Spring Happenings

There’s been much excitement over the past few days about the Red Wolves and the expected new residents here at the Museum. In the next few days many of you will hike out to the Red Wolf Exhibit to check on our female (1287) to see how she’s doing. I don’t blame you, I’ve been spending a lot of time watching the wolves my self lately. There’s been many changes in our female’s behavior and appearance of late. So, by all means, come on out and have a look for yourself.

On your way out to see the wolves, don’t forget to check out all of the other events that are quickly unfolding on the spring landscape. Rather then write about it, I’m posting some photos of things that you might see on your way to the wolves in the next few days (most of you who visit the Journal only look at the pictures anyway).

The Wetlands is beginning to take of on the fresh clean look of spring.
The Black Willows (Salix nigra), the dominant tree of the Wetlands, are quickly leafing out.
This Eastern Cottonwood (Populus deltoides), one of only two such trees in the Wetlands, has both leaves and fruit. This tree is located next to the platform halfway down the boardwalk.
Dawn Redwood (Metasequoia glyptostroboides) was thought extinct until a small grove was discovered in 1944 China. Dawn Redwood can be found along the boardwalk and path throughout Explore the Wild.
A Juniper Hairstreak (Callophrys gryneus) nectars on Leathterleaf Viburnum (Viburnum rhytidophyllum). This small green butterfly is closely associated with Eastern Redcedar (Juniperus virginiana). Note the butterfly’s common name and the Latin name of the cedar.

The buttefly in the above photo was nectaring on the viburnum that grows next to the Red Wolf Exhibit. The blossoms on viburnum that grow throughout the Museum grounds are especially full this spring.

A Common Musk Turtle (Sternotherus odoratus) hangs on for dear life on a windy day in Explore the Wild. This little turtle was about four feet above the water.
Six Yellow-bellied Sliders (Trachemys scripta) line up on a small log in the Wetlands to catch some rays. Each warm day brings more of these turtles out of the water.
This Pickerel Frog (Rana palustris) was caught crossing the path in Catch the Wind.
Keep a sharp eye out for Bullfrogs (Rana catesbeiana), many of them are out and about readying for the breeding season.
The first migrant warbler of the spring was a Common Yellwthroat (Geothypis trichas), seen here foraging in a rose in the Wetlands.
Let’s not forget our old friend the “balding” Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis). Here, he partakes of the fruit of the elm tree.

Click here if you’re not familiar with our “balding” cardinal.

Never one to pass up a free meal, this Eastern Gray Squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) joins the cardinal (above) in the elm fruit feast.

I squeezed quite a few words into the captions, didn’t I. Sorry, hope it wasn’t too painful.

2 responses to Spring Happenings

  1. Avatar
    Alicia says:

    Greg – I love reading your blog – and the pictures are lovely too!

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