Winter Continues

We’ve had both warm and cold weather so far this season, mostly warm. Regardless of the temperature, things are rolling along as always; sunny days bring out turtles to bask, ducks feed, court, and rest in our wetland, and Mahonia blooms as it always does this time of year on the Dinosaur Trail and elsewhere around the campus. There seems to have been an unusual amount of fungi this fall and winter, perhaps due to the significant rain we’ve experienced.Read more

Steamrolling Along

Spring just keeps on rollin’ along, and the pace is quickening. Many insects are emerging, flowers blooming, and birds migrating, whether returning to the local habitats or just passing through on their way further north. Here’s some of what’s been happening over the last week or so here at the Museum, in no particular order. An early season dragonfly. The blue corporal is named for the mature male’s blue color and the two stripes on the insect’s “shoulders,” one onRead more

The bees are buzzing

Starting in early November the Mahonia on our Dino Trail begins to bloom. Its tiny yellow flowers work their way up the plant’s long racemes. If there are any active insects about, here’s where you’ll find them, extracting nectar and, in the process, pollinating the plants. There’s no real way of knowing (without marking them) if the honey bees that I see at the Mahonia at this time of year are from our hive in the Museum’s Insectarium, but it’sRead more

Early Winter Update

According to the calendar we’re still in the early stages of winter. While there’s always much going on outside at this time of year, here’s just a handful of images of what you might encounter on your walk around the outdoor areas of the Museum. Stop by the and sit at the bird feeders at Bird Viewing and you might get a peek at a bluebird. This female was waiting her turn as the male was busily attacking the suetRead more

Floral News

Thanks to the mild temperatures this winter, the Mahonia (Mahonia sp.), Grape-holly, or whatever it is that you prefer to call it, on the Dinosaur Trail has been in bloom continuously since the fall. It now has berries where once, bright yellow flowers lured honey bees, various flies, and ants to perform the pollination duties. These plants should provide a good crop of berries for the birds this year. Common Elderberry (Sambucus canadensis) is showing its first sprouts of theRead more

A Lady, a Snake, and a Late Bloomer

An American Lady (Venessa Virginiensis) was spotted in the aster patch in Catch the Wind yesterday (11/3). In fact, there were several butterfly species and both bumble and honey bees working the tiny asters. An Eastern Garter Snake (Thamnophis sirtalis) was seen slowly crossing the path in Explore the Wild near the Red Wolf Exhibit. The cool shade of the path made this snake’s movements rather sluggish. It appeared to be heading for its winter quarters and was seen aboutRead more

Signs of the Seasons

Two sure signs of the changing seasons are the tap-tap-tap high up in the pines of the Brown-headed Nuthatches excavating nest holes, and ee-awKEEEE of the Red-winged Blackbirds in the Wetlands. We hear, and see, the nuthatches each year at this time as these little dynamos drill one, two, three or mores cavities into the soft wood of the pines. For all of their work they more than likely only use one of the holes to actually nest in. TheRead more

Snow

A few days before “official” winter began, it snowed. The snow turned to sleet and rain during the night but there was still some snow on the ground the following day. It doesn’t snow very often in our area so it’s a thrill when it does. I  took a few photos (lots of photos) on the Dinosaur Trail before the snow disappeared. Here’s a dozen. I did say that I took most of the photos on the Dinosaur Trail, so it’sRead more

November Settles In

November is the time of year in our area when most of the leaves finally come tumbling down. The mornings are often shrouded in fog or mist which tends to saturate the colors of the foliage that remains until the wind and rain render bare even the hardiest vegetation. Although many plants have ceased production for the year, others are just getting started. Fatsia, or Japanese Aralia, is now blooming on the Dinosaur Trail. It attracts many late season insectsRead more

Exploratory Outing

The warm weather which arrived on the 7th of February brought out two butterflies that winter as adults tucked away under tree bark or in small cavities in trees: a well-worn American Snout and an equally worn Questionmark. A very fresh Sleepy Orange was also seen and had apparently emerged from a chrysalis not long prior to being observed flying along the path on the north side of the Wetlands. A paper wasp seen on February 2 was slowly walkingRead more