News Flash from the Red Wolf Enclosure!

I had just walked up to the Red Wolf Enclosure Overlook when I noticed the male wolf approach and sniff the female’s rear quarters. I quickly fumbled for my camera. The camera was in its case strapped to my belt. The zipper on the case had lost its pull-tab—tough to get the case open. This, and building anxiety at my not moving fast enough, delayed my ability to get in the first few shots of the event. For the pastRead more

February Blooms

As happens each February, hazel alder is in bloom here at the Museum. Hazel alder (Alnus serrulata) is a small tree or large shrub which grows along ponds, lakes, streams, and rivers throughout the state. It’s deciduous, which as you know, means it loses its leaves each fall. The male catkins and female flower buds appear in fall. They bloom in early spring before the alder’s leaves appear. February is spring for this plant here in piedmont North Carolina. TheRead more

Face of Contentment

The barred owl pictured here was just feet from the main path in Explore the Wild. The bird was being harassed by crows, but upon my arrival the corvids retreated leaving the owl in quiet solitude. The owl remained on its perch most of the day looking, as owls often do, peaceful, content, and wise.Read more

Quiet Winter

It’s February, and so far this winter we’ve skated by with very few cold days—no ice storms, only one brief snow, and minimal frigid NW winds. That could change at any time, but for now, I’m going to enjoy the mild fifty, sixty, and yes, even seventy degree weather. The bird feeders have seen steady, but not heavy, use. The local chickadees, titmice, cardinals, nuthatches, and others have been regular customers at the feeders at Bird Viewing, but I’ve not seen anyRead more

Winter News

The temperatures have taken a nose dive. It’s a good twenty degrees colder today than it was yesterday—and will remain so for the next week or more. The high today will be near 50º which is average for this time of year. If you lived up north, close to the Canadian border, that’d be a shirtsleeve day for sure. But we’re here in North Carolina, and after a week or more of 60’s and 70’s (with lows around fifty), itRead more

The Pack That Howls Together…

If you’re lucky enough to be in Explore the Wild when our wolves begin to howl, you’re in for a treat. You’re heart will quicken. An element of wonderment, perhaps a tinge of fear, will stir in you. Adrenaline will pump through your veins, fight or flight. It’s a wild sound, an emotional sound. It’s a sound of the wilderness. When wolves howl, they’re communicating with one another. That communication may be an attempt to locate or socialize with members of theirRead more

A Familiar Face and a New Face

What is becoming an increasingly familiar face here at the Museum is that of the local barred owl. I’ve encountered this owl seven times since October, each time alerted to its presence through the harassing calls of crows, blue jays and various dickey birds. This time, the owl was in the swamp across from the Main Wetlands Overlook in Explore the Wild. The owl seemed to be resting, but apparently at least one eye and both ears were acutely tunedRead more

Quick Quiz

Take a look at the photo below and see if you can identify the subject. If you said “the tail of an eastern gray squirrel,” you’d be correct. Now that you know what it is, did you know that eastern gray squirrels grow little tufts of white fur on their ears in winter? Eastern gray squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis) are everywhere in the east. From east Texas to Saskatchewan and east to the Atlantic Coast gray squirrels are a familiar sight.Read more

What Happened Here?

Near the Wetlands, and next to an American holly loaded with berries, stands a sapling elm tree. There are many such trees here at the Museum. But, as I walked past this particular pair of arboreal specimens I noticed several clusters of passerine contour feathers stuck to the thin branches of the small, bare elm. Most of the feathers were white, some had rufus colored centers. What happened here? When I see a group of feathers clumped together as on theRead more

Red Wolf Forecast

If you’ve been following events here at the Museum you no doubt already know that we have a new female red wolf. She came to us from Reflection Riding Arboretum & Nature Center in Chattanooga, TN back in November with the hopes of breeding with our male red wolf. Whether or not these two wolves come together is entirely up to the individuals involved, the wolves themselves. With cautious optimism, I will say that they seem to be getting alongRead more