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Off the Beaten Path

Off the Beaten Path Virginia Living Museum Educator, Lisa Wright passionately gathers images for this photographic journal exploring the smaller (and often overlooked) natural wonders encountered "off the beaten path".

Wild Wings 1

November 27, 2013. We get a lot of wild birds on the Museum property and sometimes they are just as much fun to watch as the animals we have on exhibit.  For example, while walking the Outdoor Trail, I’ll happen upon a wild great blue…

A Fine Fall Day 2013

November 13, 2013. Fall is probably my favorite season.  I love when the temperature drops a bit, but it’s still comfortable, like on the sunny mid-October day when I shot these photos.  Some of our animals, like our river otter, use it as an excuse…

Orange and Black 2013

October 30, 2013. In the spirit of Halloween, here’s a bit of “orange and black”….two kinds of insects that hang out on milkweed leaves.  You might already be familiar with milkweed bugs.  Their black and orange colors serve as warning colors to other animals–letting them…

Whose Feet? 3

October 16, 2013. It’s been a while since I posted a “guess who” blog, so get your thinking caps on and try to figure out whose feet these are.  First something that lives in water: Can you guess who has these strong talons? Who wears…

What’s On That Hibiscus Seed Pod?

October 2, 2013. A very beautiful plant that flowers in July and August around here is the mallow flower, in the hibiscus family.  These plants can tolerate swampy conditions–this picture is of a plant on the edge of the pond behind our Museum: On the…

Summer Blooms 1

September 18, 2013. Fall is upon us, and summer blooms are fading, but…now it’s time to plan for next summer!  Fall is a great time to plant perennials in your garden, and I hope you’ll consider some native plants.  Why?  They’re usually pretty hardy, and…

Hickory Horned Devil

September 4, 2013. If you’ve ever seen one of these amazing caterpillars, you will never forget it.  At a whopping 12.5-14 cm (about 5-6 inches) long, with its weird looking black-tipped reddish “horns” and thorny-looking black spikes on its plump greenish body, it’s definitely a…

Hummingbird Moth 2

August 21, 2013. I couldn’t resist–it’s been such a treat to see so many of these moths on the Museum grounds this summer, I just had to share them with you!  These beautiful daytime-flying moths zip about like miniature “bumblebee colored” hummingbirds.  Their wingbeats even…

Busy Beavers 1

August 7, 2013. It’s sort of a cliche, but, at times a beaver really can be….”busy as beaver!”  In the wild, beavers are “crepuscular” meaning they are mainly active at dawn and dusk–but here at the Museum, our beavers (two males) are often active during…

Titan Arum: “Corpse Plant”

July 25, 2013. Okay–this is really off the beaten path.  Normally I don’t post anything that you can’t see here at our Museum, but I’m willing to make an exception in this case.  Recently, while on vacation in Washington D.C. I happened upon a very…