News from the Outdoor Loop

Many things have occurred over the last week, wildflowers blooming, ducks coming of age, insects emerging and mating, and warmer, more permanent weather has arrived. In a somewhat quiet out-of-the-way location here on our 84 acre campus native wildflowers, like dutchman’s breeches and bloodroot, from an old wildflower trail, have managed to survive amongst various non-natives like English ivy and Japanese honeysuckle. Toothwart’s clusters of white flowers, with a hint of pink or violet, are now blooming (top photo). It’sRead more

Things To Look For

If you’ve been out strolling the outdoor areas of the Museum you may or may not have noticed some of the many creatures we have living here alongside our exhibits. Here’s some suggestions as to what to look for. If you’re down by the Wetlands in Explore the Wild or up near the Bungee in Catch the Wind you could possibly hear what may sound like the bleating of a lamb. Rather than a lamb, it’s probably a small amphibian that you’reRead more

Hot Summer Sights

Even though it’s blistering hot outside, it’s still worth the trip outdoors to see what’s going on. Here’s proof. Some dragonflies.             A trio of butterflies.         A fly.       And turtle news.           Parting shot.    Read more

Great Blue and Other Interesting Sightings

  Great blue heron (GBH) has been a common sight here at the Museum for the past eight years. Most of that time there was one present on a daily basis in the Wetlands. I’m afraid, though, our long time resident GBH has left us. I don’t know why our local GBH has moved on or whether or not it has expired, but I have not seen it. I keep a weekly checklist of all the birds I see here at the Museum, check it offRead more

Some Spring Happenings

I’ve been negligent in my duties and haven’t been reporting as often as I’d like to on the goings on in Explore the Wild and Catch the Wind. So much is happening, as it does every spring, that it’s tough to keep up. Here’s just a couple of handfuls of things that we’ve seen in the Wild over the past few weeks (not necessarily in chronological order). During the first week of April, American toads were calling out, their high-pitchedRead more

Odes Around Us

Dragonflies and damselflies belong to an order of insect called Odonata. Dragonflies are in the suborder Anisoptera, the damsels in the suborder Zygoptera. Dragonflies usually hold their wings out to their sides when at rest. They are typically larger and bulkier than damselfies. Dragons have large compound eyes which, in many species, cover most of the head. Some species eyes only just meet at the top of the head, but still cover a large portion of the head. Other species,Read more

Out and About

Just some sights from the past week. First spotted by Michelle Kloda as she headed off to Build it! Bamboo one day last week, a Trapdoor Spider. Trapdoor Spiders spend most of their time in a hole in the ground waiting for prey to come walking by. They build a hinged, silken lid to top off the hole which they pop open to reach out and grab any unsuspecting prey that wanders by. Tiny mites caused the growths on theseRead more

Spring Happenings

Happenings over the past few weeks have been a bit overwhelming. Insects that have been held back from emergence by cooler than normal temperatures are doing so now, snakes and other reptiles have been performing their springtime rituals, neotropical migrants are moving through, and local nesters are doing just that, nesting. Some have already fledged their first broods. It’s been difficult for me to keep up with all of the biological happenings in terms of posting them to this Journal. That beingRead more

Springing Forward

There’s been so much happening in the Wild lately that it’s difficult to keep up, to stay on top of the reporting of said happenings. Here’s a quick update. If you remember, there were two successful Green Heron nests in our Wetlands last year. We’re hoping to have a repeat. Last Saturday two of the small, somewhat green herons appeared. I’ve seen one or two each day since, so maybe a redo of last year’s events is forthcoming. The firstRead more