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Spiders of September

  • Goodale State Park (map)

CANCELLED - this event has been cancelled due to our state’s preparations for Hurricane Florence.  

Marbled Orb-weaver by Craig Williams

Marbled Orb-weaver by Craig Williams

Some call them "creepy" and some call them "cool." Either way, spiders are infinitely interesting, and this workshop is designed to help you discover some the amazing attributes that make them so. The day will include a close-up view of spider morphology, analyzing the features that make spider life a success. We’ll have opportunities to distinguish the sexes of spiders, surely a skill you've long desired to acquire. Through our discussion and discovery you’ll gain a better understanding of the different types of webs spiders spin, including how and why they are spun. Their silk is symbolic of the many connections they make in nature, and we'll have conversations about that too. 

We’ll talk about identification of the most common species found around the home. Of course our time together will include a walk in the woods to search for and identify woodland species. Because many spiders tend to reach maturity in the fall, they make themselves a bit more available for study this time of year. Since we’ll be at Goodale State Park, we’ll reserve the right to get a bit distracted if we see something other than a spider that warrants discussion. However, we’ll try to keep it focused and certainly fun.

At the end of the day, you’ll be able to

1.    Identify several species of spiders common in residential and woodland settings
2.    Describe basic aspects of spider natural history
3.    Appreciate the relationships between spiders and their environment
4.    Feel confident and equipped in moving forward into your own study of spiders

Carolina Wolf Spider by Craig Williams

Carolina Wolf Spider by Craig Williams

Where:  This training will take place at Goodale State Park, in the midlands and Sandhills Region of South Carolina.  Meet at the Community Building directly in front of the entrance.  The website, which includes directions, can be found by clicking here.

When:  We’ll meet at 9:30 AM.  The day will conclude whenever we are done having fun. We'll probably be finished with the planned programming at around 2:30 PM, but feel free to stay longer if the silk is still spinning. 

Who: This training is open to the public. No prior knowledge is required. Minimum age is 16. For SC Master Naturalists who have not taken a spider course, this event can count as Advanced Training and towards your statewide certification if you need a Sandhills component. Lunch will last thirty minutes, so depending on when we finish, this will count for approximately four and a half hours of training.
If you are not a Master Naturalist, just come have fun with us. Participants will also receive a list of other participants to allow for carpooling to the park. 

This class will be taught by Austin Jenkins, who teaches and facilitates the popular Midlands Master Naturalist class for the South Carolina Wildlife Federation.  Jenkins teaches Natural History of South Carolina at USC Sumter.

IMPORTANT: Participants should be in good physical shape. Goodale State Park has relatively flat terrain, but we may cover some distance in our search for spiders. September can still be warm - even hot - in the Sandhills. PLEASE DO NOT SIGN UP FOR THIS EVENT UNLESS YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN YOU CAN HANDLE THESE CONDITIONS.  

Other Important Notes:
•    Restrooms are available at the park.  Pink and blue bushes are along the trail…

•    Participants should bring a bag lunch and water and be prepared for a day in the field. 

•    There is no rain date for this event. We will make every effort to hold it, even in a few rain showers. If it looks like a deluge, we'll notify you of cancellation and refund your money.

•    After registering you will receive important correspondence via email. If you change your email between now and then, make sure to notify us.

•    If available, please bring binoculars and a hand lens. 

Cost: The cost is $60.00 per person and limited to the first 20 people that register.  


Special thanks to Bill Stokes and Craig Williams for photos.

Later Event: September 22
National Hunting & Fishing Day