Ask a Naturalist: Nocturnal Wildlife Around Us
Night is the time for many creatures to become active to forage for food, perform mating rituals and raise young ones. The organisms that become active during the nighttime are called nocturnal as opposed to diurnal, which means active at daytime. Much like diurnal animals, nocturnal organisms have physical features and adaptations that help them see, navigate, hunt, pollinate, and forage in the dark.
Ask a Naturalist: Snakes Around Us
Snakes are an important part of our natural surroundings. Without them, we may end up using immense amounts of toxic chemicals to kill harmful pests and inflict even greater environmental damage. Learning about snakes helps avoid contact that could result in an injury on both sides.
Ask a Naturalist: Ticks, Tickborne Diseases, and Thinking Beyond Safety Precautions
Tick populations are expanding in their range, and tickborne diseases such as Lyme disease are on the rise in every geographical location in the US except Alaska. Climate change and warming temperatures create perfect conditions for ticks to survive in new locations.
Ask a Naturalist: Local Plants of Medicinal Value
Regardless of what age we live in, plants have been the origin of all medicines to treat illness and diseases. Here are a few notable native and local plants of the Piedmont North Carolina that are valuable in producing the medicines we use today.
Ask a Naturalist: Winter Tree Identification Skills
Woody plants known as "trees" show various anatomical strategies to survive in winter, dubbing them "winter trees." While evergreen trees retain their waxy cuticular leaves, deciduous trees lose their leaves to conserve little available energy and go dormant.
Ask a Naturalist: The Science of Fall Color
Fall is an exquisite season of change that shows one of the more amazing processes in nature. As the days get shorter and shorter, the trees are signaled that their period of growth is at an end.
Ask a Naturalist: Spiders Around Us
Spiders are perhaps nature's most wondrous but misunderstood creatures. Their unique behavior and immense diversity inspire awe to anyone who wants to learn more about them.
Ask a Naturalist: Evening Wonders
Summer gives plenty of time to enjoy the wonders of nature brought on and unraveled by the setting sun.
Ask a Naturalist: Enjoying Bird Sounds
Spring is the best time to listen to and learn to identify bird songs, whether you are walking by Gateway Nature Preserve or elsewhere.
Ask a Naturalist: Wildflowers at Gateway and Beyond
Although the amazing variety of wildflowers is seen in NC throughout the year, nothing paints the landscape in beautiful colors like the spring ephemerals.
Ask a Naturalist: Identifying Fall Trees
These native tree species all grow at the Gateway Nature Preserve, many of them along the Forest Discovery Trail above Salem Creek Greenway.