Time to Get Outside

Top Photo: Banded sphinx moth caterpillar. A banded sphinx moth caterpillar is an impressive sight. The one shown here is munching away on wing-leaved primrose-willow in our wetlands. Banded sphinx moth caterpillars are variable and may be nearly all green, much like its relatives the tobacco hornworm and tomato hornworm, mostly green with black, red and yellow markings or like the one pictured, which is marked with red, black, and yellow. Regardless, they all have the white diagonal stripes characteristicRead more

Quiet Winter

It’s February, and so far this winter we’ve skated by with very few cold days—no ice storms, only one brief snow, and minimal frigid NW winds. That could change at any time, but for now, I’m going to enjoy the mild fifty, sixty, and yes, even seventy degree weather. The bird feeders have seen steady, but not heavy, use. The local chickadees, titmice, cardinals, nuthatches, and others have been regular customers at the feeders at Bird Viewing, but I’ve not seen anyRead more

Three Birds

On Tuesday May 3, I spotted a blue jay-size bird in a large tree overhanging the path near Catch the Wind. It was backlit, no color visible. I could tell by the way the bird moved that it was anything but a bluejay. It was motionless except for slow movements of its head. It methodically moved its head up and down, left to right, and from side to side. It was inspecting the leaves and branches for prey, caterpillars. This,Read more

It’s Bluebird Time, 2015

It’s bluebird time again. I cleaned our six nest boxes last week (3/10), getting them ready for the birds to move in. With the weather as nice as it is today (expected to get well into the 80s) it actually felt like nesting season as I went around checking the nest boxes. My hopes were high as I peeked into the first nest box. The Train Tunnel nest box showed no sign of occupancy, no pine needles laid out onRead more

The Pace Quickens

As the days pass, more and more species step in line. Plants and animals that have been waiting out the cold spring to life as the daytime temperatures hit the 70s and the nights level off in the fifties. A couple more days of chilly (not cold, but chilly) weather and it will all be behind us. Elms and Silky Willows are blooming, butterflies are emerging, and frogs and birds seem eager to get on with starting families, or atRead more

It’s February

You don’t need a calendar to know that it’s February, just take a hike around the Wetlands here at the Museum. If you see two Canada Geese, it’s February. These two geese drop in every February, very often its within a few days of the first of the month. The geese are absent during summer through winter, spending only late winter and spring with us. I guesss their arrival could be termed as a harbinger of spring. It may beRead more

Bluebird Update 5.7.13

The heavy rain and chilly nights of the past several days seems to have had little effect on the chickadees and bluebirds that are nesting on our Bluebird Trail here at the Museum. All occupants of our nest boxes seem to be doing well, even flourishing. The bluebird nestlings in the “Cow Pasture” nest seem about ready to fledge. It’s difficult to see exactly how many nestlings are crowded into that nest but it appears as though there are four.Read more

Bluebird Update 3.26.13

As you can see in the above photo one our bluebird nests has eggs. We’ll have to wait to see if the female lays more eggs or starts incubating right away. I didn’t see a bird in the vicinity when I inspected the box so maybe she intends to add to the clutch. In other words, she wasn’t incubating when I inspected the box on Tuesday (3/26) and they typically don’t start incubating until all the eggs are laid, soRead more


Well, it’s that time of year again when the wild creatures of our little world here at the Museum begin to procreate, to bring more wild creatures into the world (actually, there’s probably not a month out of the year when there is not some sort of procreation going on out in the wild). Our bluebirds have begun to build nests in at least four of the six nest boxes placed out for them. One of the nest boxes holdsRead more

And the sap is flowing!

On Tuesday of this week I noticed a large wet area on the trunk of a Carolina Maple in Catch the Wind. That could only mean one thing, a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker had been at work. This is the same maple that I mention each year around this time. It seems to be a favorite of our visiting sapsuckers and it’s easy to observe (it’s right next to the path). I’ve been keeping a casual eye on this tree but hadn’t seenRead more