Original Air Date: March 23, 2008
Can you believe that fish as brilliant as those found on coral reefs live right here in our mountain streams? Join Patrick and guest expert Jeff Smith as they travel across the watersheds of the Appalachians in search of splendid little gems you probably never knew existed. The survival of these jewels, world class members of our natural heritage depend on our management of the natural resource upon which we all depend, water.
Original Air Date: March 30, 2008
Badlands, arroyos (dry, sandy river beds) and canyons aren't features you usually associate with South Carolina – but they are all here in Aiken County! Are these features natural or the product of poor land management? Join Patrick and guest expert Harry Shealy as they explore Hitchcock Woods, a 2100 acre preserve surrounded by the town of Aiken, where horses, pedestrians and nature coexist.
Original Air Date: April 6, 2008
Deserts may seem to be barren wastelands, but they're teeming with life. Deserts provide us with some of the best evidence of past climate change. Life has adapted to the harshest extremes of climate – but even these hardy sentinels can be pushed over the limit. Join Patrick as he explores the deserts of Joshua Tree National Park to see how these creatures can survive and gather evidence of past climates and dramatic changes happening right now.
Original Air Date: April 13, 2008
Here in the White Mountains of California, ancient trees that have survived over 4,000 years are a living historical record of past climate and perhaps trends for the future. From the adorable pika to pinyon jays, life as we know it is changing here. The oldest living things on earth are standing on the front lines of the climate change battle and trees that have stood for 40 centuries may not see the end of the 21st.
Original Air Date: April 20, 2008
Every fall this enormous, shallow, natural lake is transformed into a noisy, congested community of thousands of waterfowl, including many species of ducks, geese and the largest flocks of our most massive waterfowl species, the tundra swan. During the winter few people brave this wild and woolly corner of North Carolina and the visitor is left alone with a myriad of birds. How do so many species of duck and waterfowl co-exist and why does Lake Mattamuskeet serve as the central receiving point for so many species? Patrick explores the lake and the feeding behavior of these species in an attempt to answer these questions.
Original Air Date: April 27, 2008
“Bog” is a term that may conjure up images of stinking mires and muck – but in fact, bogs are among the most picturesque and fascinating wetlands this world has to offer. Our southern Appalachian bogs are in grave danger. But there are a lot of unanswered questions here: where did they come from, how can they be maintained and is there time and space for bogs in our future? Join Patrick as he travels from the Northwoods to our own backyards in an attempt to understand these remarkable wetlands before it is too late!
Original Air Date: May 4, 2008
Southern Appalachian Mountain Bogs are probably the least understood natural communities in the Carolinas. They are so poorly known that their “naturalness” is often viewed as open for debate. Despite this fact, they hold a large number of the rare and endangered species that grow in our area. Join Patrick as he continues to explore these wetlands and search the muck for one of the most seldom seen and threatened reptiles in North America, the Bog Turtle.
Original Air Date: May 11, 2008
When the first airplane pilots flew over the coastal plain of the Carolinas they must have been shocked to notice a seemingly endless number of elliptical depressions dotting the landscape. These are Carolina bays; but how were they created? Why are they all so similar in shape and orientation? Join Patrick and guest expert Richard Porcher as they visit some of the most picturesque and healthy bays to devine how they function, how they should be managed and perhaps how they were formed.
Original Air Date: May 25, 2008
Can you imagine 12-foot Alligators, wading bird rookeries, Native American shell mounds, fox squirrels and painted buntings all existing in close quarters with humans in a residential development? While snakes and alligators might be considered “undesirable” by many, they are crucial elements of the ecological processes of the Carolina Lowcountry. Is it possible to incorporate such challenging species into a planned community? Join Patrick as he visits Spring Island and finds nature and wildlife sharing the Sea Islands of South Carolina.
Original Air Date: June 1, 2008
Beaufort County is one of the most rapidly developing regions of the state and big changes often spell disaster for native plants and animals. Can we preserve the character of the Lowcountry and still accommodate people? Join Patrick as he continues to explore Spring Island, a different kind of development including water quality, wildlife and even ecological processes like fire into neighborhood management.