A Trip Outdoors

Top Photo: Rudbeckia as part of the new “Prairie” in Catch the Wind. Life goes on along the outdoor loop through Catch the Wind, Explore the Wild, and the Dinosaur Trail. Here’s some of what’s happening out there. The tiny fruit of autumn olive is ripening. Though a non-native plant, the fruit is edible and has a sweet-tart taste. You should hold off on picking and eating until it ripens. When the fruit turns red with whitish speckles, that’s theRead more

Bloomers

Top photo: redbud blossoms There’s no doubt that a flowering redbud is a beautiful tree. It’s at its peek in March here in central North Carolina. It’s not the earliest of bloomers but it’s one of the most obvious. Most people think redbud a southeastern tree, and essentially it is. But it grows as far north as Canada, hence the scientific name Cercis canadensis. And, it’s the state tree of Oklahoma. Redbud’s small, magenta, pea-like flowers are edible. They canRead more

Falling Into Winter

We’re on the back side of fall and sliding into winter. There’s still much going on out-of-doors with lots to see if you keep an eye open to it. Here’s some of what I’ve been seeing. Asters are late summer and fall blooming flowers. They’re still blooming in the garden in front of our Butterfly House. Red buckeye fruit have already burst open spilling their large brown seeds (buckeyes) to the ground. Several common snapping turtle hatchlings were spotted bothRead more

Just a Few Tree Thoughts

While this post is mostly pictures of trees along our paths here at the museum, there is some news to impart and to perhaps think about. Most of our elms and red cedars are only recently past blooming, but other trees still have their seeds attached from last year’s growing season and are far from flowering anew. Try to catch the trees backlit against a severe clear blue sky. Just a week ago male red cedar flowers were sending off theirRead 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

Fall

It’s sometimes difficult to predict when the peak in fall colors will occur, if indeed there is a peak at all. Some years, many trees’ leaves simply turn brown and drop to the ground. Whether the trees display a big splash of color across the entire landscape or not, there’s always, I repeat, always, little pockets of color here and there, you just have to look for it. Here’s a few photos of what you may be missing if you don’t getRead more

All Together Now…

In April of 2009 Eastern Redbub, Flowering Dogwood, and Wisteria were all in bloom at the same time. Typically, the sequence goes as follows, redbud, dogwood, and wisteria. Well, once again, all three are in bloom at once, this time in March! And, keeping with the theme “All Together Now…” Enjoy!Read more

Two New Species!

The Bird On March 28, Ranger Kristin spotted 3 Blue-winged Teal in the Wetlands. As far as I’m aware, this is the first of this species to be seen here at the Museum. I’ve been waiting for this species to show up here. They are listed as “very rare” in both winter and summer in the Triangle, being encountered more in the spring and fall than at other times of the year. They do, however, breed in North Carolina. GoodRead more

It’s all happening so fast…

Last year the dogwood was in bloom too early and a cold snap ruined the fruit crop the following fall. There were very few berries on the trees. Another Ground Skink. Ground Skinks, like many lizards, have the ability to regrow a tail that was lost due to predation or careless behavior. The tail usually doesn’t grow back as long or attractive as the original, and it is energy expensive, but it may save the lizards life. A predator isRead more