Last week I tweeted about a Canada Goose apparently eating smartweed in the Wetlands. I also mentioned that not many creatures will eat the pungent weed. Other then a few caterpillars, the Smartweed Caterpillar (Acronicta oblinita) and the Tobacco budworm (Heliothis virescens), I personally haven’t witnessed much in the way of smartweed consumption among our fauna (there seems to be a caterpillar adapted to eating just about every plant in existence). There’s little doubt that many creatures use smartweed for cover, shelterRead more

Summer Mode

Although a few flowers linger, the Lotus in the Wetlands has all but gone by. What you’ll see when you pass the Wetlands as you leave the Wolf Enclosure on your way to the Lemur House is numerous seed heads sticking up above the large leaves of the plants, still an impressive sight. In Catch the Wind, the Black-eyed Susans are fading fast, only a few flowers remaining. Pickerelweed is still blooming in the pond next to the Ornithopter. TheRead more

Early June Color

Rudbeckia, or Black-eyed Susan, with its showy multi-rayed yellow-orange flowers, is currently the most abundant flower in Catch the Wind. Mixed in with the Rudbeckia, look for the flowers of Butterfly Weed (Asclepia tuberosa), a favorite of many butterflies and other insects. Elsewhere around the Explore the Wild/Catch the Wind loop Daisy Fleabane, Queen Anne’s Lace, Showy Tick-trefoil, and down in the Wetlands, Swamp Rose (Rosa palustris) are blooming. I spotted one small patch of Bergamot in bloom near theRead more

An Early Start for Summer Flowers

June brought the blooming of two Magnolias around the Catch the Wind and Explore the Wild Loop, Sweetbay and Southern Magnolia (or simply Magnolia). Most people are familiar with the large white, fragrant flowers of Southern Magnolia. Sweetbay is often overlooked as its flowers and leaves are not as large as Southern Magnolia, but they are just as fragrant. You can see Sweetbay planted around the Wetlands. Many grow along the boardwalk and are about 10-12 feet in height. Butterflyweed,Read more