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

February Blooms

As happens each February, hazel alder is in bloom here at the Museum. Hazel alder (Alnus serrulata) is a small tree or large shrub which grows along ponds, lakes, streams, and rivers throughout the state. It’s deciduous, which as you know, means it loses its leaves each fall. The male catkins and female flower buds appear in fall. They bloom in early spring before the alder’s leaves appear. February is spring for this plant here in piedmont North Carolina. TheRead more

Another winter update, w/wolf on the side

Hazel Alder, which grows on the north side of the Wetlands, typically blooms in February. It looks as though it’ll be right on time. There are both male catkins and female flowers (small reddish spikes at top of photo) forming on the plants. The fertilized flowers will become tiny “cones” which look very much like miniature pine cones. Over at Bird Viewing (the feeders) I saw a couple of Red-breasted Nuthatches after not seeing them for several weeks. And, aRead more