Some Outdoor Goings-on

Top Photo: Two adult red-tailed hawks silhouetted against the clouds as they soar above Butterfly House. Note that each bird is molting. The two red-tailed hawks above successfully nested on the museum grounds. They’re regular nesters. I rarely see eastern cottontails on our 84 acre campus, until this year. I’ve seen more this spring and summer than I have in perhaps the last 14 years of hiking the museum’s trails. Predator numbers must be down. Besides the red-tailed hawks above,Read more

A New Ode

Top Photo: Male roseate skimmer sallies forth from its perch on twig. There’s been another species added to the list of odonata seen at the museum. With the addition of roseate skimmer (Orthemis ferruginea) seen on Saturday, September 18, I’ve recorded 42 species out of 188 listed for the state. There are many species that will never be recorded here at the museum due to their specific habitat requirements and range. I didn’t expect to see this species. It’s aRead more

Common Whitetail (female) on Black-eyed Susan

This dragonfly species, common whitetail (Plathemis lydia), is probably the most often encountered of all the 188 species of dragonflies and damselflies in the entire state. It’s found at or near just about any slow or still body of water in the state and often far from the lake, pond, or puddle of origin. The picture above was taken in Wander Away in Catch the Wind here at the museum. The dragonfly, as the title of this post states, isRead more

Two Odonates

Sometimes, you just get lucky. The two species of Odonata pictured here are not often seen in or around our wetland. One prefers stream habitat, the other ponds and lakes near meadows or weedy fields. The green-bodied damselfly with black wings is an ebony jewelwing. They’re more likely to be seen along a wooded stream than the shores of our wetland. Perhaps it wandered over from Ellerbe Creek which flows through the west side of the museum property. They are,Read more

Summer Sights

The butterfly in the top photo is an eastern tailed-blue. It belongs to a group of small butterflies known as blues. They are typically blue on the upper surface of the wings. They like open spaces and generally fly low to the ground.   The eastern tailed-blue above is worn. Some of its markings are missing or obscured and one can barely make out a “tail” on the hind wing. Below is a more fresh individual, a male, displaying theRead more

Steamrolling Along

Spring just keeps on rollin’ along, and the pace is quickening. Many insects are emerging, flowers blooming, and birds migrating, whether returning to the local habitats or just passing through on their way further north. Here’s some of what’s been happening over the last week or so here at the Museum, in no particular order. An early season dragonfly. The blue corporal is named for the mature male’s blue color and the two stripes on the insect’s “shoulders,” one onRead more

Odes

Dragonflies continue to add to the color of the Wetlands. Carolina Saddlebags, Black Saddlebags, Great Blue Skimmers, and a Twelve-spotted Skimmer have enhanced the viewing pleasure while gazing out over the water of the Wetlands this past week. I even saw a species that I hadn’t seen here since 2010. There were also several female Great Blue Skimmers seen and photo’d. A surprise was a Twelve-spotted Skimmer seen perched on smartweed in the Wetlands. These dragons are migratory and areRead more

Just some odes

Each year I post some pictures of odes (usually the same species) that can easily be found in our Wetlands. Here’s this year’s group. These are all very common species which can be seen just about anywhere that there’s water. Their abundance, however, does nothing to diminish their allure. And finally, a close shot of… Enjoy!Read more

While looking down at the water

I never pass the wetlands without giving a look into the water to see what’s about. There’s always something to see, some expected, like basking turtles, others are quite unexpected. Here’s a handfull of sights from Thursday (5/9). The early season dragonflies emerged late this year. Common Baskettails typically become apparent in March. I didn’t seem them until April this year. They’re still flying. Baskettails belong to a family of dragonflies most of whom, if not all, have green eyesRead more