Seeds

Airborne seed dispersal is an efficient way to get the next generation off to a good start far from the original. Considering an acorn doesn’t fall far from the tree, that’s quite a feat for a stationary plant (acorns may be carried miles from the mother tree by birds, such as bluejays, but that’s another story). In both photos above and below groundsel tree (a shrub) lets loose its seeds via the wind. A puff of wind is all youRead more

Shoots

Things are changing rapidly out of doors. Early blooming trees and flowers are doing just that, blooming, and leaves are shooting out of twigs and stems. The following photos were taken just a day or two ago. They look different already. You owe it to yourself to get out there and have a look around.    Read more

And the sap is flowing!

On Tuesday of this week I noticed a large wet area on the trunk of a Carolina Maple in Catch the Wind. That could only mean one thing, a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker had been at work. This is the same maple that I mention each year around this time. It seems to be a favorite of our visiting sapsuckers and¬†it’s easy to observe (it’s right next to the path). I’ve been keeping a casual eye on this tree but hadn’t seenRead more

Turning the Corner

Although it’s September, it was more than two weeks ago that I began to feel the change. Something was different. Oh sure, the temperatures were in the eighties for a few days and it felt really, really nice, but that’s not what I mean. We’ve crossed a line, internal triggers have been tripped, a biological turning point has been reached. The wildlife can feel it, the trees are reacting to it, and I feel it too. It’s not fall butRead more

Winter Break

Although the temperatures for the day were still below normal for this time of year, January 13 did bring with it a slight break in the cold we’ve been experiencing lately. I was able to shed one layer of clothes for the day. Further proof of a definite warm-up was evidenced by a Groundhog seen browsing in the grass next to the Ornithopter in Catch the Wind. This mid-January date is nearly two weeks before Groundhog Day!¬†Unfortunately, I don’t haveRead more

A Trip to the Mountains?

Thinking of going to the mountains to check out the fall leaves? Why waste precious fuel, money, and time (detouring around rock slides) when you can come to the Museum of Life + Science and see some of the most beautiful colors nature has to offer right here in your own backyard. Don’t believe me? Have a peek below. Convinced? Even if you miss the peak colors, there’s always something going on out-of-doors, up beyond the Main Plaza (where Grayson’sRead more

Yellows, Reds, and Browns

The scene is changing rapidly. Although we still have some time to go, the leaves of the various deciduous trees are turning their respective yellows, reds, browns and all hues in between. The Willows are nearly devoid of leaves. What leaves that remain on the Sycamores and Ashes are brown. The Redbuds are yellow-green. The Maples and the Sweetgums are turning yellow, red, and burgundy. Wrapped around the trunks of trees, the leaves of Virginia Creeper are turning brilliant red.Read more