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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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While enjoying a walk on the Paw Paw Nature Trail my eye was drawn to an elaborate web of silk with a distinct zigzag in the middle. Before me was an impressive Black and Yellow Argiope (Argiope aurantia), a type of orb weaver. The spider’s cephalothorax (small front body part) had distinct silver hairs and its abdomen (large back section) was oval to egg shaped with distinctive black and yellow markings. The spider’s body was approximately .5 inches in length, with long legs that have black and red bands. Upon further observation, I noticed that each leg of the spider had three claws on the ends, which is characteristic of the family.

As you enjoy time outdoors, whether it is taking a walk, sitting on the porch or strolling on the Paw Paw Nature Trail, take a moment and see if you ca… Keep reading.

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