Fall Goings On

It’s been drizzling, raining, and downright pouring over the past week or more here in the Piedmont of North Carolina. But, life goes on, herons gotta eat, snakes too, and wasps have to keep building additions to their hives as their numbers increase, you can’t stop progress.

If, over the last week or so, you’ve happened to make it out past Hideaway Woods, our new outdoor playscape full of tree houses, woodland stream, nature trails, stick built “castles” and hammocks hung under a towering forest canopy of pines, oaks, a couple of beech trees, and various other hardwoods, you may have noticed a few creatures going through their daily routines in Explore the Wild despite the wet weather. If not, well, here they are for your enjoyment.

Bald-faced hornets construct their hives from wood gathered by the workers of the hive. The chewed wood, mixed with their saliva, makes a sturdy paper, the building material for the hive.

 

Bald-faced hornet collecting wood from our boardwalk railing.
Bald-faced hornet collecting wood from our boardwalk railing.

 

Our green heron is still with us. It’ll be leaving soon for parts unknown, presumably heading south and or east of us here in the Piedmont. They typically depart by the end of September to early October.

 

One of our resident green herons.
One of our resident green herons.

 

Great blue herons stay with us throughout the year. This young and very tame individual hunts regularly just off the Main Wetlands Overlook.

 

Eyeing a frog floating in the water.
Eyeing a frog floating in the water.

 

Frog being eyed by heron.
Frog being eyed by heron.

 

Heron left, frog bottom right.
Heron left, frog at bottom right.

 

The heron did not capture the frog, which slowly drifted away on a wind borne current.

And finally, there have been a handful of young water snakes along the edge of the Wetlands over the past week, here’s one in a wax myrtle a little more than a yard’s distance from the Wetlands Overlook.

 

Northern water snake out on a limb.
Northern water snake out on a limb.

 

So, on your next visit to the Museum, if you still have strength after going through Hideaway Woods, take a stroll through Explore the Wild and Catch the Wind to witness the wild side of the Museum.

Oh yeah, and don’t forget the Dinosaur Trail.

 

Hearts-a-bursting, Busting heart, strawberry bush on the Dino Trail.
Hearts-a-bursting, Busting heart, or strawberry bush on the Dino Trail.

 

See you out there!

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