The Week in Pictures

A quick pictorial trip back to the past week. Flowering dogwood is in bloom (above). Over the past week I began to see aquatic turtles very near the shoreline of our wetlands, peeking up from the water to the shore. I suspected they were searching for safe places to come ashore and lay eggs. The next day I saw two yellow-bellied sliders walking along the path. It’s nesting time. The tadpoles, products of the American toad breeding spree of March,Read more

Blue Bird Season

Meteorologically speaking, it’s spring and the local birds are feeling the urge to nest. Blue birds and chickadees are already checking out the nest boxes. In fact, two of our six nest boxes had nesting material in them as I made the rounds this morning (3/2/19) in preparation for the coming season. Last year we had 33 birds fledged on our modest blue bird trail, 16 eastern blue birds, 12 Carolina Chickadees, and 5 house wrens. The purists among youRead more

Red Wolf Update

In the above photo, the wolves anxiously await the departure of the animal keepers. The keepers enter the enclosure to do a daily poop-scoop followed by a distribution of food which usually consists of meatballs and or dead rats. Today it looks like all meatballs. (Top photo, left to right; Female 2062, Juv 2246, M 1803, Juv 2247, notice how the female is the lead) While in the enclosure, the keepers (always two or more keepers) keep a watch onRead more

Pumpkins

What do you do when you’re a six month old red wolf and your keepers (animal keepers) put pumpkins in your enclosure. First you stare at them. Then, if you can fit them in your mouth, you pick them up and walk around with them.Read more

The Wolves ID’d

After posting to this blog recently in regards to red wolf identification and my inability to confidently discern our young wolves from one another here at the museum “…whatever differences the two pups had which distinguished them from one another have disappeared, at least to my eyes. I can no longer tell one from the other,” and experiencing a bit of ribbing and ridicule (light-hearted, of course) from fellow staff and volunteers about my observational failings, I decided to setRead more

Merganser Are Back

Hooded mergansers typically arrive in our wetlands in November, from the first to third week in November. A trio showed up today (10/20) at the end of the third week of October. The birds usually get right to the business of pair-bonding upon arrival. The bonds are formed here on the wintering grounds and reinforced throughout the season. When, sometime next March and April, the birds head back north to the breeding areas the pairs are already formed and theyRead more

Copperhead Encounter

It’s no secret that copperheads occur in the Carolina Piedmont. In fact, they’re found throughout the state. To the dismay of some the non aggressive yet venomous snake can often be seen in suburban back yards. We have our own population here at the Museum of Life and Science. Here, they’re typically encountered during spring and fall as they move back and forth between their summer and winter quarters. I sometimes see them crossing paths following heavy rains. All ofRead more

TACO Week

No, TACO Week doesn’t mean we here at the museum will be making, serving, or eating tacos, although you can eat tacos that week if you desire. TACO Week is short for Take A Child Outdoors Week. You should already be doing that, taking your kids out of doors, as often as you can. But, this is just a reminder, an excuse, in case it slipped your mind. This year, TACO Week is from 24 thru 30 September. Though we’reRead more

Red Wolf Speculation

Red wolf mating season has come and gone. The first confirmed mating was on February 14, nearly two months ago. Average gestation period for these canids is 63 days. The photo above shows a comparison of our female then and now. The left side of the photo shows her in mid December 2017, the right side, April 5, Thursday of last week. Do you see a difference? Here’s another shot of female 2062’s belly taken same day as right sideRead more

Sailboat Pond, Bright and Shiny

Back in February, we began the process of performing some much-needed maintenance on the Sailboat Pond in Catch the Wind, a favorite of the thousands of kids that make their way through our outdoor exhibit area. The pond’s bottom and walls needed to be resurfaced and a new plumbing system installed. The pond needed to be drained, scooped out, scraped and painted, a dirty and messy job. The last time this type of maintenance was performed was in May ofRead more