Sailboat Pond, Bright and Shiny

Back in February, we began the process of performing some much-needed maintenance on the Sailboat Pond in Catch the Wind, a favorite of the thousands of kids that make their way through our outdoor exhibit area. The pond’s bottom and walls needed to be resurfaced and a new plumbing system installed. The pond needed to be drained, scooped out, scraped and painted, a dirty and messy job. The last time this type of maintenance was performed was in May ofRead more

Nest Box Update 3.20.18

Although it’s been minimal, there has been activity in some of our six nest boxes. And, I’ve had to move one nest box due to exhibit construction. So, I can at least report something other than “No changes in the nest boxes” this week. A Carolina chickadee has begun a nest in the nest box at the Cow Pasture near the train tunnel. The nest is not complete, but nearly so. The nest box on the service road in ExploreRead more

Out For a Walk

You never know who you’ll come across out on the paths here at the Museum. Out for a stroll in the warm sunshine yesterday (above, l-r) were Sarah, Lightning, Cooper, Chris, and Terrence. It seems all were in a happy, springtime mood.Read more

Nest Box Update 3.13.18

Not surprisingly, there have been no changes to the nest boxes since last week’s inspection. No new nests have been started and the one which had the beginnings of a bluebird nest last week, the Butterfly House nest box, looks the same. The weather needs to improve before we see more in the way of nest building. As usual, we’ll have to wait till next week to see what happens on our six nest box, bluebird trail.Read more

Hunting Hawk

Keep and eye out for the red-shouldered hawk pictured here while you stroll through our outdoor exhibits, especially near the wetlands and the wooded area on the far side of the outdoor loop. This hawk has been actively hunting frogs (mostly pickerel frogs) from low perches, often very close to the path. The hawk is very people tolerant and will allow a close approach. All its attention seems focused on the task, catching food. Don’t push your luck though, itRead more

Just a Few Tree Thoughts

While this post is mostly pictures of trees along our paths here at the museum, there is some news to impart and to perhaps think about. Most of our elms and red cedars are only recently past blooming, but other trees still have their seeds attached from last year’s growing season and are far from flowering anew. Try to catch the trees backlit against a severe clear blue sky. Just a week ago male red cedar flowers were sending off theirRead more

Bluebirds 3.6.18

This is the first official 2018 status report of our bluebird trail nest boxes. We have six nest boxes located across our 84 acre campus, from the Cow Pasture near the Train Tunnel, through Catch the Wind, to the south side of the campus near the Woodlands Classrooms. I’ve had to make adjustments over the last seven or so years that I’ve been monitoring our nest boxes, allowing for changes in landscaping practices, new exhibit openings, and even parking deckRead more

Quiz Bird 2 Answer

I know, I know, this is tough. But hang on, let’s go through this together. As mentioned in the post when the birds were first introduced, they are much larger than swallows, much larger; goose, duck, heron, etc., size. You might be tempted to say the birds are ducks, or better, geese, simply because they’re flying in “V” formation. Ducks and geese do fly in “V” formations as well as echelon (like a V with one side removed, as inRead more

Pickerel Frogs

By the time you read this, it will be spring, meteorological spring. Spring to me actually begins in February. The days continue to get longer, red maple and elm flowers pop, and frogs, peepers, chorus and pickerel frogs, are all calling. I know there may indeed be some cold days between now and April, but it won’t last long, a few days at most. Winter’s done. If you’ve been down into our wetlands in the last week and a halfRead more

The Geese Are Back

Each February, sometimes as early as late January, two geese fly into our wetlands. It’s the same pair each year. This year, it happened to be the last week of January when they showed up. How do I know they’re the same geese. I don’t know with absolute certainty. But, the female of the two has a gray or whitish eye-ring. Most Canada geese do not have an eye-ring (it’s black, and since the feathers surrounding the eye are blackRead more