The Raleigh Naturalist

June 29, 2008

Hot Spring Critter Sightings!

Filed under: Central Raleigh, Greenways & Parks, Nature Lore — Tags: , , , , , — raleighnaturalist @ 11:12 pm

This post was originally published in May 2008

This owl swooped down and landed on a branch directly above Crabtree Creek as I walked on the high greenway that traverses a steep hill off Capital Boulevard.  This is just east of the sad section that has recently had its woody buffer appropriated by bulldozers.

 It sat there for the 20 minutes or so I watched it from different angles.  I believe it’s a Barn Owl.  This was about half hour before dusk.  The owl was getting ready for work.

The owl is somewhere in the scene below.  Crabtree takes a sharp bend as it approaches Capital Boulevard near the beltline.  It is turned by a large rock outcrop that underlies the hill on which a large former car dealership resides, framed by the south ramp off the beltline.  The slope from the back of the car dealership down to the creek is some really interesting terrain, and the troublesome but dramatic walkway that clings to the hillside is one of my favorite stretches in the whole system. One reason being it’s a great place to spot turtles, as you will see below. (snapper story below that)

Below is the rock that turns Crabtree.  It looks dark and foliated, but it’s drenched in algae, so Iwon’t make a specific guess.



Snapper Lays Eggs

The family of one of my students had a female snapping turtle crawl up into a sandy area near their backyard creek and lay some eggs.  She finished and went on  back to the creek, and now they get to watch for babies.  Good luck to Carson and her family!



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