Original Air Date: March 29, 2009
Although they may appear monotonous, all salt marshes are not the same. Port Royal Sound is unique. Every May, vast swarms of horseshoe crabs crawl onto the shore to lay millions of eggs and these eggs are vitally important food for an impressive array of shorebirds, some of which are in the middle of a 10,000 mile one-way trip from their wintering grounds. This is only one of the interconnections that make this region so critical to the ecological health of our coast. What conditions exist here that allows a vast array of sharks, monster game fish like Cobia, and other animals that normally exist in the open ocean to move miles inland? Join Patrick as he explores the beaches, waterways and marshes to uncover a hotspot of biological diversity on a Port Royal Sound Adventure.
Original Air Date: April 5, 2009
How many youngsters become fascinated with nature by playing in mud puddles catching tadpoles and frogs? As a youngster, Patrick waited for the calls of wood frogs to signal the end of a long, cold winter. Today, all around the globe, these harbingers of spring are disappearing at an alarming rate. Join Patrick in a race across the region, through the seasons, and against time, to uncover the most secretive, strange, and seldom seen frogs of the Carolinas.
Original Air Date: April 19, 2009
Few reptiles can compete with the tortoise for sheer charm and charisma. But what at first seems to be a cute benign little creature turns out to be one of the architects of arid land ecology. Join Patrick as he travels to the sandhills of Aiken and Jasper County and the deserts of California in search of the rare Gopher Tortoise and its close relative the Desert Tortoise. You’ll be amazed not only by the tortoise, but also how these remarkable creatures enrich their ecosystem and in many ways support the habitat.
Original Air Date: April 26, 2009
The limestone of the Pigeon Mountain Region of Georgia has spawned more than cave-dwellers; it also allows the development of one of the most diverse and spectacular assortments of wildflowers seen anywhere in North America. Join Patrick as he journeys from the lush and brilliant limestone forests to the depths of caverns in a search of elusive cave-dwelling salamanders, bats, and even “creepier” inhabitants as Expeditions goes underground.
Original Air Date: May 3, 2009
British Columbia is not the kind of place where most people would expect to find rainforests. Twenty-one million acres of wild rainforest known as the Great Bear graces this coast. One quarter of all the world’s remaining coastal temperate rainforest is found here. The forest is intricately tied to the sea and the sea to the forest. Join Patrick for a unique adventure in search of penguin-like Auks, Sea Lions, even whales, to uncover the connections between the depths of the ocean and the rainforests — an Expedition of discovery in a land of interconnections.
Original Air Date: May 10, 2009
Most people know the story of salmon: they run up stream, lay their eggs, then die . . . but do you know the rest of the story? It turns out that the dead salmon are one of the most important links that tie together the intricate flow of nutrients — and thus life — here in the rainforest ecosystem. Join Patrick as he travels with Heiltsuk First Nations members up the rivers with the salmon, eagles, and bears, to the very peak of the mountains following the flow of nutrients from ocean to the forest as he uncovers the amazing story of a biological perpetual motion machine — a system that today is threatened by a changing world.
Original Air Date: May 17, 2009
Most of us who live in the South view the Piedmont as the place we live, or the place we drive through to reach the mountains or the coast. We often see it as a heavily populated, heavily impacted landscape with little to offer. Join Patrick on an expedition that will shatter this stereotype of the Piedmont. The unique geology and location of Stevens Creek have led to the development of one of the most remarkable wildflower spectacles in North America, including some that can be found nearly nowhere else on earth – like the Lake Miccosukee Gooseberry (strange name, cool plant).
Original Air Date: May 31, 2009
Have you ever wondered why the globe is always pictured with north being up? On this Expedition, we travel to a land that is far away but strangely familiar. There is a shared heritage, a similar climate, and perhaps a shared ecological history. Join Patrick on a trip to the other side of the globe, the temperate rainforests of Chile – a world that for us is quite literally turned upside down.
Original Air Date: June 7, 2009
Is it possible that a place this far away could be connected to what we see in our own backyards? Though it may be half a world away, the Chilean rainforests are intricately connected to our natural heritage and lives here in the U.S. Join Patrick as he continues to explore this fragile and threatened ecosystem from the extensive seabird, penguin and sea lion colonies to the shorebirds that pass through our own neighborhoods every spring and fall. Their persistence and our shared biodiversity depends on the continued health of these threatened forests.
Original Air Date: June 28, 2009
The Clemson Experimental Forest is over 17,000 acres of woodland and pastoral agricultural land surrounded by a suburban and agricultural landscape in the piedmont of South Carolina. It doesn't boast lofty summits, towering waterfalls or rushing rivers but it does contain a world-class diversity of plants and animals that is difficult to surpass in the highly modified piedmont landscape. Join Patrick as he explores this remarkable working forest to in search of vibrant neo-tropical migrant songbirds, shorebirds, rare woodland plants and other strange and seldom seen inhabitants of a forest ecosystem that is not that different from your own backyard.
Original Air Date: July 5, 2009
Today, the Clemson Forest is over 17,000 acres of lovely, pristine-looking woodland and pastoral landscape nestled among suburban neighborhoods in the South Carolina piedmont. But this forest wasn't always so picturesque. Eighty years ago this landscape was an ecological disaster. Years of poor cotton farming practice led to dramatic erosion and hardly a tree grew in this now verdant setting. Join Patrick as he explores the changes that led from catastrophe to the restoration of the vibrant world-class ecosystem and working outdoor classroom that is the Clemson Forest.