Nature Blog

Spring is just arriving

March 30, 2017

Spring is just arriving, and the trees and shrubs here at the preserve are starting to wake up! From the moment you step foot on the sidewalk approaching the visitor center, you can see a whole host of diverse native trees and shrubs exploding with new life.

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The Antlions of Effie Yeaw

September 01, 2016

Imagine the existence of a predatory creature that will grab its prey from beneath the ground, just below their feet, and drag them below the earth to devour them. Such a creature sounds like a monster from science fiction and horror, but this thing is real! It is real!! And it lives at Effie Yeaw!

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The Wood Ducks of Effie Yeaw

January 23, 2016

The wood duck is another iconic North American animal that we are fortunate to find in the Effie Yeaw nature preserve. The beauty of the wood duck has inspired stories in the oral traditions of Native Peoples as well has being a common theme found in American folk art. Hand painted wood duck decoys are a popular item among collectors.

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Black Ops Squirrels

December 26, 2015

Reported sightings from visitors of small shadowy black furred creatures inhabiting the woods surrounding Effie Yeaw have increased during the month of December. Recently a woman came into the Nature Center and recounted that she and her grandson had witnessed a small black skunk quickly scurrying up and down tree trunks and leaping across branches!

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The Deer, the Vultures and the Coyotes

November 27, 2015

I couldn’t sleep. I looked through the dark at the time; just after 4am. I wanted to go to Effie Yeaw early that morning to do some wandering before open, but not at 4am. For the record, I am far from being a morning person. Nevertheless I had my alarm set for 5am. For me to try falling back asleep now for less than an hour would be a futile effort, so with a groan I dragged myself out of bed and quietly in the dark I got dressed.

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Turkeys in the Mist

November 25, 2015

Recently I was talking with Phil Stone at Effie Yeaw, a long time friend of the Nature Center and local photographer. He told me he had been walking in the field opposite the golf course on Tarshes Drive when he noticed a nicely dressed family gathered to pose for an outdoor family photo. The family was ready for the photo and smiling for the camera when three Tom Turkeys came running at them in fury.

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The Screech Owl on the Main Trail

October 30, 2015

Alright, I'm excited to write about this next animal that is living wild in the preserve. This pint sized ghost of the woods has a lot of personality packed into a little bad ass ball of fluff. This entry is about the western screech owl! Megascops kennicotti. Aka: ghost owl, the cat owl, and little horned owl.

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October 17, 2015

I like to explore the preserve after a good rain; it is when the riparian woods are the most alive. After last night and this morning’s much needed rain shower I was excited to go out and see what was new. I didn’t even make it to the first big granary tree on the main trail before I noticed something was…weird.

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Anna's Hummingbirds at Effie Yeaw

October 15, 2015

There is a cottonwood tree close to the river, past where the observation trail fades into cobbles; the bare forked top branches have long been the favorite perch for a certain male Anna’s Hummingbird. The sight of this hummer has been a consistent and reliable one that I’ve come to enjoy keeping an eye out for when taking this trail to the river.

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Yellow Garden Spider, Argiope aurantia

October 04, 2015

Perhaps not our most cute and cuddly critter, but there is definitely a coolness and fascination factor to these spiders of enormous size that I couldn't pass up. I mean, I wouldn't want to find one in my house, but observing them in the preserve I think is pretty cool. Last Friday I was at the nature study pond with Paul and a local eagle scout surveying for a cattail removal service project that will allow visitors to actually see the pond

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Cedar Waxwings

September 30, 2015

Fall is my absolute favorite time of year to spend outdoors. The American Parkway becomes a beautiful and different world to visit altogether. Not only do the sights and smells change, but you can also hear the calls and songs of migratory birds, announcing the change of season with their arrival.

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Coyotes in the Preserve

September 17, 2015

This entry is about one of the most talked about animals of the preserve and one of the most controversial animals of North America, el coyote!, canis latrans, aka: the prairie wolf, brush wolf, American jackal, and the trickster.

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