Fake Eyes, a Lady with a White Spot, and a Skipper with a Silver Spot.

Top Photo: Eyed click beetle prepares to take flight. Fake Eyes Eyed click beetles (Alaus oculatus), or eyed elaters (elators), are large beetles in the click beetle family (Elateridae). Click beetles can launch themselves into the air via a spring-loaded latch and hinge mechanism between their abdomen and thorax. If you place the beetle on its back, and it still has plenty of energy stored in its body, it will flip several inches straight up into the air accompanied byRead more

Nest Box Update 5.19.22

Top Photo: Eastern bluebird eggs. A few days late, this report sees our bluebird trail with 9 eggs in two active nests. Three of those eggs are bluebird eggs, the rest belong to house wrens. The Cow Pasture nest now has 3 bluebird eggs. This nest box has already fledged 4 bluebirds. This, the second brood, is usually smaller in size than the first set of eggs. I don’t expect to see more eggs in this nest. The Explore theRead more

GBH

Top Photo: Great blue heron searching the wetlands. What is the great blue heron searching for when it slowly stalks through the belly deep water of our wetlands? The answer is, whatever it can catch? It eats whatever animal it can snag with its long pointed bill. What does the heron catch? Well, currently in our wetland there’s not that many choices. The resident mosquito fish are quite small. There’re some aquatic insects that might suit the tall, long-legged, wadingRead more

Nest Box Update 5.10.22

Top Photo: Eastern bluebird eggs. We currently have two nests with at least some activity. One nest is definitely house wren occupied, the other seems to be bluebird. The four remaining nest boxes appear to be stalled with either “old” abandoned nests or are where nestlings have recently fledged and are waiting for new occupants. The Cow Pasture nest box had recently fledged 4 bluebirds, had been cleaned and looks to be over-going a rebuild. The rebuilders are most likelyRead more

It’s All About Procreation

Top Photo: Fledgling eastern phoebes huddle together as they await feeding from parent. Spring keeps chugging along, and with it the lives of many different creatures. Below are photos of some of our local residents rolling with the flow. A nestling blue-gray gnatcatcher waits for one of its parents to deliver protein. The lichen covered nest is in a maple tree on an island in our parking lot. It was spotted by sharp-eyed Ranger Dakota. Unlike gnatcatchers, brown-headed nuthatches nestRead more

Aquatic Turtle Nesting Season

Top Photo: Yellow-bellied slider returning from early morning egg laying near Butterfly House. It’s aquatic turtle nesting season. Our sliders, musk, painted, and snapping turtles all come ashore during this season to dig nests and lay eggs. They may travel quite a distance from water to do this, from Hideaway Woods to Earth Moves and all points in between. If you happen to see one of these turtles digging a nest, or hiking across one of our paths, give itRead more

Nest Box Update 5.3.22

Top Photo: Eastern bluebird eggs. Since last week we have seen twelve birds fledge, eight bluebirds (two different nests) and four chickadees (one nest). Two nest boxes are occupied by house wrens and one box still has three bluebird nestlings within. The Cow Pasture bluebird nestlings have fledged. The box was lightly cleaned and a new berry basket placed inside for potential future occupants. The Explore the Wild nest box remains untouched. The nest material in the box also remains,Read more

Keep Watching the Spring

Top Photo: Pipe vine flower. Spring keeps rolling along in typical fashion, flora and fauna reacting and adjusting to our hemisphere’s slow tilt towards the sun. The days are getting longer, the temperatures warmer. Here, in no particular order, are things I’ve come across in my walks around campus. The painted lady in the photo is a worn individual with scale damage and fraying on the wings. Blue-gray gnatcatchers are small but noisy birds. They arrive in our area earlyRead more

Nest Box Update 4.26.22

Top Photo: Eastern bluebird eggs. We have four nest boxes full of nestlings. With the rapidly growing nestlings its becoming difficult to tell just how many there are in each nest, they look like a big pile of feathers. Additionally, there has been one hostile takeover. The nest at the Cow Pasture is full of nestlings ready to fledge. It looks as though there are four nestlings in the nest. The Explore the Wild nest box is still on theRead more

A Garter and a Thrasher

Top Photo: Eastern garter snake enjoys sun on chilly spring morning. A garter snake was seen for four (probably still there) consecutive days sunning under a wax myrtle just a few feet from the path in Explore the Wild. The snake may be the same female which was spotted in February sunning among the sandstone slab steps at Water’s Edge some fifty yards or so to the west. Garter snakes bear live young from June through September, depending upon when theyRead more