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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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What fun we had during Charlotte Nature Museum’s Earth Day Celebration! The vermicompost bins were a huge hit and many of you left with worms and bins ready to start composting at home.

Here are a few tips to help for a successful bin:

- Use old newspapers, paper bags, computer paper for bedding do not use glossy, coated paper or magazines

- Remember to keep the bedding moist using a spray bottle to keep it wet (it should remain as wet as a moist sponge)

- You can add a little soil and eggshells to the bin to provide grit for the worms, (two handfuls should be enough)

- Feed your worms any non-meat food products including vegetables, fruits, egg shells, tea bags, coffee grounds and shredded garden waste

- Do not add too many citrus fruits (as this will make the bin t… Keep reading.

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During February’s Creature Feature, The Great Backyard Bird Count, we asked you, citizen scientists, to help us count the birds in our backyard.

The results are in and the data collected from Charlotte Nature Museum combined with information collected across the nation provides a “real-time” snapshot of the current bird population continent-wide.

Museum staff and citizen scientists counted 13 species and 33 birds, including two tufted titmouse (Baeolophus bicolor) pictured here.

Do you see a lot of birds in your backyard? What do they look like?

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What is the age of our home, Earth? 100 million-years-old? 1 billion? It’s approximately 4.54 billion-years-old. Now, that’s old.

As Earth Day approaches and we prepare to celebrate on April 18, we are thinking of ways to keep our planet healthy for millions of years to come ...

How do you plan to celebrate Earth Day?

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Stop by Charlotte Nature Museum’s backyard . . . for Community Science Day.

Meet artist Daniel McCormick who is creating an ecological installation sited at the newly established Carolina Thread Trail (more on that later) adjacent to the Museum's parking area at the edge of Little Sugar Creek.

Plus, Charlotte Nature Museum and Discovery Place Staff will have lots of fun activities on offer including Museum animal encounters and drop-in science stations. And, don’t miss our friends from Queens University of Charlotte, who will be on-hand to help you navigate through the art of science.

What’s the Carolina Thread Trail?
The Carolina Thread Trail is a regional network of greenways and trails that will reach 15 counties and 2.3 million citizens. It will link people, places, cities, … Keep reading.

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During the past several days, I have received several questions about silver to gray colored small snakes with dark brown blotches in backyards, garages or in the driveway. The snakes in question are juvenile black rat snakes. Juvenile black rat snakes have a distinctly different color pattern than the mostly black adult and are non venomous.

The black rat snake is commonly found in Mecklenburg County and has adapted well to the urban habitat. Like all snakes, the black rat snake is valuable to the environment because they prey on ‘pests’ and help maintain balance in the ecosystem.

Young black rat snakes when threatened will rise up, assume a coiled position and rattle its tail to scare off potential predators. This defense behavior and their unique markings often result in the … Keep reading.

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