November

Top Photo: Panaeolus sp. mushroom. These attractive mushrooms (Panaeolus sp.) sprouted under a fern at the entrance to the Dinosaur Trail. Boxelder, also known as ashleaf maple is a common tree here at the museum, but none reach their maximum height of about 60 feet. The name ashleaf maple comes from the tree’s compound leaves resemblance to ash leaves. It usually has five leaflets per leaf but may also have as little as three leaflets, which is the reason forRead more

Some Sights From the Wild

Hearts a bursting or strawberry bush (Euonymus americanus) is showing off its namesake fruit. There are a dozen or so of these plants across the campus. The easiest to see and photograph is on the Dinosaur Trail, on the right side of the path just past the Albertosaurus. While on the Dino Trail, keep an eye out for a flatworm or land planarian, especially on warm, rainy days. Most people are familiar with planarian worms from biology lab back inRead more

Brief Wetland Look

There’s little doubt that the Wetlands is the most outstanding feature of the Explore the Wild section of our outdoor adventure loop. Fall’s approaching quickly so here’s a very brief glimpse of the summertime wetlands which includes a few subjects you may have to look more closely to see. The most abundant tree of the wetlands is the black willow. Here, it doesn’t reach a height of more than fifteen feet of so. Yellow-bellied sliders are the most common aquaticRead more

Fall’s Final Fling

Fall’s tenuous grip on the season is slipping away. Last week and this will likely be the final act in autumn’s show of color. Enjoy it while you can. A perfect day for a walk, don’t you think?Read more

Daggers, Spiders, and A Leaf

Although it’s in the upper eighties as I write this, it’s fall, and fall things are happening. Caterpillars are crawling off to form cocoons in which to pupate over winter, orb weavers are constructing webs seemingly everywhere you turn, and leaves are morphing to shades that dazzle the eye. The last time I saw an American dagger moth caterpillar was in September of 2016 here at the Museum. I saw three daggers just this week (10/10/17). The dagger moths areRead more

Go Out and Take Some Photos

There are many photo opportunities here on our 84 acre campus. Here’s some of the things I ran into the past few weeks. While at “Bird Viewing” in Catch the Wind, I noticed a young brown thrasher picking up discarded or spilled sunflower seeds below the feeders. The inexperienced bird flew within ten feet of me and briefly posed for a photo (tip-sit quietly at the feeders). Along with the thrasher and squirrel, an American robin was picking off wormsRead more

Fall Happenings

My calendar reads fall. Most of the growth that trees will be doing this year has been done, caterpillars are becoming more noticeable, and orb weaver spider webs are beginning to appear in the morning mist. There’s no turning back now, the season is changing. What have I been seeing on my walks around the outdoor exhibits? Continue reading and you shall see. One morning as I ventured into Explore the Wild, Animal Keeper Katie pointed out to me a largeRead more

Orange

My intention here was to post pictures of fall colors and title it so. The overriding theme, however, is orange. Each photo contains orange hues, your eye is drawn to that color. Until next time …Read more

Handsome Katydids and Pretty Spiders

It’s well known that late summer to early fall is the time of year when there are more insects about than perhaps at any other time of year. If you’ve been walking around outdoors lately you may have noticed many more grasshoppers than earlier in the season. Many of the grasshoppers and katydids that were hatched out this past spring and early summer have now grown into adults and are happily munching away at the grasses and tree leaves aroundRead more