Now and then, when I'm wandering through a nature preserve, I catch sight of something startling or unusual and I am reminded of NatureScene, a program produced by South Carolina Educational TV. Initially broadcast to viewers in that State in 1978, highlighting the natural diversity of South Carolina, the popular program was syndicated nationally by 1985 and the adventures of host Jim Welch and naturalist Rudy Mancke took on an international reach.
Pleasant to watch, the shows followed Jim and Rudy as they wandered through a wide variety of habitats, from wilderness to urban parks, backed by a mellow soundtrack. Their explorations would suddenly be interrupted by Rudy as he spotted a unique plant or animal and explained its features or behavior to both Jim and the viewing audience. As a budding naturalist, I thoroughly enjoyed those episodes back in the eighties and have since learned that the broadcasts continued until 2003.
This morning, while birding at South Platte Park, my Jim and Rudy moment was provided by an osprey, the first of the season, suddenly entering the airspace above Eaglewatch Lake. My thanks to Jim, Rudy and the producers of NatureScene for their lasting inspiration; check out their fine work on PBS.org or YouTube!