Hunting in Winter

Can you see the bird in the above photo? It’s a red-shouldered hawk. As mentioned in the previous post, Herps (reptiles and amphibians), there’s been lizard, snake, and frog activity lately. This red shoulder is hunting those creatures. It’s also keeping an eye out for any incautious bird, shrew or rodent. Looking high and low, left and right, the hawk keeps a sharp eye on it’s environment for the slightest movement, ready to pounce. After many minutes (at least anRead more

June Sightings in The Wild

It’s near the end of June. Below (and above) are photos of some of the creatures I’ve seen during the month. They’re arranged in no particular order. The top photo is of one of the milkweeds, butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa). It attracts many insects to it’s flowers, leaves, and seed pods throughout the summer season. Here, you can see new flower buds on the left and older flowers to the right. Some insects go out of their way to attractRead more

Summer Sights

The butterfly in the top photo is an eastern tailed-blue. It belongs to a group of small butterflies known as blues. They are typically blue on the upper surface of the wings. They like open spaces and generally fly low to the ground.   The eastern tailed-blue above is worn. Some of its markings are missing or obscured and one can barely make out a “tail” on the hind wing. Below is a more fresh individual, a male, displaying theRead more

Herps

With the warmer than usual weather, flowers are blooming early, butterflies are fluttering, and reptiles and amphibs are making premature appearances. I saw the first of the season northern water snake on February 25 (early by a few weeks) and several brown snakes crossing the path at different locations.   With the increased herpetological activity, our resident red-shouldered hawks have been on the hunt. Red shoulders eat frogs and snakes. February 25 brought with it many basking yellow-bellied sliders. MoreRead more

All Is As It Should Be

It is now May. Insects that we haven’t seen for months are back among us. Reptiles and amphibians are active as if winter had never happened. Many birds that have been far away in Central and South America have returned to the Museum grounds to make nests and raise families. It’s as if they never left. Keep your eyes and ears open for these creatures as you walk the paths and trails here at the Museum. I’ve gathered more thanRead 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

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

Just Add Heat!

All it took was a bit of warm sunshine and all of the critters came crawling out of the mud and from under logs, rocks and the leaf litter. The amphibians and reptiles made the news this week with new arrivals and increased numbers of previously seen species. Although I’d seen several Brown Snakes earlier in the season, the snake in the photo was the first one I’ve seen alive and making its way across the path here at the Museum.Read more

I’m excited, are you?

Mourning Cloaks, Groundhogs, more turtles, a bullfrog, and finally, Pickerel Frogs! Are you ready for some pictures? The cloak… The hog… The turtles… A bullfrog… And the Pickerel Frogs, lots of them… Sorry for getting carried away with the Pickerel Frogs, I’ve been waiting so long for them and at last, they’re here! I heard at least one Southern Leopard Frog today (3/13) but was not able to locate it in order take its portrait, maybe tomorrow. Enjoy!Read more

Bullfrogs and Meadowhawks

The unseasonably warm weather last week brought out more than a few bullfrogs. I see these frogs throughout the winter so they won’t completely disappear when the temperature drops again, as it’s already doing as I write. The warmer weather of last week also brought out the meadowhawks. Although I saw the first of the season meadowhawk on October 12, it had been a few weeks since I’d seen another. The meadowhawk above was only feet from a chalk drawingRead more