A New Caterpillar for the Photo Achives

Top Photo: Hummingbird moth caterpillar on viburnum. Just last week (8/19) I posted I was keeping an eye out for caterpillars of the hummingbird moth (Hemaris thysbe). I had spotted a moth the previous week laying eggs on a viburnum and wanted to get a photo of the caterpillar. I mentioned my observation to Richard Stickney of the Butterfly House crew and sure enough, he found one on the very viburnum I indicated (8/28). When seeing the caterpillar I wasRead more

Hummingbird Bird and Moth

Top Photo: Juvenile male ruby-throated hummingbird, rapidly beating wings blurred to near invisibility, hovers in front of trumpet vine’s tubular flowers. There are 16 species of hummingbird that breed in the United States. There’s only one species in the eastern states, ruby-throated hummingbird. If you see a hummingbird in North Carolina in summer, it’s a ruby-throated. From October into winter it’s most likely a different species that you see at your feeder, unless you’re on the Gulf Coast or ourRead more

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

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

Yellow-bellied

I was standing at the Secondary Black Bear Overlook. A whiny, scratchy, mew sound was coming from the shrubs just inside the chain-link fence and to the left. I knew from the sound that it was a yellow-bellied sapsucker, but I couldn’t see the bird. The woodpecker was making quite a bit of noise, but where was it. Finally, I could see the fresh wells drilled by the bird. The wells were on the main trunk of a viburnum whichRead more

Leps on Viburnum

The viburnum here at the Museum is in bloom and when it is I scan the blossoms for early season leps (butterflies). Looking back on my records I’ve photo’d Juniper Hairstreaks on the viburnum in Catch the Wind on April 10, 2010, April 7, 2011, April 3, 2012, and the 22nd of April this year. They were a bit late this year. I think we all know the reason for that, persistent cool weather. These small butterflies with green scalesRead more

Spring Happenings

There’s been much excitement over the past few days about the Red Wolves and the expected new residents here at the Museum. In the next few days many of you will hike out to the Red Wolf Exhibit to check on our female (1287) to see how she’s doing. I don’t blame you, I’ve been spending a lot of time watching the wolves my self lately. There’s been many changes in our female’s behavior and appearance of late. So, by allRead more