Due to the Revolution…

Frogs and toads are breeding, butterflies flying, groundhogs foraging, birds migrating and early season flowers are blooming. The white common blue violet in the above picture has been blooming for over a week on the path leading away from the Lemur House. There are also many of the blue form of violet along the same stretch of path. American toads and pickerel frogs were vigorously calling and mating on the warm afternoons of the second full week of March. ManyRead more

A Salamander

Before this week I had seen only one species of salamander here on the museum’s 84 acres, a dead marbled salamander found alongside the path in January of 2017, nearly two years ago. Another salamander, described to me by a summer camper a few years beyond that, was probably a red-backed salamander. We now have a third. Animal Keepers Autumn and Janine, after several previous encounters with the slippery amphibians, were able to capture and photograph another species of salamanderRead more

Quick Update; Egrets and Toads.

Ranger Rock called me on the radio this morning about an egret in the Wetlands. We’ve only had a handful of egret visits over the years so I went down to the Wetlands to have a look.     The egret was obviously people shy, it didn’t stay long. After just a brief time it flew off to a tall loblolly pine, surveyed the situation from above, and took off for parts unknown.     Last week I mentioned seeingRead more

Looking Down

Sometimes, it pays to look down. There are many creatures going about their lives at ground level. So, while you’re not looking up at the trees or the skies for birds or at the flowers for butterflies and other nectaring insects, keep at least one eye down where you walk, the ground, you might see something interesting.     At first, I wasn’t quite sure what the caterpillar in the above photo was. I thought it might be one of theRead more

Spring Rolls Along

Spring continues to move along and the flora and fauna here at the Museum rolls along with it. Thousands, no, millions of neotropical migrant birds are moving through our area, flowers are inviting insects to pollinate themselves, tadpoles are becoming frogs, fish eggs have hatched, and an old friend showed up in the Wetlands. Warblers, thrushes, cuckoos, swallows, and many other birds are migrating north at this time. Most migrate at night (less likely to be seen by hungry hawkRead more


Although spring peepers and upland chorus frogs, and the occasional low croaking call of a pickerel frog, have been calling off and on for several weeks now, they are in full force at this time. Today, I was able to get a handful of photos of pickerel frogs and one shot of a bullfrog. The other two species, the tiny peepers and chorus frogs, proved elusive. Here they are.           Come on out a see how many frogsRead more

Frogs Mature

If you’ve walked through the Wetlands lately you may have noticed amphibians floating on the water or perched on sticks, logs, or rocks in or next to the water. The amphibians are two inches or so from the tip of their noses to the end of their bodies. Some of them are trailing tails, vestiges of their days as tadpoles. Others have already absorbed their tails and appear as miniature adults. These amphibians are bullfrogs. They are, in fact, theRead more

A Chorus of Frogs

As I mentioned in a previous entry in this journal, Spring Peepers and Upland Chorus Frogs had been calling vigorously during the warm weather of last week. We certainly have chorus frogs here at the Museum but they are difficult to locate visually. The best place to look for them is the U-shaped pond next to the Bungee Jump in Catch the Wind. Upland Chorus Frogs are small (about 1″ – 1.5″) and typically cease their singing when approached byRead more

Things you may have walked past and not noticed.

This past Saturday, I saw an adult Pickerel Frog out on the path in Explore the Wild. It was a bright sunny, and dry day. I probably wouldn’t even mention this if it were February or March, or even April, the months when this species breeds, necessity bringing them down to the water for courting and laying eggs. Most of the rest of the year they’re up in the woods or well hidden along the edge of the water, notRead more

It’s all out there, heat or not.

We are not experiencing record heat, in fact it’s hotter today (7/19) in Boston than it is here, high 90s to low 90s, respectively. But it’s still hot. No one could convince me otherwise. So why was there a bullfrog sitting on the pavement today in Explore the Wild? True, the frog in the above photo is in the shade. And, that particular patch of pavement is in shade most of the day, but is it really cooler than a niceRead more