Patrick's Picks

Educational Resources

Here are some educational resources that provide a greater understanding of our natural resources:

Dr. Ed Pivorun's E-Nature Guides - a collection of 5 CD/DVDs that provide a greater understanding of:

  • The Wildflowers of the Blue Ridge Mt Area (750 species);
  • The Mammals of the Great Smoky Mts National Park;
  • The Mammals of the Carolinas;
  • The Salamanders of the Great Smoky Mts National Park, and
  • The Snakes of  South Carolina

My Bookmarks

Here are a few sites that I visit frequently that you can explore, too:

USDA Plants Database - the place to go for the newest and most up to date plant names, plus basic information and pictures.
on-line at:

Florida Plant Atlas - you'll find pictures of just about any plant in Florida in this searchable guide.
on-line at:

Galleria Carnivora - a virtual museum full of amazing facts about carnivorous plants.
on-line at:

Florida Museum of Natural History's Herpetology - everything you'd want to know about Florida's amphibians and reptiles.
on-line at:

North Carolina State Museum of Natural Sciences
– the first job as a curator I had and a great institution.
on-line at:

Clemson University Museum - curated by yours truly, this is a great resource for the identification of regional plant specimens and an important source of plant material for classroom instruction.
on-line at:

Rowan Byrnes Sea Turtle and Sea Creature - Rowan is amazing and a great friend/guest expert on our first season. Check out the amelanistic green sea turtle that hatched right in front of    Rowan and I during my recent trip to Dominica this past May.
on-line at:

On My Bookshelf

This list of books includes a variety of subject matter.

A Guide to the Wildflowers of South Carolina
by R. D. Porcher and D. A. Rayner
You must have this book. Great essays and descriptions of plants, their names, how to pronounce the and    more information on the plants covered than you’ll ever want to know.

The Flora of the Carolinas, Virginia and Georgia
by Alan S. Weakley
The updated nomenclatural reference for vascular plants and plant names in the Southeast.

King Solomon’s Ring
by Konrad Lorenz
The book that catapulted Ethology into the public limelight. That's the study of animal behavior in the natural environment.

Snakes of the Southeast
by J. Whitfield Gibbons and M. Dorcas
The snake book we all wanted to write, written better than any of the rest of us could!

In My Travel Log

Berkeley County, South Carolina
My best friend Richard Porcher often says, “I could spend my whole life exploring Berkeley County and not see it all.” He’s correct, with the highest documented diversity of plant species in the southeastern United States, this county is my favorite place to visit. Berkeley County, my first home!

The Commonwealth of Dominica, Lesser Antille
My favorite place on Earth.

Sparta Bog, Alleghany County, North Carolina
This was was my back yard when I was a teenager. I still love to visit the one place I would credit with inspiring me to pursue botany as a career. The cranberries are tasty, too!

The Big Cypress Swamp, Collier County, Florida
I lived in Naples as a young child, just down the street from a zoological park and when I wasn’t here I was out in the BC Swamp – exploring one of the most fascinating natural areas on earth.

New Caledonia
I plan to visit this remote Pacific Island next December to explore some of the most primitive plants on earth. If you’ve seen Walking with Dinosaurs, a Discovery Channel series, you’ve seen odd backgrounds that were filmed here.

My To Do List

If I could do anything and go anywhere I would:

  • Overcome my arachnophobia. I held a wild pink-toed tarantula I found in St. Lucia this past June, but I can’t bear to touch those greasy, less-hairy spiders. YUUUCK!
  • Finish writing those articles describing the 4 new species of Begonia that I’ve been working on (and procrastinating on) for three years now!
  • Bring you a show that will keep you entertained and maybe teach you a thing or two that I’ve learned over the years so that you might cherish the life on this earth as much as I do!

On My Nightstand

If you’ve seen my show you’ve seen me. I spend my time chasing down that shot of the Plethodon cheoah for the salamander episode by hiking 12 miles up and down mountain peaks. I live, breathe and sleep natural history. I do have other interests though...

I’ve played the guitar now for about 7 years, and still can’t play more than Syd Barrett and Flaming Lips (pretty simple). I had one piano lesson, yet somehow I taught myself to play ‘Round Midnight. I can play virtually any woodwind and brass instrument in treble cleft. My musical interests are as eclectic as my natural history interests. I listen to alternative, rock, classical, reggae, bluegrass, jazz, even name it!

I spend more of my time writing books than reading these days. Occasionally I let my geek side show and lose myself in a Tolkien fantasy, though I never played Dungeons and Dragons.

On My Playlist

Wildflowers, Tom Petty
Buggin’, The Flaming Lips
In the Aeroplane Over the Sea, Neutral Milk Hotel
‘Round Midnight, Thelonious Monk
Green is the Color, Pink Floyd
Bye Bye Blackbird, Miles Davis   
Bleed to Love Her, Fleetwood Mac
An American in Paris, George Gershwin