Spring Happenings

Top Photo: Increasing in number on the piedmont, green anoles are expanding their range.

When I first started work here at the museum some 14 years ago, it was unheard of to see a green anole in the outdoor areas of the museum. It’s now a common sight. Even on warm, sunny, winter days you may run into one of these, largely arboreal lizards.

Green anole peeks around tree trunk.
This anole has captured a small bee.

So far this spring I’ve seen question mark, comma, mourning cloak, falcate orangetip, eastern tiger swallowtail, cloudless sulphur, Juvenal’s duskywing, American snout and gray hairstreak. There are more butterflies to come. It’s only a matter of time.

American snout.
Gray hairstreak.

Dogwood, redbud, paw paw, and red buckeye are all in bloom.

Flowering dogwood.
Paw paw.
Red buckeye.

Eastern tent caterpillars are well on their way to defoliating select cherry trees here at the museum.

Eastern tent caterpillar “tent” in cherry tree.

I saw a pair of wood ducks checking out the wetlands on Thursday (3/31). Perhaps they were eyeing the new wood duck nest box in the wetland’s pond.

Wood ducks inspecting potential nest site.
Wood duck nest box.

Also checking out the nest box were a pair of tree swallows. They actually nested in a wood duck box installed in our wetlands last year. That nest box has been replaced by a new structure (above).

Tree swallows, also considering our wetlands as a nest site.

I mentioned in an earlier post that aquatic turtles are emerging from nests laid out last summer. I missed the digging out by the turtles, but the evidence presented here shows the occupants of a nest in Earth Moves emerged yesterday evening or very early this morning. The heavy, warm rains of yesterday afternoon no doubt prompting the action.

Circle marks location of turtle nest (near lamp post).
Hole where turtles exited nest (center of photo).
Close look at exit hole.

And finally, Ellerbe and Eno, our sibling four year old red wolves often present themselves for photography, come by and check them out.


Take a walk, it’s good for you!

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