News

Category: Conservation

Page 2 of 2

February 2014: Great Backyard Bird Count

  Be a citizen scientist!  Join thousands of other people all over the country in providing a "snapshot" of where birds are and what they are doing on the weekend of Feb. 14-17.  Although it's called the Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC), birds can be reported from as many different locations as you like.  Count for a little as 15 min. on a single day, or count birds all four days, everywhere you go!  It's free, fun and easy - and it provides valuable information for... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Monday, February 2, 2015

March 2014: Chorus Frogs

  Natural Highlights: Upland Chorus Frog Have you heard this frog lately?  One of the earliest signs of spring is the sound of our Upland Chorus Frogs calling in the wetlands.  Click here for a short video of a calling male. Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Monday, February 2, 2015

April 2014: Barred Owls

             Photos from the April 12th trip courtesy of Mary Hugo Barred Owls are common in the Midsouth area and are quite fond of the Wolf River wetlands. The big birds can occasionally be seen flying silently through the trees or perched high in the branches, and are often heard making their distinctive "who cooks for you, who cooks for you-all" call.  On the Ghost River trip on April 12, several paddlers had already caught... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Monday, February 2, 2015

May 2014: Pipevine Swallowtail Butterfly

            The lovely Pipevine Swallowtail Butterfly gets its name from the plant on which it lays its eggs, the Pipevine ( Aristolochia sp.).  Dutchman's Pipe or Dutchman's Pipevine ( Aristolochia macrophylla ) is quite common on the Wolf River and Germantown Greenway.  If you look closely, you'll probably be able to see the striking black and orange caterpillars munching away, in addition to the unusual flowers which do indeed resemble a... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Friday, January 30, 2015

June 2014: Mississippi Kite

  You've probably seen Mississippi Kites aloft along the river, in your neighborshood, or driving to work.  These graceful birds of prey nest in our area.  Here's a video of a Kite in flight !   Learn More... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Friday, January 30, 2015

July 2014: River Otters

    Natural Highlights: River Otters Though shy and infrequently seen, North American River Otters ( Lontra canadensis ) do live in and along the Wolf River, dining on fish, crayfish, mussels, amphibians and other animals.  Learn More... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Friday, January 30, 2015

August 2014: Hummingbirds and Butterflies

     Whether you want to attract more hummingbirds and butterflies to your garden, assist in efforts to conserve these aerial favorites, or simply learn more about them, you'll find something of value in the resources listed below. North American Butterfly Association (NABA) NABA Butterfly Garden and Habitat Program NABA Middle Tennessee Chapter Butterflies of Tennessee Monarch Joint Venture Monarch Watch Milkweed Regions and Seed Needs ... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Friday, January 30, 2015

Sept. 2014: Great Native Plants

    American Beautyberry Check out this top 10 list of native trees and shrubs , ranked by the numbers of species they are known to attract.  Leading the list are oak trees, which attract 543 species of caterpillars alone!  The greater the number of caterpillars and other insects, the more food there is for nesting birds to feed their young. From the list in The Living Landscape, Designing for Beauty and Biodiversity in the Home Garden (2014) by Rick Darke and Doug... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Friday, January 30, 2015

Oct. 2014: Ghost River Spiders

     Startling, beautiful, frightening, amazing, huge...no matter how you describe it, the Six-spotted Fishing Spider ( Dolomedes triton ) never fails to impress.  This large spider does not build a web, but roams freely on stumps, on land, on the water, and sometime even under the water. It often sits with its front legs extended onto the water surface, waiting for vibrations from prey animals which include insects, other spiders, small fish, and amphibians. It is... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Friday, January 30, 2015

Nov. 2014: Eastern Wild Turkey

    The Eastern Wild Turkey ( Meleagris gallopavo ) is one of only two native North American bird species to have been domesticated.  European explorers captured several birds from the Mexican subspecies, took them back home and bred them into domesticity.  Returning settlers then brought the domesticated turkeys with them to America. Turkeys relegated to the barnyard have lost the natural wariness, speed, and agility of their wild cousins, which can be elusive birds to... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Friday, January 30, 2015

Dec 2014: Winterberry

  Winterberry (Ilex verticillata) is one of seven Tennessee species of native hollies, along with American Holly (Ilex opaca) and Possumhaw (Ilex decidua).  Its leaves are deciduous, leaving its beautiful red berries to remain on the plant through the winter.  The berries' fat content is lower than it is in most other native berries and birds tend to wait until late in the season to eat them.  This means we can enjoy the striking color of this shrub while providing food... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Friday, January 30, 2015

Natural Highlights: Winter Waterfowl

    Blue-winged Teal Winter is a wonderful time to look for waterfowl and to appreciate the importance of wetlands large and small in the Mississippi Flyway, the biggest bird migration route in the country. The wetlands of the Wolf River are part of the vast complex of wetlands within the Mississippi River watershed which lies at the heart of the Flyway. Puddle ducks such as Mallards and Blue-winged Teal, diving ducks such as Hooded Mergansers and Ruddy Ducks, Snow and Canada... Read More
Posted by Cathy Justis at Monday, January 19, 2015