A Change in the Air

Top Photo: Yona (right) approaches Little Bear at pool in Black Bear Enclosure.

Its wasn’t long ago that Yona Bear was a loner among loners, always off by herself. She was aggressive towards the other bears in the enclosure. It seemed, she had a chip on her shoulder.

Black bears by nature are solitary creatures, but Yona, our second youngest bear of the four in the enclosure, was even more of an isolationist. She was habitually off on her own, typically up on the enclosure’s cliff high above the other bears.

Recently, Yona has been seen in close quarters with her enclosure mates, sleeping on the rocks in front of the enclosure’s cave, eating in close proximity to the others, and most surprising of all, playing with Little, the youngest and newest arrival in the enclosure.

I don’t know what has changed in Yona, but it seems a complete turnaround from her previous behavior.

Yona and Little play up on the cliff inside Black Bear Enclosure.

Gus, our second oldest bear, known for his protective behavior towards new arrivals in the enclosure, still keeps an eye out for Little.

Gus turns an eye upward toward the activity above.

Eastern tent caterpillar infestation is well underway. The tent below is one among five in a cherry tree at the head of the Dinosaur Trail. All but one cherry on the outdoor loop has its own tent caterpillars.

The caterpillars rest within the tent, safe from most predators, exposing themselves only when crawling out on the branches to consume the tree’s leaves.

Tent caterpillars prepare for assault on cherry tree.

Stop by the Red Wolf Enclosure and have a look at our recently updated cameras and monitors at the overlook. See if you can zero in on the wolves and capture them unaware.

Ignorant of spying eyes, Oak peacefully sleeps in a corner of the wolf enclosure..

In the category of “you never know what you might encounter,” Lightening our celebrated donkey, gets to spend a few minutes at the Cafe Plaza during his daily walk around the outdoor areas.

Lightening decides whether to proceed or stay a while.

American snouts are one of the earliest butterflies of the season to emerge here at the museum.

American snout. Note long, modified proboscis on butterfly.

Blue violets may be all white, purple, or somewhere in between the two.

Nearly all white blue violet (Viola sororia).

Flowering dogwood’s white bracts are showing off.

Flowering dogwood.
Actual flowers (center) have yet to open.

And finally, a double-header.

Yellow-bellied slider.

Every hike around the outdoor loop seems to bring a new experience, a new discovery. But, as always, you have to be there to see it!

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