Top Photo: Autumn olive berries. Autumn olive is considered an extremely invasive shrub. It can overwhelm the forest understory, fields and openings where it grows, crowding out native species. Here at the museum it flowers in March-April. The tart, red fruit is ripe by July-August. It spreads across the landscape largely through the action of birds. Birds eat the fruit, fly off and deposit the undigested seeds in their droppings. The seeds germinate where they fall. The fruit is tasty,Read more


While walking through Explore the Wild I heard the cat-like call of a yellow-bellied sapsucker to my right. A closer look revealed two sapsuckers in a holly tree picking and eating the red berries of the small tree, a good opportunity to get a few photos.     The two sapsuckers went back and forth from the trunk to hanging on branches to harvest the fruit of the holly. Here’s a few shots of the birds, both males.    Read more

The Changing of the Season

Each year around this time I post to this Journal and proclaim the beginning of fall. The calendar says it’s still summer but I’m always about a month ahead of the calendar and, frankly, so is the actual seasonal change. It was sometime during last week when I first felt the change. Maybe it was all of the caterpillar activity or the large number of grasshoppers that I’ve been seeing in their final instar, their last nymphal stage of developmentRead more