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

Gulf Fritillary

  The butterfly above is a gulf fritillary (Agraulis vanillae). It was in the garden along the ramp leading down to the Butterfly House here at the Museum (7/18/15). Is this a big deal? It wouldn’t be a big deal on the southern coast or mountains, but here on the north-central Piedmont a sighting of a gulf fritillary tends to raise eyebrows. It perks me up no matter where I see one, it’s a beautiful butterfly.     This long-winged butterfly is tropicalRead more