Winter Continues

We’ve had both warm and cold weather so far this season, mostly warm. Regardless of the temperature, things are rolling along as always; sunny days bring out turtles to bask, ducks feed, court, and rest in our wetland, and Mahonia blooms as it always does this time of year on the Dinosaur Trail and elsewhere around the campus.

Duck mallard, drake peeking over rock, sliders basking.
Mahonia on Dino Trail.
Each yellow flower may become a deep purple berry by spring.

There seems to have been an unusual amount of fungi this fall and winter, perhaps due to the significant rain we’ve experienced.

Field of puffballs on mulched pathway. Ranger Martha in background.

A green anole showed itself in the garden next to Sprout Cafe at the museum. I’ve not seen one here before. In fact, the only other lizard recorded by this observer on the property is ground skink, which is fairly common. I’ve seen no fence lizards, five-lined skinks, or broad-headed skinks.

Green anoles are listed as occurring in southern Durham County as are the other lizards mentioned above (I’ve seen them all elsewhere in the local area), but for some reason I’ve not seen them on our 84 acres.

The anole was clinging to signage in the herb garden next to a planting of rosemary.

Green anole on sign in herb garden.
Peeking around corner.

Of course, green anoles can change color from green to brown. I’ve noticed that in cool situations they tend to be brown, but the color changes are affected by more than temperature variants. Mood may have more to do with the color than temperature. Camouflage doesn’t seem to be a motive.

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