The Beetle

(Top photo credit: Andy Ross) I was told to “Stop, don’t step on the beetle!” by a young man, hand up, traffic cop style, kneeling on the pavement in Explore the Wild. It was a late fall day in December (meteorological winter) with temperatures in the high 40s, though a dry northerly wind made it feel colder. The young naturalist spotted a beetle and he and his family were watching it make its way across the path. As I gotRead more

Behind the Scenes

I take many photos here at the Museum. Some you see here on Nature Watch, some you don’t. Most of the photos I take are of plants or animals, but if I happen to have a camera in hand as one of the Museum staff passes, or is working nearby, they may become the subject of one of my photos. The following is a sample of some of the Museum staff that I’ve crossed paths with over the years while IRead more

A Fine Day…Week

The last several days have been quite pleasant. The local fauna have been responding to the uncharacteristically mild nature of our current meteorological situation. In other words, it’s been real nice outside lately and some of our resident wildlife are taking advantage of that niceness.         Come on out and enjoy some of this fine weather yourself, you never know when it’s going to rain, snow, sleet, or worse, so get it while you can. See youRead more

Anybody Home?

Over the past winter I often heard loud noises coming from the attic area over the vending machines in Explore the Wild. It sounded like someone was moving furniture around! I suspected squirrels, or maybe raccoons. On Saturday, June 4, I think I found out who was making that noise, at least the offspring of those noisemakers. I heard the soft chirping of a raccoon coming from somewhere above as I stopped in the shade to sip water in theRead more

Late Season Herps

The first couple of weeks in October were rather cloudy and wet. Whenever the sun did show itself, the turtles of the Wetlands took advantage of it by hauling out and basking in its warm rays. Young and old alike were out on all available perches. Mostly Yellow-bellied Turtles, but even a large snapper was spotted enjoying the brief bit of sun. The last few days of September and first couple of days of October brought many young treefrogs emergingRead more

The Grebe(s)

On the morning of September 26th, while walking along the boardwalk in Explore the Wild, I noticed a small brown, duck-like bird floating on the still, dark water. The bird was midway across the water but I knew almost immediately what it was. It was a grebe. A quick look through my binoculars verified that it was a Pied-billed Grebe. The bird was busily diving for fish, had something in its bill, and was thrashing it about in the water.Read more

A Common Thread

Each fall it seems that spiders appear from nowhere, crawling along the ground, stretching out their sticky webs across our favorite hiking trails, and even entering our living spaces. The truth is, they’re with us the entire summer, we simply may not notice them because they, along with their webs (if they construct them), are much smaller and less obvious than in fall. Above and below you will see some of those spiders, all of which were found along theRead more