Tag Archives: local wildlife

WILDWes Comes to the ‘Tube

“clean, green, smooth, well-kept, well-maintained…it’s attractive”

Before you whip out the greenface and then raze that Novembeard-turned-finals-beard, that quote isn’t excerpted from the updated College Prowler description for attractive Wesleyan students (sorry to disappoint).  No, but while you’re sitting at home wondering what you used to do before finals anyway, check out what WILDWes has been up to.

The video, by Erin O’Donnell ’12 and Ofer Levy ’12, tells us some cool facts about landscaping in the United States and some of the WILDWes organizers take us through the process.  There are some great shots of mulching and the Sustainable Landscape Design student forum from this semester.  President Michael Roth and others involved, such as from Physical Plant, express their support as well.  Just watch the video already.

You can also check out more about WILDWes on their website.

Black squirrel spotted

Gorging on leftover hummus.  Aww!  So cute.


P.S. That still doesn’t mean you should leave your non-bio-degradable crap out on Foss Hill.  It’s so much prettier when it’s cleaner.

P.P.S.  But is the black squirrel hung?

Raptors are cool.

Aaron Kelley ’10 writes in to tell us:

this hawk (red-tailed?) was seen eating a squirrel outside of the science center the other day… i thought it was pretty fucking cool and wanted to share with everybody else.

As he said, pretty fucking cool:

Well done Aaron, and well done Nature.

Middletown Sasquatch Attack

Apparently, shooting began in Middletown last night for Sasquatch Assault, which looks to be a riveting horror B-movie of sorts about the legendary Sasquatch, torn from its home in the wilderness by unscrupulous capitalists, and its subsequent rampage against a cruel society that just doesn’t understand.

Or something. Either way this looks awesome. According to Ed McKeon at the Middletown Eye:

Filming will begin at sundown [yesterday, Thursday night] on the site of the former power plant for the Remington Rand Typewriter Factory on Johnson Street. The film is directed by Andrew Gernhard, director of photography is Wesleyan grad Colin Theys ’07.

The public is invited to observe the filming as long as they are willing to adhere to crew instruction for staying outside of shots, and agree not to try to lure the Sasquatch from the filming area with Little Debbie snack cakes.

When Yellowjackets Attack

If you’ve tried to eat outside Usdan in the past few weeks, you probably had to deal with the nuisance of having your food almost immediately surrounded by bees. As it happens, these insects are actually yellowjackets, a type of predatory wasp which can be more aggressive than honeybees when provoked, but whose stings are not any more harmful than bee stings (unless you’re allergic).

They’ve been so active lately because yellowjacket hives expand in late summer and autumn, and our lunch food is a prime feeding source for members of the hive (which is probably somewhere on campus):

Although adults feed primarily on items rich in sugars and carbohydrates (fruits, flower nectar, Mountain Dew and tree sap), the larvae feed on proteins (insects, meats, fish, etc.). Adult workers chew and condition the meat fed to the larvae. Larvae in return secrete a sugar material relished by the adults… In late summer, foraging workers (nuisance scavengers) change their food preference from meats to ripe, decaying fruits or scavenge human garbage, sodas, picnics, etc., since larvae in the nest fail to meet requirements as a source of sugar.

There’s not much to be done about them, but here are some tips on dealing with yellowjackets. They should be gone once the weather gets colder, but until then your best bet is to avoid eating outside.

Students Build Audubon Bird-Watching Platform

Students in Professor Elijah Huge‘s Architecture II class last semester were commissioned by the Mattabeseck Audubon Society to design and build this split-level bird-viewing platform over a former cranberry bog in the Helen Carlson Wildlife Sanctuary in Portland, CT.

“We had been struggling with a way to provide an optimal experience at our sanctuary, especially since a colony of beavers had changed the site to such a degree that access was a serious challenge,” says Mattabeseck Audubon Society President Alison Guinness.

“This also became the challenge for Elijah Huge and his students, who have not only created a sustainable project but put in long hours under adverse conditions. When other students were enjoying the spring season, the architecture class was knee deep in mud and water, swatting mosquitoes, and dripping with sweat or rain. We were impressed by their architectural skills, professionalism and dedication to the project, and we are very grateful that our sanctuary is once again available for a unique environmental experience.”

It’s called “SplitFrame”, and there will be a reception for the project this weekend at the sanctuary if you are interested in the prospect of viewing such local birds as “Redwing Blackbirds, Scarlet Tanagers, Hooded Mergansers, and the occasional Great Blue Heron.”

Read more about the project at the Wesleyan Connection.

SplitFrame Reception
: Sunday, October 19
Time: 2 pm
Place: Helen Carlson Wildlife Sanctuary (directions here)

Opossum on the Loose

So while making a detour through Exley late last night, I was greeted by this specimen of a certain North American marsupial:
The opossum nonchalantly stepped through a door left ajar and made a beeline for ST Lab, where it gained the attention of all five people in there late on a Friday night while it crawled under tables and sniffed around curiously. Finding nothing, it walked back out and headed toward the elevators – by which point everyone with a cell phone camera was following closely and trying to corner it at risk of getting rabies or something.

A small crowd had assembled by now and was growing kind of attached to it, but eventually a P-Safe officer showed up and led it back outside to wander the rainy night: