Gall Midges

Top Photo: Cypress flower midge galls on bald cypress needles (November). When female cypress flower gall midges emerge in the spring they mate and immediately lay eggs on fresh green needles of bald cypress trees. The feeding larvae which hatch from the eggs stimulate the needles into forming flower shaped galls on their surfaces. The galls look very much like tiny fungi, but inside each one of the little “mushrooms” is a larva of a cypress flower gall midge. TheRead more

More Stuff You Might See

Top Photo: On a cool fall morning, Eno, one of our red wolves on display, yawns deeply before resting his weary head. Bald cypress, carpenter bees, musk turtles, ground hogs and others headline Nature Watch this week. Bald cypress has put out an impressive amount of cones this year. Carpenter bee activity is far greater in the spring when over-wintering adults emerge and vie for territories and nest sites. However, they’re still active now. The bees drill nice, neat 3/8”Read more


Airborne seed dispersal is an efficient way to get the next generation off to a good start far from the original. Considering an acorn doesn’t fall far from the tree, that’s quite a feat for a stationary plant (acorns may be carried miles from the mother tree by birds, such as bluejays, but that’s another story). In both photos above and below groundsel tree (a shrub) lets loose its seeds via the wind. A puff of wind is all youRead more

Snakes in Holes

When the weather gets hot I sometimes see snakes taking refuge in holes at the base of the bald cypress and dawn redwood trees in our Wetland. The snakes often lie peering out of the holes. The snake sightings have increased over the past several weeks. One of the snakes that I regularly see is a large female. She is getting larger by the day. All of the snake pairings that I witnessed this past spring seem to have paidRead more


My intention here was to post pictures of fall colors and title it so. The overriding theme, however, is orange. Each photo contains orange hues, your eye is drawn to that color. Until next time …Read more

Groundsel is letting loose

At the beginning of the week, the blustery winds and rain sent an abundance of leaves to air, settling on the paths, woodlands, and on the water’s surface in the Wetlands. Yesterday (11/18) it was Groundsel Tree’s turn, but this time it’s the seeds that are being spread over the landscape. Groundsel Tree (Baccharis halimifolia), Siverling, Sea Myrtle, Saltbush, whatever you prefer to call it, is native to coastal marshes. But, you may have noticed it’s white billowing flowers andRead more

A Trip to the Mountains?

Thinking of going to the mountains to check out the fall leaves? Why waste precious fuel, money, and time (detouring around rock slides) when you can come to the Museum of Life + Science and see some of the most beautiful colors nature has to offer right here in your own backyard. Don’t believe me? Have a peek below. Convinced? Even if you miss the peak colors, there’s always something going on out-of-doors, up beyond the Main Plaza (where Grayson’sRead more

Conspicuous, and not so Conspicuous, Bloomers

Sycamores, sweetgums, hornbeams, mulberries, maples, and willows on the Explore the Wild/Catch the Wind Loop are all well on their way to being fully leafed. Bald Cypress, the only southern conifer that loses its leaves in winter, is showing fresh new growth. The ashes are lagging behind and are just now starting to spring forth with new leaves. The Museum’s Flowering Dogwoods came into their own the first week of this month, bursting open with all of their brilliant whiteness.Read more

Bare Trees

Most deciduous trees are now bare, although some will retain the brown, wrinkled remnants of the previous season’s leaves until pushed out by next spring’s new growth. Even the Bald Cypress down in the Wetlands are nearly devoid of their pine-like leaves. The upside is, it’s now easier to see deeper into the woods and Wetlands for what lurks within.Read more