Bald-faced Hornet

Smack in the middle of the photo above is a hornet’s nest, a bald-faced hornet hive. It’s in a small red maple just off the end of the boardwalk in Explore the Wild. The hive’s dimensions are approximately 12″ x 8″ (H x W). Bald faced hornets are part of a sub-family of wasps known as yellowjackets. Their markings are white instead of yellow as in the local eastern yellowjacket. They’re also larger than the more familiar yellowjackets. While easternRead more

The Paper Chase

  What is the insect in the photo up to? First, let’s establish what the insect is. You may have guessed by its shape that it’s a wasp. You’d be correct. It’s a bald-faced hornet, named for the white (bald) face.     Bald-faced hornets have a reputation, good or bad, for vigorously protecting their hives from intruders. They will activity pursue, en masse, perceived destroyers of their hives. Like the familiar yellowjackets, which is what these wasps actually are, a type of yellowjacket, they will chaseRead more

The State of Fatsia

Last month the fatsia alongside the trail on the Dinosaur Trail was blooming and abustle with activity. Insects, such as False Honey Ants, Yellow Jackets, Honey Bees, various flies and other nectar loving late season six-legged creatures were intently gathering the sweet nectar from the plant. This evergreen shrub is an East Asian species. It’s hardy to zones 7-10 or 8-10 depending upon which source you reference. Here in Durham we’re just about on the line between zones 7 andRead more

What are those Birds Eating?

As you walked along the trail through Explore the Wild on your last visit to the Museum, you may have noticed tiny “wet” spots on the pavement on the north side of the Wetlands and again past the Lemur House on your way to Catch the Wind, as if it had been lightly raining. If, when you saw the “wet” spots, you looked up you would have seen a branch of a mimosa tree above you. The wet spots cameRead more