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

Turtle Nest Time

It’s turtle nesting season. There’ve been numerous aquatic turtle sightings along the paths and outdoor exhibits in the past few weeks, this week especially so. Both sliders and painted turtles have been observed searching for suitable nesting sites. Some have been seen in the act of digging a nest and laying eggs. After a satisfactory site is chosen the turtle urinates on the site loosening the hard clay making digging much easier. Digging is done with the hind legs. OnceRead more

Spring Happenings

Last week started cool, temperature-wise, but ended with a warmth that brought out all manner of creatures and plants that had been lying in wait for just that moment to arrive. There are a lot of photos to show and things to discuss, so let’s start with the snake above. It was pointed out to me that someone here at the museum had seen a water snake back at the end of February or in early March. We had someRead 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

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

Basking in the Rain

It was warm for the first week of February. Spring peepers and chorus frogs were calling and yellow-bellied sliders were out basking. There was very little sun, but the turtles were out just the same, occupying nearly every log, rock, or shoreline of the Wetlands. Somewhere around 3 PM the sky opened up and rain came pouring down. Chip, the turtle pictured above, wasn’t bothered by rain. In fact, she seemed to enjoy it. After all, she’s an aquatic turtle. If you’reRead more

Turtles?

With all of the snow and ice we’ve experienced recently, its difficult to believe that just a short while ago, January 16 to be exact, the two turtles in the above photo were out basking in the sun in our Wetlands. The eastern painted turtle (left and below) and yellow-bellied slider may yet again be seen hauled out on a log, and very soon. The temperatures are expected to be in the sixties this weekend, and may even get close toRead more

A Slider out for a Stroll

  I sometimes mention in the blog, the fact that any sunny and relatively warm day during winter, we at the Museum are likely to see turtles out basking on the rocks and stumps in our wetlands. Yellow-bellied sliders seem to come out of their slumber on the bottom of the pond quite easily, a warm day or two is all it takes. We’ve had many unusually warm days this December. In fact, it was in the mid-seventies this pastRead more

December?

  It’s December, for sure, but it’s been an unusually warm December, so far. We should enjoy it while we can. And, that’s just what Animal Keeper Autumn did the other day as she and Misha, our red-tailed hawk, went for a walk around the Museum’s outdoor campus. If you like turtles, this is a good time to see them. In fact, you may see some of our “light-sleeping” yellow-bellied sliders out and about on just about any warm, sunny winter’sRead more