Hercules, Oakworms, and a Tussock Moth

Top Photo: Female eastern Hercules beetle. The beetle in the banner photo above was brought in to the museum insectarium by Facilities Tech Daniel. He found the beetle at a gas station early one morning while on the way to work. It was later released in the Butterfly House Garden. Gas stations are good places to search for some types of beetles, moths, and other insects who are attracted to the 24 hours of artificial light provided by the businesses.Read more

Water Snake and Prey

Top Photo: Northern water snake patrols for young frogs, turtles, fish and anything else edible near the wetlands shoreline. A northern water snake has been cruising the water around and below our floating walkway and water’s edge browsing for food. Standing on the walkway you may hear a splash and glimpse a disturbance in the water as a young frog panics at the snake’s approach. Hit or miss, the snake steadily and stealthily moves on for the next potential victim.Read more

Hibiscus In Bloom

Top Photo: Pink Hibiscus in wetlands. Hibiscus is in bloom in the wetlands. The large, pink, white or brilliant red flowers with five petals and long staminal tube with style, stamens and pistils exposed for all to see are well known to many. Its great, spectacular flowers grace wetland and woods. The wild variety has been called rose mallow, marsh mallow, swamp rose mallow, crimson-eyed rose-mallow and many other similar names, even wild cotton. It is most often encountered asRead more

Budgie in the Wetlands

Top Photo: Budgerigar settles on railing of floating walkway in wetlands. In their native land of Australia and in their native habitat of arid scrub, grassland and open woods, budgerigars (budgies) are green and yellow with black barring on their head, nape, back and wing coverts. The tail is blue. Here, they can be nearly any color from white to deep blue to yellow, with many combinations and variations in between. The pet trade has seen to those many colorsRead more

Nest Box Final Count 6.18.24/6.25.24

Top Photo: Eastern bluebird eggs. The last nest with birds has emptied, all the birds have fledged. There are new berry baskets in each of our six nest boxes in case a bluebird, chickadee or even a house wren decides to give it another go. But, it’s late in the season and though we’ve gone into August in years past, it doesn’t seem as though it will happen this year. I see no new nest under construction, though one nestRead more

Mimi and the Pool

Top Photo: Mimi by the waterfall. It’s a well known fact that Mimi Bear likes to take a swim in the bear pool. It stands to reason that she also likes to sit next to the waterfall in the Black Bear Enclosure and let the splash cool her down in the heat of the day. Mimi’s the largest and oldest of our three bears. Note the white marks on her chest. The other bears, besides being smaller with more brownRead more

Feeling the Heat?

Top Photos:  Green treefrog peeks out from frog pipe in Earth Moves. It may be hot out there, but at least their’s plenty to look at to get your mind off the temperature, somewhat. If you’re going to take a photo of a silver-spotted skipper, do it fast, they don’t sit still long. You never know what or who you’re going to run into. Yes, it’s hot, but you can’t see any of these things sitting inside with the A/CRead more

Nest Box Update 6.11.24

Top Photo: Eastern bluebird eggs. We now have only one active nest with three nestlings. One nest just fledged five bluebirds while all the remaining nest boxes are empty. — The Cow Pasture, Explore the Wild, Into the Mist, Parking Deck East and Parking Deck West boxes are all without occupants, the PKW nest having just fledged their five nestlings during the past week. The Butterfly House nest box, the last on the list of weekly inspections, has three bluebirdRead more

Little Bear and Some Late Spring Encounters

Top Photo: Little Bear by the waterfall. Little Bear’s pelage stands out among our three black bears occupying the Black Bear Enclosure. The following are subjects you might encounter on our Outdoor Loop Trail in late spring to early summer, now. Two very common and widespread dragonflies, common whitetail and eastern amberwing are sure to be seen on any sunny day. Not as frequently seen but still common are Carolina saddlebags. They spend much of their time on the wing.Read more