Meteorologically, Fall

Top Photo: Green heron works the “turtle logs” in the wetlands. It is, according to climatologists and meteorologists, fall. I agree. Days are getting shorter. Trees that’ve been pumping water and nutrients from their roots to their leaves have slowed down production. And although it’s still mighty hot outside during the day, the night time temps seem to be moderating. Here’s some of the things that have been going on during the first week of Fall. Though they’ll be leavingRead more

Nest Box Update 6.21.22

Top Photo: Eastern bluebird eggs. We have two fledged bluebirds and four more in the same nest which are ready to fly the coop. The other five nest boxes are empty and waiting for occupation. The Cow Pasture bluebirds which numbered six last week, are fledging. There were four bluebirds tucked into the nest against our intrusion this morning, two had already fledged. The coaxing parents were in the trees above us as we peeked into the nest box. I’llRead more

Nest Box Update 6.14.22

Top Photo: Eastern bluebird eggs. There’s one active nest. It should be void of birds within the week. The Cow Pasture nest box is the only one with occupants. It’s difficult to distinguish one bird from the next, crammed into the bottom of the nest, but I managed to count half a dozen birds. The six bluebird nestlings may fledge before the next nest box inspection, a week from now. The Explore the Wild and Into the Mist nest boxesRead more

Nest Box Update 6.7.22

Top Photo: Eastern bluebird eggs. Two active nests include nine nestlings, six newly hatched bluebirds and what appears to be three house wrens. The Cow Pasture bluebird eggs have hatched. The birds’ eyes have yet to open. The parents are steadily supplying their offspring with plenty of protein. I can clearly count six nestlings. The nest box at Explore the Wild remains empty. Into the Mist has attracted no further activity in its nest box. Though I counted six nestlingRead more

Tree Swallows Fledge

Top Photo: Two young tree swallows wait at entrance hole to nest box. The nest box pictured here was installed in the wetlands during the first half of March. Though the nest box was intended for either wood ducks or hooded mergansers, by the first week of April tree swallows were actively building a nest in the spacious structure. I’m happy to say that tree swallows have now fledged from the nest as of Saturday, the fourth day of June.Read more

Nest Box Update 5.19.22

Top Photo: Eastern bluebird eggs. A few days late, this report sees our bluebird trail with 9 eggs in two active nests. Three of those eggs are bluebird eggs, the rest belong to house wrens. The Cow Pasture nest now has 3 bluebird eggs. This nest box has already fledged 4 bluebirds. This, the second brood, is usually smaller in size than the first set of eggs. I don’t expect to see more eggs in this nest. The Explore theRead more

Aquatic Turtle Nesting Season

Top Photo: Yellow-bellied slider returning from early morning egg laying near Butterfly House. It’s aquatic turtle nesting season. Our sliders, musk, painted, and snapping turtles all come ashore during this season to dig nests and lay eggs. They may travel quite a distance from water to do this, from Hideaway Woods to Earth Moves and all points in between. If you happen to see one of these turtles digging a nest, or hiking across one of our paths, give itRead more

Nest Box Update 3.29.22

Top Photo: Bluebird nest with eggs. There are 10 eggs spread out along our six nest box trail. Seven of those eggs belong to bluebirds, three to chickadees. One nest, which had been started by bluebirds has been abandoned and reoccupied by chickadees. The Cow Pasture nest box, which last week held three bluebird eggs, now contains six. I saw neither parent while checking the box. There’s been work done on the bluebird nest in the box in Explore theRead more

What you might see

Top Photo: “New” frogs huddled together on floating log. All are bullfrogs recently morphed from tadpoles. Some still have tails. Here are photos of things you might see on our outdoor loop through Explore the Wild and Catch the Wind. Each fall there’s a flurry of Cape May warbler activity in the trees on the north side of the wetlands, whichever trees are infested with insects. This year, it’s the mimosas. The insect? Mimosa web worms. Grasshoppers become more evidentRead more

Eno, Ellerbe and the Bones

Top Photo: Ellerbe left and Eno. The animal keepers occasionally place deer legs into the Red Wolf Enclosure. The wolves appreciate the additional offerings of nutrition and behavioral enrichment, though it’s not always clear what is appreciated more. To further harmony, Eno finds his own leg bone to gnaw on. Entente.Read more