The Week in Pictures

A quick pictorial trip back to the past week. Flowering dogwood is in bloom (above). Over the past week I began to see aquatic turtles very near the shoreline of our wetlands, peeking up from the water to the shore. I suspected they were searching for safe places to come ashore and lay eggs. The next day I saw two yellow-bellied sliders walking along the path. It’s nesting time. The tadpoles, products of the American toad breeding spree of March,Read more

Colors of Green Tree Frogs

For the past several days I’ve seen a handful of green tree frogs on the horsetail growing in and around the Troodon Exhibit on our Dinosaur Trail. At least one of the frogs is brown. It’s not unusual to find dark green or even brown green tree frogs, although they’re typically bright green. Over the years, I’ve noticed that the dark green coloration is often associated with cold temperatures. Any green tree frogs I seen very late in the seasonRead more

Summer Sights

The butterfly in the top photo is an eastern tailed-blue. It belongs to a group of small butterflies known as blues. They are typically blue on the upper surface of the wings. They like open spaces and generally fly low to the ground.   The eastern tailed-blue above is worn. Some of its markings are missing or obscured and one can barely make out a “tail” on the hind wing. Below is a more fresh individual, a male, displaying theRead more

Spring Happenings

Before and after your visit to the Red Wolf Enclosure to see the wolf pups out in Explore the Wild, be sure to keep a keen lookout for some of our local wild fauna here at the Museum. The garden in front of the Butterfly House, the sides of the paths around our outdoor loop, and the Wetlands are host to many a diverse creature waiting for your discovery. Currently, insects, frogs, and birds are stealing the show. Beetles, dragonflies,Read more

Winter News

The temperatures have taken a nose dive. It’s a good twenty degrees colder today than it was yesterday—and will remain so for the next week or more. The high today will be near 50º which is average for this time of year. If you lived up north, close to the Canadian border, that’d be a shirtsleeve day for sure. But we’re here in North Carolina, and after a week or more of 60’s and 70’s (with lows around fifty), itRead more

All Is As It Should Be

It is now May. Insects that we haven’t seen for months are back among us. Reptiles and amphibians are active as if winter had never happened. Many birds that have been far away in Central and South America have returned to the Museum grounds to make nests and raise families. It’s as if they never left. Keep your eyes and ears open for these creatures as you walk the paths and trails here at the Museum. I’ve gathered more thanRead more

Things To Look For

If you’ve been out strolling the outdoor areas of the Museum you may or may not have noticed some of the many creatures we have living here alongside our exhibits. Here’s some suggestions as to what to look for. If you’re down by the Wetlands in Explore the Wild or up near the Bungee in Catch the Wind you could possibly hear what may sound like the bleating of a lamb. Rather than a lamb, it’s probably a small amphibian that you’reRead more

Spring Too

Spring progresses, interupted occassionally by sleet, snow and freezing rain, but still progresses. In between the bouts of the above mentioned weather I’ve photographed proof that spring is here and that it can’t be reversed. And finally, not necessarily a sign of spring but just a nice portrait of Red Wolf 1414 as he surveys his limited domain. Spring forth!    Read more

Things you may have walked past and not noticed.

This past Saturday, I saw an adult Pickerel Frog out on the path in Explore the Wild. It was a bright sunny, and dry day. I probably wouldn’t even mention this if it were February or March, or even April, the months when this species breeds, necessity bringing them down to the water for courting and laying eggs. Most of the rest of the year they’re up in the woods or well hidden along the edge of the water, notRead more

Caterpillars

A few weeks ago as I ambled down the path of the Dinosaur Trail I noticed a black-bodied caterpillar coming up the path directly at me. The caterpillar was about an inch and three quarters in length and had long, white, silky hairs (setae) sparsely spaced along its length. I hadn’t seen one of these caterpillars before so I took a photo for later indentification. As I continued down the path I saw another black caterpillar with long silky hairRead more