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

Firsts

Although I’ve been seeing Common Baskettails (Epitheca cynosura) for several weeks now, the one above is the first that I was able to photograph. Again, not the first bullfrog tadpoles of the season (they’re present all year long) but they are beginning to become frogs. Some are showing short hind legs, they’re surfacing to gulp air, and well, just look at them, they’re huge! Right on time is the first Eastern, or Common, Musk Turtle. This one was seen baskingRead more

First Groundhog!

The first groundhog of the season was spotted on February 8 running across a service road and then over the path near the boardwalk leading to Explore the Wild. I assume that this marmot is the “Boardwalk Hog.” There is a groundhog burrow just below the fence at the head of the boardwalk that leads to Explore the Wild. The animal that I saw was last seen swiftly moving in that direction. There are many groundhog burrows throughout the MuseumRead more

Marmots in the Grass!

The handsome brute above was seen feeding on spilled sunflower seeds in Catch the Wind. We’ll be seeing more Woodchucks, marmots, or whatever you wan to call them, as the season moves along, the air cools, and they feel the urge to fatten up for the big sleep. There are at least six different groundhog burrows scattered around the Dino Trail, Catch the Wind and Explore the Wild, so you’re chances of seeing a groundhog are pretty good during theRead more

Beaver in the Bear Enclosure!!??

If you happen to be at the Black Bear Overlook and see a smallish (compared to the bears) gray-brown mammal pop its head up, look around, and then scoot along the grass, it’s not a beaver, it’s a Groundhog. Several people have come up to me in the past month and told me that they had seen a beaver in with the bears. Although beavers and groundhogs are both mammals, rodents, and look somewhat alike, the critter in the bearRead more

Getting Ready for Winter

Of the mammals that reside on the Museum property, two have been conspicuously preparing for the oncoming winter season. They are both members of the same family (Sciuridae) but each has a different life style (one is a tree squirrel, the other a ground squirrel) and they have different strategies of how to cope with the cold. Gray Squirrels cache food away for later use for the times when their fair-weather food items become scarce. During the warmer months they eat roots,Read more

Is it Time?

A Woodchuck was reported near the entrance to Catch the Wind next to the Ornithopter. Apparently, the weather warmed enough on at least one day of this period for this large rodent to briefly wake from its slumber and have a look around. One entrance to its burrow is just across the path from the signage to Explore the Wild on the back side of the Explore the Wild/Catch the Wind Loop.Read more