I had a wonderful visit the other day to a natural history museum, housed within the Eastern Mennonite University, better known as EMU. One of the ladies I work with at the thrift store is the director of this little jewel, and I had a chance to visit while some local elementary school kids were having their field trip.
Let me preface this by saying, my college age son, with his wry and dry sense of humor, teased me- likening me to Tina Fey of Saturday Night Live fame, and her skit on visiting the Sparrow Museum! He pulled up a picture, and darn, if she didn’t look just like me- glasses on, dreamy eyed look, focusing the camera on display case after display case!
The Smithsonian has nothing on this museum, except size, of course! The displays reflecting local wildlife were the ones that caught my interest.
Since moving to the country, I am having a great time learning about the diversity of what is right outside my door.
In suburbia, you find the gray squirrel – out here there are at least 5 varieties of squirrels- from gray, to fox, red, flying, and more!
The prolific starling was featured, as were many other birds with their respective eggs and widely varying nest styles. I plan on donating some of my finds to the museum- the hands on area for the kids was just great!
The hawk who stands guard on my paddock fence post is featured here, along with many other locally grown types.
The several varieties of woodpeckers abound in these woods- I hear them every day. My goal is to one day actually get a photo of them in the wild – but I need a better camera and tripod, a telephoto lens and patience! Well, I have the tripod, and am sometimes short on patience. Almost 2 out of 4 – half way to my goal!
The fully erect black bear was scarily almost my height. I would love to see one, but at the same time I’m glad they don’t venture down to my area too often!
The skunks come in many different patterns. All too often, I do see them in person, but as casualties on the road, their familiar pungent aroma filling the car, before and long after I’ve passed them.
And then there are the mice. I guess “field mouse” is just a generic term out here! The mouse colony in my barn – is made up of the eastern harvest mouse! Who knew! There is an actual house mouse, and at least 3 other local varieties.
You can click on the pictures of my trip- to get a better view. I am still working on how to get pix up on this blog!
If you are ever in Harrisonburg, doing the tourist thing, I would definitely recommend a Sunday afternoon trip to the museum at EMU- even without kids in tow!