is a birder, and knew right away that the hummingbird was something special. For a while, the identification was up in the air, which isn't surprising. The Calliope Hummingbird used to be placed in its own genus, Stellula, but has recently been submerged into the genus Selasphorus, which includes Allen's, Broad-tailed, and Rufous hummingbirds. The latter two, especially, are quite similar to the Calliope in subadult plumage. Rufous is the default "vagrant" hummingbird here, with dozens of records and birds turning up annually. There is but one Ohio record of Allen's Hummingbird, from late fall/early winter 2009. Ditto the Calliope Hummi…

Ballooning spiders

Fear not, ye arachnophobes. The subject of this entry is indeed about spiders, but the star of the show is about as cute as a spider can get. And you'll want to know what we're about to learn...

On my recent West Virginia foray, we were strolling down a seldom-used lane, when a bright yellow object caught our eye. It was a goldenrod crab spider, Misumena vatia, on top of a post! Not only that, she - it is a girl - was acting extraordinarily goofy. The spider would stilt up as high as she could go on her legs, weave back and forth, jig side to side, and otherwise engage in what appeared to be spider break-dancing.

Click the pic for expansion, and you can see two columns of silk issuing from her spinnerets. This is an important point, as we set about determining what this non-web-making spider is doing.


So fixated was our spider on her task that she even rejected what would seem to me to be a perfectly scrumptious meal. This little caterpillar climbed rapidly up the post and dire…