Mid July Check-in

Top Photo: Eastern rat snake, or black rat snake, smells its way across the path in Explore the Wild. Black rat snakes are known by many different names, chicken snake, alleghany snake, pilot snake with variations on those names and more. Though it may be confusing to consider the various names of the snake, the only other snake you’d likely mistake it for is the black racer. But, racers have smooth scales, all black undersides (except for the chin andRead more

Something to Look At

Top Photo: Bumble bee takes nectar and transfers pollen in the process. Here, I have a quick list of photos of what you might see on a walk around the outdoor trails here at the museum. Last year we had at least three bald-faced hornet hives on the campus. One was in a dawn redwood tree over the boardwalk, another in a pine along one of the service roads, and the third was in a small maple hanging over EllerbeRead more

Some Early Summer Sights

Top Photo: Purple coneflower in front of Picnic Dome at Museum of Life & Science. Purple coneflower is in full bloom. This flower attracts many insects. It’s a rewarding experience to visit a planting of coneflower. Lots of different butterfly species come to coneflower for its nectar, and goldfinches can’t resist the seeds. Coneflower likes sun, can handle the heat and will tolerate a forgetful gardener’s lack of watering, so you can’t lose by planting these 3 foot tall flowersRead more

Pearly-Eyes, Beetles and Others

Top Photo: Northern pearly-eye. There are three butterflies in our region known as pearly-eyes, northern pearly-eye, southern pearly-eye, and creole pearly-eye. Though they all are reported from this area, the one that I come in contact most often is northern pearly-eye. They’re all medium sized butterflies and very similar in appearance. The northern pearly-eye, as does the others, has a row of eye-spots on the forewing. Northern and southern pearly-eyes have four eye-spots. Creole pearly-eye has five. In Northern pearly-eyeRead more

Rhinoceros

Top Photo: Female rhinoceros beetle. Yesterday, I found a rhinoceros beetle in Into the Mist. The last time I came upon one of these scarab beetles with a horn on its head was in 2012, towards the end of August. The earliest I’ve come across one was July, the latest, October.     This particular rhino beetle seemed to be in trouble. It kept walking in tight circles. Rhino beetles are not speedsters by any means but the circular track seemed to indicate an injury.Read more

Cicindela sexguttata

What is a Cicindela sexguttata? It’s a Six-spotted Tiger Beetle and if you’ve followed this Journal for the past several years you’d know that I usually start seeing them along the paths here at the Museum in March, and certainly by April. This is the latest sighting (5/8) of this emerald hued tiger beetle since I’ve been here at the Museum. I saw one at my home a few weeks back, but just one, a fleeting glance at one asRead more