Dame’s Rocket and Blackberry are in bloom.
Butterflies find the early blooming blackberries rather tempting.
More species of dragonflies and damselflies have been emerging recently. A first-of-the-season Carolina Saddlebags (Tramea carolina) was seen on 29 April as was a new species for the Museum, a Prince Baskettail (Epitheca princeps). I had thought that I spied one of these Common Baskettail (Epitheca cynosura) relatives last year, but couldn’t be certain. The sighting on the 29th confirmed it.
On April 23, I witnessed the mating of two of the Common Snapping Turtles in the Wetlands. The turtles were tumbling around in the water just off the Wetlands Overlook in Explore the Wild.
As was the case last year when I saw the pair (or a similar looking pair) perform their mating ritual, one of them was later seen basking on the tallest rock in the Wetlands.
Birds continue to return from their winter quarters.
A Great-crested Flycatcher was sen on April 29 and an Eastern Kingbird on 30 April. Common Yellowthroats are singing both in the Wetlands and up in Catch the Wind.
And finally, over the past few weeks there have been at least three separate sightings of Gray Fox in Explore the Wild and Catch the Wind. This increased activity leads me to believe that the Museum’s fox population has recently increased (kits).