Gus Bear in the Water!

Top Photo: Rare sight in Black Bear Enclosure. It’s not often you see Gus Bear in the pool below the waterfall. He just doesn’t like to get wet. Mimi, yes, a frequent swimmer. The heat of the past few days has apparently altered Gus’s thinking. Though, the look on his face is not one of total commitment or enjoyment. Cool, but very wet.Read more

Turtle Nest

Top Photo: Eastern painted turtle heads back to water after laying eggs. Painted turtles come ashore each spring and summer to lay eggs. They deposit 2 – 6 eggs in a hole dug by themselves. The eggs take from 70 – 80 days to hatch with some young remaining in nest until the following spring. The turtle’s eggs, like the other aquatic turtles in our wetlands, are frequent victims of predation by terrestrial mammals, raccoons, foxes, and even squirrels. WhenRead more

More May Sightings

Top Photo: Common snapping turtle contemplates its next move. The snapping turtle pictured here was heading towards our wetlands. It may be a new arrival, having come up the creek which lies a dozen or so meters behind it. The creek is where our wetland drains. There’s a substantial drop where a large pipe delivers our wetland’s overflow into the creek. The drop keeps creatures like this snapping turtle from continuing their journeys via a direct route to our wetlandsRead more

Barred Owl Experience

Top Photo: Circle marks spot of barred owl nest. Barred owls are year-round residents here at the museum. They’re not always seen, but they’re always here. Some years the owls are spotted on a regular basis, but most years their presence is only realized though an occasional, resonate “Who cooks for you-all” or even just a single “you-all” coming from somewhere back in the woods near the stream that runs through our campus and eventually into Ellerbe Creek. This year,Read more

Mimi Enjoys a Swim

Top Photo: Mimi Bear prepares to go for a swim. Born in 2004, Mimi is the oldest of our four black bears. She spends much of her time sleeping on the boulders out in front of the cave in the black bear enclosure, especially in the cooler months of the year. But when it begins to heat up, you’ll likely catch her taking a dip in the moat in front of the main bear overlook. She fancies a solitary morningRead more

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,Read more

You Have to Go Outside to See It

Top Photo: Canada geese float about in wetlands. You can’t help but see the Canada geese drifting about on our three acre pond in Explore the Wild. They’re big, loud, and recently, there’ve been ten of them present, five pairs. With the installation of the floating walkway in our wetlands you may have the opportunity to get quite close to the geese. Of course, they sometimes walk along the main path grazing on the grass as they go, so youRead more

More Spring

Top Photo: Northern Mockingbird establishes its territory. Note leaf buds sprouting from tree branches. As temperatures settle back from highs in the mid to upper 70s to seasonal norms of 50s and 60s, more signs of spring are being seen around campus. Here’s some examples. The day following the capture of the photo above, fresh young leaves emerged from the buds of the fig tree our mockingbird was claiming as his own. Blue violet is common along paths in ExploreRead more

Spring Is Here!

Top Photo: Redbud, about to burst wide open. March 1 is the first day of Spring. Many wait till the equinox to proclaim the season, but for me it’s the first day of March. Most meteorologist agree. Besides the photo of the redbud above, here’s a group of photos which may help confirm the arrival of the season. A single soft-white flower and a single rounded, lobed, leaf means bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis). Red juice from the stem can be usedRead more