Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Wetland Night Sounds at Donnelly WMA

Tony Mills show the underbelly of a Mud Snake
The S.C. Department of Natural Resources held an event on May 9 for folks interested in visiting Donnelly WMA for a wagon ride through both forest and wetlands in search of the sounds and scenes found only as dusk grips the Lowcountry. Veteran SCDNR employee Al Segars met participants at 5 p.m. at the game check station on Donnelly WMA and signed them in for this program, a part of the Coastal Exploration Series. Sitting on picnic tables under the shade of a grand live oak surrounded by freshly planted dove fields, it was exciting to think about all manner of wildlife that we might soon be viewing.

Baby Box turtles - so cute!!
Tony Mills is a herpetologist with the Lowcountry Institute at Spring Island and he was in charge of the one-hour grass class about wildlife found at Donnelly WMA. Some people know Mills from the TV show on ETV called Coastal Kingdom. Mills experience is extensive having served 20 years UGA’s Savannah River Ecology Lab, and his outgoing nature comes in handy when teaching Master Naturalist courses each year.

Young and old came to listen and learn in the outdoors
SCDNR’s Nick Wallover was riding with participants and gave a narration as the wagon rolled through the woodlands. We saw white-tailed deer, wild turkeys and feral hogs as the daylight dimmed. Just then someone saw the first firefly of the evening and soon the entire forest was lit up with these frolicking flies, blinking intermittently. “One certain occasions we have seen the fireflies display mating behavior and they all link up and flash on and off at the same time,” said Wallover. I had never even heard of such behavior and hope to see that in person one day.

To view the entire feature story in the newspaper click on Colletonian.

To view past blog entries about Donnelly WMA click on Trails of Colleton County - Deer Draw Hunt

To view past blog entries about the ACE Basin click on 25th Anniversary

Wading Bird Paradise at Dusk
To view past blog entries on snakes click on Edisto SerpentariumSeptember Snakes Seen Slithering - Duck Season Snakes -  2014 Snakes at SEWE - 2016 SEWE

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