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

June Sightings in The Wild

It’s near the end of June. Below (and above) are photos of some of the creatures I’ve seen during the month. They’re arranged in no particular order. The top photo is of one of the milkweeds, butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa). It attracts many insects to it’s flowers, leaves, and seed pods throughout the summer season. Here, you can see new flower buds on the left and older flowers to the right. Some insects go out of their way to attractRead more

Handsome Katydids and Pretty Spiders

It’s well known that late summer to early fall is the time of year when there are more insects about than perhaps at any other time of year. If you’ve been walking around outdoors lately you may have noticed many more grasshoppers than earlier in the season. Many of the grasshoppers and katydids that were hatched out this past spring and early summer have now grown into adults and are happily munching away at the grasses and tree leaves aroundRead more

Scenes from the Wild

On October 13, I reported that I had seen the first Myrtle Warbler of the season on October 6, the first Saturday of the month. Well, they’re here in numbers now and getting down to business munching on wax myrtle fruit. I also reported seeing turtles basking on a log just off the main Wetlands Overlook. The turtles are making good use of the narrow log a dozen or so feet off the platform. Make sure you stop and haveRead more

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