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

Eno, Ellerbe and the Bones

Top Photo: Ellerbe left and Eno. The animal keepers occasionally place deer legs into the Red Wolf Enclosure. The wolves appreciate the additional offerings of nutrition and behavioral enrichment, though it’s not always clear what is appreciated more. To further harmony, Eno finds his own leg bone to gnaw on. Entente.Read more

Interesting Sightings Around the Loop

Top Photo: Dogbane beetle. While out on the trail I’m often asked, “see anything interesting today?” or “see anything cool?” The short answer is always “yes.” The truth is, every time I go outside I see something interesting, and it’s all cool. In order to see things, though, you have to be where things are, and you have to look. Part of it is knowing what to look for but it’s mostly just being aware of your surroundings. Like clockwork,Read more

Confusing Butterflies

Top Photo: Pearl crescents mate. There are two small, orange and black butterflies in our area that are very similar in appearance and may easily be confused with one another. I’ve gotten them mixed up on more than one occasion. As mentioned, both are orange and black, both fly low to the ground and both can be found in the same habitat, though one prefers wetter areas. First, a warning, the butterflies are variable in pattern and coloration. They don’tRead more

Two Hoppers and Two Flies

Top photo: American bird grasshopper. Insects are with us throughout the year whether as eggs, pupa, or in some species, adults. But it’s spring and summer when we start seeing them in numbers. Many of the adults that you’re seeing now have spent the cooler months safely tucked away and are just emerging as adults after an entire season below ground, embedded in wood, or in eggs cases attached to last year’s plant growth. American bird grasshoppers (top photo) overwinterRead more

Back In Action

Top Photo: Ranger Greg back in action. You may have noticed, it’s been nearly two months since I last posted on this blog. And now, I and Nature Watch are back and better than ever. I’ve a whole stack of photos and a journal full of sightings ready to report. I’ve been chomping at the bit, waiting to share those photos and adventures with you. So, keep a close eye on the blog for new postings. In the mean time,Read more

Lepidoptera, Mantodea, and Anseriformes

There are still a few monarchs hanging about. I saw two of them on Sunday (11/15/15) in the garden on either side of the steps leading to the Butterfly House here at the Museum. I also saw an American lady and a cabbage white butterfly. All were nectaring on the asters on the west side of the steps.       Also in the garden was a Chinese mantid. It, was warming itself on a metal sculpture of the sun.Read more

More Fall

There’s still plenty of color left in this season, so give your eyes a treat by going outside and having a look around.                   Have fun!Read more

The Fall

Though we are past peak fall colors, there’s still great photos to be had throughout our 84 acre campus. And, there are birds migrating through as well as resident birds to be seen and photographed.               And, for a couple of birds, one that you might see, another that you’ll probably see.         Till next time…Read more

Hoodeds Have Arrived!

  This past Tuesday, I suggested that our wintering hooded mergansers will arrive “any day now.” They have arrived! Well, one of them has arrived. A lone male was seen this morning (Sat. 10/31) on the far side of the Wetlands, and what an eyesome creature he is. Stay tuned, others can’t be far behind. Happy waterfowling! Update: As I walked through the Wetlands an hour after posting this, I noticed two more drakes for a total of three male mergansers. Also, sawRead more