Flora Posts

WOW by , Ranger

June 27th, 2014

This week’s Walk of the Week (WOW) here at the Museum is to a small patch of interesting plants which attract many different insects to both their tiny but potent flowers, and to its leaves (the stems and leaves are toxic, you can touch but don’t be tempted to eat them). While you’re there admiring […] Read the rest of this entry »

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Odes by , Ranger

June 19th, 2014

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 […] Read the rest of this entry »

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Can you put a name on these leaves? by , Ranger

June 13th, 2014

Knowing the difference between the leaves in the accompanying photos can save you days of misery. But before I tell you what they are, have a look and see if you can identify them yourself. Had a good look? The photos were taken from the boardwalk leading into the Wetlands. The two sets of leaves were […] Read the rest of this entry »

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Did you see that? by , Ranger

May 30th, 2014

Here’s some of what you missed if you haven’t been walking our trails here at the Museum lately. This first item is something that I’ve missed for the past five or six years here at the Museum, a damselfly. Azure Bluets have probably been in our Wetlands long before I arrived here some six years […] Read the rest of this entry »

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Out and About by , Ranger

May 26th, 2014

Just some sights from the past week. First spotted by Michelle Kloda as she headed off to Build it! Bamboo one day last week, a Trapdoor Spider. Trapdoor Spiders spend most of their time in a hole in the ground waiting for prey to come walking by. They build a hinged, silken lid to top […] Read the rest of this entry »

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Spring Happenings by , Ranger

May 13th, 2014

Happenings over the past few weeks have been a bit overwhelming. Insects that have been held back from emergence by cooler than normal temperatures are doing so now, snakes and other reptiles have been performing their springtime rituals, neotropical migrants are moving through, and local nesters are doing just that, nesting. Some have already fledged their […] Read the rest of this entry »

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Springing Forward by , Ranger

April 18th, 2014

There’s been so much happening in the Wild lately that it’s difficult to keep up, to stay on top of the reporting of said happenings. Here’s a quick update. If you remember, there were two successful Green Heron nests in our Wetlands last year. We’re hoping to have a repeat. Last Saturday two of the […] Read the rest of this entry »

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Shoots by , Ranger

April 11th, 2014

Things are changing rapidly out of doors. Early blooming trees and flowers are doing just that, blooming, and leaves are shooting out of twigs and stems. The following photos were taken just a day or two ago. They look different already. You owe it to yourself to get out there and have a look around. […] Read the rest of this entry »

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Waxwings, “Just stopping by.” by , Ranger

April 1st, 2014
Not a feather out of place.

Not a feather out of place.

The wandering nomadic flocks of Cedar Waxwings are always a pleasure to see. I usually hear them before I see them, their trill, high-pitched calls signaling their presence, either flying overhead or perched above in some tall tree staging for an assault of a nearby fruiting tree or shrub. Hearing high-pitched sounds is not as easy for me as it once was, so it was by sight that I first became aware of a flock here at the Museum last week.

The birds were flying to and from loblolly pines to a group of red cedar trees next to the Sail Boat Pond in Catch the Wind. They were laying bare the fruit of the cedars, as waxwings are known to do. The flocks spot a likely source of fruit, holly berries, Pyracantha, or fruit laden cedar tree, assault the tree or shrub for however long it takes to render it fruitless, then fly off to find a new source of berries.

I photographed the berries of this same group of cedars for a display case in Explore the Wild during late Fall of last year. The trees were loaded with fruit.

A close shot of the cedar, or juniper, berries,  from November.

A close shot of the cedar, or juniper, berries, from November.

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The Pace Quickens by , Ranger

March 24th, 2014

As the days pass, more and more species step in line. Plants and animals that have been waiting out the cold spring to life as the daytime temperatures hit the 70s and the nights level off in the fifties. A couple more days of chilly (not cold, but chilly) weather and it will all be […] Read the rest of this entry »

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