February

Despite the 70 degree temps we’re experiencing, it’s February. And, what happens every February here at the Museum of Life and Science? Hazel alder blooms. The golden flecks of wind-borne pollen sail through the air from the male catkins to the upright reddish female flowers (photo above). Look for the alders on the north side of the wetlands in Explore the Wild. Each February, brown-headed nuthatches pound away on the soft wood of some recently expired black willow in ourRead more

Spring Happenings

Last week started cool, temperature-wise, but ended with a warmth that brought out all manner of creatures and plants that had been lying in wait for just that moment to arrive. There are a lot of photos to show and things to discuss, so let’s start with the snake above. It was pointed out to me that someone here at the museum had seen a water snake back at the end of February or in early March. We had someRead more

Quiet Winter

It’s February, and so far this winter we’ve skated by with very few cold days—no ice storms, only one brief snow, and minimal frigid NW winds. That could change at any time, but for now, I’m going to enjoy the mild fifty, sixty, and yes, even seventy degree weather. The bird feeders have seen steady, but not heavy, use. The local chickadees, titmice, cardinals, nuthatches, and others have been regular customers at the feeders at Bird Viewing, but I’ve not seen anyRead more

Spring!

I personally go with March first as the official arrival of spring, the so-called meteorological spring. Even so, some things are happening a bit ahead of time due to the unusually high temperatures we’ve been experiencing. Just this past Monday I saw an eastern tiger swallowtail flying about. Around these parts, tiger swallowtails are butterflies of April, not March. The seventy and eighty degree weather accelerated the emergence of that butterfly, for sure. I thought I’d post a handful ofRead more

Spring, Almost

  During the past week and a half, spring has been sneaking up on us. In my book, once we turn the page on February, it’s spring. There’s no going back. It’s here. And, over the past week and a half I’ve taken the photos you see here as evidence. The blooming red maple above and the sprouting elderberry below offer the best proof of spring’s imminent arrival. I’ve already mentioned, here in this blog, the arrival of our two Canada geese (theyRead more

February Happenings

It’s February. What happens in February besides cold north winds, Groundhog Day, the Super Bowl, and two of our past president’s birthdays? Why, our two seasonally local Canada Geese arrive in our Wetlands and hazel alder comes into bloom. That’s what happens in February. I do not know where these two geese spend the rest of their year, but they arrive here in our Wetlands each February. Unless the water freezes over they will remain here till late spring orRead more

Tracks in Ice

  As I stood on the Main Wetlands Overlook, I noticed a track of smooth ice coming from the willows on the north side of the Wetlands and heading directly towards the platform on which I stood. The track was frozen over, but frozen over more recently than the surrounding ice. Obviously, some creature had swum through the ice when it was slushy, creating a trail and the trail had subsequently frozen over. I looked over the rail at theRead more

Snow – Geese

  The water in the Wetlands, after several days of temps above freezing, has thawed a bit. A section of the pond on the far side of the Wetlands is open. Our two visiting geese, who have been absent since the beginning of last week due to the complete freeze up of the Wetlands at the time, are back. They must have flown over, spotted the open water and dropped in. Snowing as it is this morning (unexpectedly snowing), aRead more

Geese are in the House and Martins are on the way

    First spotted on Sunday, February 8, the two geese in the photo have returned. Every February they drop in. It’s the same two geese. It’s usually within the first or second week of the month that we first see them. February is also the month that purple martins enter the scene. They start showing up in southern Texas and Florida in early January, or even late December, but it’s not until February that they get anywhere near ourRead more