Spring (almost)

The theme and mood here is decidedly spring-like. The red maple is in bloom, Canada geese are staking out nesting locations, and the wolves, well, our resident female is in estrus and the male is behaving the way he should at this time of year, following the female’s every move, keeping his two ten-month old sons at a distance from his mate, and it’s raining, not snowing. Red maple is one of the earliest trees to bloom. Its tiny redRead 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

February

It’s February, and what happens in February besides the Super Bowl and, this year, the Olympics? Spring! Well, not quite, but we’re getting there. To prove it, hazel alder is blooming (happens here at the Museum in Feb.), brown-headed nuthatches are excavating nest holes, and the red wolves are feeling amorous (sort of). The wind-borne pollen of the long, pendulous male flowers of the alder are now attempting to pollinate the small reddish, upright female flowers of the wetland growingRead more

February Blooms

As happens each February, hazel alder is in bloom here at the Museum. Hazel alder (Alnus serrulata) is a small tree or large shrub which grows along ponds, lakes, streams, and rivers throughout the state. It’s deciduous, which as you know, means it loses its leaves each fall. The male catkins and female flower buds appear in fall. They bloom in early spring before the alder’s leaves appear. February is spring for this plant here in piedmont North Carolina. TheRead more

Spring, Almost

  During the past week and a half, spring has been sneaking up on us. In my book, once we turn the page on February, it’s spring. There’s no going back. It’s here. And, over the past week and a half I’ve taken the photos you see here as evidence. The blooming red maple above and the sprouting elderberry below offer the best proof of spring’s imminent arrival. I’ve already mentioned, here in this blog, the arrival of our two Canada geese (theyRead more

Spring Happenings

Happenings over the past few weeks have been a bit overwhelming. Insects that have been held back from emergence by cooler than normal temperatures are doing so now, snakes and other reptiles have been performing their springtime rituals, neotropical migrants are moving through, and local nesters are doing just that, nesting. Some have already fledged their first broods. It’s been difficult for me to keep up with all of the biological happenings in terms of posting them to this Journal. That beingRead more

Spring!!

It seems the lengthening days and warm weather of last week created a stirring in some of the local wildlife. As I drove in to work Friday I saw two Black Vultures copulating on the side of the road. On Wednesday (4/19) I saw one of our local Red-shouldered Hawks aloft, stooping, soaring, and screaming for all the world to see and hear his desire to procreate. I later saw the bird land next to another red-shoulder and mount the otherRead more

The Week Ahead

You can expect to see more scenes as depicted in the above photo for the duration of the week, the temperatures are expected to be in the 60s with at least one 70 thrown in. I saw six turtles out basking this morning. I expect to see more this afternoon. In fact, I expect to see many more later today. The turtles are waking up and I’m anticipating that every available perch, every rock, boulder, log, and bit of shoreline outRead more

It’s February

You don’t need a calendar to know that it’s February, just take a hike around the Wetlands here at the Museum. If you see two Canada Geese, it’s February. These two geese drop in every February, very often its within a few days of the first of the month. The geese are absent during summer through winter, spending only late winter and spring with us. I guesss their arrival could be termed as a harbinger of spring. It may beRead more