Early Winter Update

According to the calendar we’re still in the early stages of winter. While there’s always much going on outside at this time of year, here’s just a handful of images of what you might encounter on your walk around the outdoor areas of the Museum.

Eastern Bluebird (female).

Stop by the and sit at the bird feeders at Bird Viewing and you might get a peek at a bluebird. This female was waiting her turn as the male was busily attacking the suet at the feeders. Her expression, though, is not exactly one of patience.

Hermit Thrush.

This Hermit Thrush was feeding on juniper berries in a cedar tree along the Trail near the head of the boardwalk leading to Explore the Wild. When the bird became aware that I had spied it there, it flew down into the honeysuckle and watched me, watching it.

Hooded Merganser.

This flotilla of mergansers steams across the Wetlands. It’s hard to miss these birds as they cruise the waters fishing, preening, and displaying.

Mahonia (left) and Fatsia.

When you make the loop through the Dinosaur Trail make sure you check out the Mahonia and Fatsia planted there. The Mahonia has just about gone by. The blooms start at the bottom of the spikes and work their way up to the tips. Small green fruit are now showing on the spikes. The fruit will grow into juicy, ovate, 3/4 inch, deep purple berries which will be eaten by many birds next spring and summer.

These small green fruit (about 3/8″) will become deep purple and grow to about 3/4 inches in length.

The Fatsia, which we met in and earlier post, also has yet to ripen. And, although birds are supposed to eat their fruit, I’m still waiting to observe it first hand.

What’s this?

It’s only the first week of January and look, red maple is starting to show its red flower buds. Can we be that close to spring? Whoa, let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves.


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