Some Late July Insects

I spent part of the morning of July 22nd with the Museum’s Marsh Madness Summer Campers scooping up critters from the Wetlands. A goodly number of aquatic insects and other invertebrates were captured and studied, including a Water Scorpion, several Backswimmers, various water scavenger beetles, many dragonfly nymphs and a handful of leeches. (Leeches are always fun to catch –  everyone wants to see them but no one wants to touch them.) Two interesting creatures that actually have backbones wereRead more

Snappers bask and Water Snake appears

Green and Gray Treefrogs continue to call from the Wetlands and other locations around the Explore the Wild and Catch the Wind loop. The brief, lamb-like calls of Narrowmouth Toads have been heard at both the Wetlands and the pond at Flap the Wings in Catch the Wind. Good luck finding one of these tiny toads; they spend most of their time hidden under leaves or logs, and even when calling during the breeding season they are difficult to locate.Read more

Egg-laying Turtles, new Toads, and Treefrog Time!

I spotted two Yellow-bellied Turtles out of the water and hiking the paths around the Wetlands looking for a place to lay eggs. One of these large females was in the process of digging a hole for the eggs when I came upon her. If you happen to see a tiny brown-gray creature hopping along the path in Explore the Wild or Catch the Wind, take a closer look. The offspring of the American Toads that bred in the WetlandsRead more

A Little Brown Snake, Calling Frogs, and Stewed Turtles

A small Brown Snake delighted a group of schoolchildren as it attempted to cross the paved path just below the Lemur House. The tiny snake, unable to gain traction on the relatively smooth macadam to propel itself forward, kept sliding sideways down the path as it wriggled along in high gear. With much effort, and a little coaxing by me, it finally made it to the side of the path and disappeared into the grass. Northern Cricket Frogs are callingRead more

Tiny Frogs and Basking Turtles

I continue to see a few small, newly morphed Cricket Frogs and many young Green Treefrogs along the north side of the Wetlands. If you stop and look at the tall vegetation on the right side of the path as you walk towards the Lemur House from the Wolf Overlook, you will most surely see Green Treefrogs, but you have to look! The one pictured at left was at that very location (a big yawn for such a tiny frog).Read more

Tree-climbing Turtle, Snakes vs. Frogs

In a previous Journal entry (Explore the Wild Journal, July 1-15) I mentioned having seen a Stinkpot, or Eastern Musk Turtle, in the Wetlands. I also mentioned that they’ve been known to climb trees, as high as 6 feet up. On August 3rd I saw one in a Willow about 50 feet off the Wetlands Overlook (image below). However, this little turtle was only about 3 feet above the water’s surface. I saw a young Snapping Turtle (4-5 inches fromRead more