Now Showing

During the past week many new flowers, animals and insects have appeared.

First, a few plants.

pansy
Field Pansy (Viola arvensis) is not a native plant but it is quite attractive. This tiny flower is easily observed near the entrance to the Red Wolf Enclosure.
ukn violet
Another viola, or violet, growing near the Lemur House. This flower seems to be a color variation of the native Common Blue Violet (Viola papilionacea).
in strawberry
A non-native flowering plant, Indian Strawberry (Duchesnea indica) can be seen along the path in Explore the Wild and Catch the Wind. The word Indian in its common name refers to country on the Asian Subcontinent, the plant’s origin.

A few trees.

redbud
Just about to burst open in all its glory, this Eastern Redbud (Cercis canadensis) is native from Canada to Florida.
maple
Red Maple which put on a show for us at the begining of March is now showing both seeds and leaves.

Finally! After having seen damselflies emerge from the Wetlands since the 19th of March I was able to get a photo of one, a Fragile Forktail, another “punctuation mark” insect.

male fragile forktail
This male Fragile Forktail (Ischnura posita) was perched on a boulder alongside the path near Catch the Wind. Note the green exclamation point on its thorax.

Reptiles made themselves more available for viewing in the past week as well. Since March 10th when I saw the first Common Snapping Turtle of the season they have been out foraging in the shallows and even basking on the boulders of the Wetlands.

snapper
A Common Snapping Turtle on the small rock and a yellow-bellied Turtle on the boulder.

Northern Water Snakes disappeared for a couple of days due to cool weather, but came back out of hiding towards the end of this week.

nwsn1
A Northern Water Snake on a prostrate Black Willow in the Wetlands (its head is to the left).
nwsn2
Later in the day, another water snake joined the first.
nwsn_juv
A juvenile Northern Water Snakes slides across the path in Explore the Wild during Robot Rumble (3/20).

And finally, many birds have been busy with mating and nesting activities. On at least two different days I watched a male Belted Kingfisher fly wildly around the Wetlands, splashing in the water after fish (usually unsuccessfully) then fly over to the female, who had been observing this behavior, and mate with her.

crow w/twig
A crow carries off a small branch to its nest.

A crow was seen plucking a twig from the upper branches of a tree and carry it off to its nest.

Anyone willing to hazard a guess as to which crow this is, American Crow or Fish Crow? I heard it calling as it went about its business, so I already know. Not fair, of course, and I don’t think that I could tell which crow it was from this picture, but I’d be happy to entertain your educated guesses.

2 responses to Now Showing

  1. Avatar
    Judy Overby says:

    I have a nice shot of a Bloodroot made in Chatham Co. I don’t know how I’ve overlooked this beautiful wildflower before growing near a creek that flows into the Cape Fear River.

    • Greg Dodge, Ranger
      Greg Dodge, Ranger says:

      You’re right, Bloodroot is a wildflower with a subtle beauty that can be easily overlooked. The soft white of the flower and the leaves which wrap around the plant, as if hugging it, are hard to beat.
      Thanks Judy

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