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Regular visitors to our Museum have no doubt seen or heard one of our four-legged visitors on the Paw Paw Nature Trail… a white-tailed deer.

The many deer you may have seen frequently enters and exits the Museum’s grounds of its own accord. Deer have a range of approximately two square miles and often seek refuge in areas providing shelter, food and water. The natural supply of nuts and woody material on the Paw Paw Nature Trail and nearby greenway, and the abundant water supply from Little Sugar Creek create an ideal habitat. The neighborhood surrounding the Museum has a significant white-tailed deer population with regular reports of sightings of individuals and groups in residential backyards.

Please resist the urge to feed the deer in your backyard or ours. This may be harmfu… Keep reading.

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In the corner of Butterfly Pavilion stands a densely-leaved tree with thorns, it doesn’t bloom, and often doesn’t gain much attention from our visitors. This unassuming tree is a Valencia orange tree donated to us eight years ago, by a former volunteer. If trees could talk, this one would share quite a tale… read on.

About thirty years ago, a juicy, sweet Valencia orange was purchased at a grocery store in Ohio. While eating it, the consumer wondered if the sweet seeds would grow into a tree if planted. So he decided to try it, planted the seeds in a pot, watered, watched and waited. Sure enough a seed sprouted and continued to grow on the man’s porch in a pot, surviving snowy winters surrounded with a plastic sheet and a heat lamp. After fifteen years in Ohio, the tropical tre… Keep reading.

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What if fish had legs and walked amongst the ocean dregs?
Would they wear blue jeans and shoes and run to spread the latest fish news?

What if flies had teeth and chomped bits of meat?
Would they floss with horse hair and brush with flowers?
Smiling and saying cheese on top of dung towers?

What if frogs had helping hands and croaked and clapped?
Would they paddle on lily pads and twiddle their thumbs while they sat?

What if boys and girls had fins and wings?
Or jumpers and little parts that sting?
Or maybe they squawk instead of talk?
Or maybe hop instead of walk?

Would they cackle like chicks or sting like bees?
Or would they be like crickets and have ears on their knees?

I don’t know friend but in the end legs or gills, hands or wings,
As you watch the moon that g… Keep reading.

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When observing living things we tend to spy the bigger things; animals with fur, feathers, scales and flitting tails or plants with showy flowers and sweet scents. But what about the little things that occupy the smallest of spaces? In one teaspoonful of dirt, there are millions of organisms that help make life possible.

E.O. Wilson said, “It is possible to spend a lifetime in a Magellenic voyage around the trunk of a single tree.” Inspired by Wilson’s writings and his work with others, the team at Charlotte Nature Museum is embarking on a voyage exploring life in Cubic Foot Communities around Charlotte. What do you think we may find in a cubic foot of earth extracted from the Paw Paw Nature Trail? What about in your backyard?…

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It used to be when we thought of farming we envisioned a dirt road, rolling pastures and neatly plowed fields of vegetables somewhere… but not here.
But, the urban farm movement has taken hold in Charlotte with families raising chickens and growing vegetables year round in their backyards or on community plots.

From the egg to the chicken or seed to fruit, families are beginning to understand the value of knowing where their food comes from and how it gets to their table.

Children are fascinated with farm life.
What do the animals eat? Who picks the vegetables? Where do the animals sleep? Who takes care of the animals when they are sick? How come fruit from my garden tastes or looks different from what I buy from the store?

As we continue on our quest to connect chil… Keep reading.

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During a recent visit to Charlotte Nature Museum’s, Trails End Store, my seven-year-old purchased a Venus flytrap (Dionaea muscipula)for himself and his teacher. His teacher lives on a farm and often shares stories about the flies on the horses. He was very happy about his pet plant purchase. All the way home he held the plant in his small hands talking to it, observing its modified leaves, looking around for flying insects wondering which unlucky creature who lingered a little too long would become his plant’s next meal.

Venus, as we affectionately call her, now lives in our breakfast nook. My son placed her in a shallow bowl, is careful only to give her distilled water and makes sure the blinds are positioned to allow the right amount of sunlight. Before we could get close to Venu… Keep reading.

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