Saturday, February 7, 2015

Winter walk along the Shenandoah River

This afternoon I decided to take a walk along the Shenandoah River since it was so nice out.  Right away I found a branch with several gouty oak galls caused by Callirhytis guercus punctata, at least I think that was what it was.

Nearby was Exidia nigricans, Black Jelly Fungus which is similar to Whitche's butter only black.


I expected to find Ebony Spleenwort, Aspleinium platyneuron, but most of them were very dried out. They remind me of Christmas Fern mimi-me’s.



I didn't expect to see a winter stonefly. In fact I don’ think I have ever paid much attention to them before but when it is the only think moving besides leaves I tend to notice. This one was Strophopteryx fasciata, and Early Brown Stonefly. My field guide said they are found near rivers and streams in late winter on warm days through early spring. Well that described exactly where I was.



I also found an unknown cocoon that was very small.


I
 touched its soft outer surface and to my surprise a door opened up. I didn't see anything inside so I rubbed it shut. I think those little white things were on the outside and just showed up against the dark background. It is all a mystery to me.

I was taking a photo of a cicada exuviae when I saw a Purple Cliffbrake lying on the ground. The scientific name is Pellaea atropurpurec. I placed it back on the cliff and held it in place with some small stones. My hope is that the spores with distribute themselves in the area and I will see new ones this spring.  I don’t recall ever seeing it here before.


I walked along some more and the turned back.  I loved the way the ice seems to be coming out of the tree.


It had been way too long since I had been down this river path.




Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Glacier National Park - The pass

Glacier National Park was cold and rainy one day and bring and sunny the next. The day I took the red bus up the Going to the Sun Road it was rainy and dreary but still beautiful.






At the top, there was still snow all around.




Monday, April 14, 2014

Glacier National Park - Wildflower Walk

Here are some of my photos from Glacier National Park.  I have decided to just share the photos from the remainder of my trip with little narration. Enjoy the show.

Old Ranger Cabin
















Bear scat on the trail. Here is where I began to sing "Hey Bear, Hey Bear, coming through."



Fantastic Pie served here.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Lewis and Clark

23 June 2013

The park ranger from the Buffalo Jump suggested that I visit the Missouri Headwaters State Park since I was passing by anyway. Meriwether Lewis described in his journal how they determined this to be the source of the Missouri River. They named the three tributaries the Jefferson, the Madeison, and the Gallatin, after the organizers of the expedition: President Jefferson, Secretary of State James Madison and Secretary of the Treasury, Albert Gallatin. July 28, 1805


Missouri is the official name given by the U. S. Geological Survey. It dates back to French explorer Jacques Marquette's journal and 1876 map of the Mississippi River and its tributaries. His Algonquian-speaking guides called the people living at the mouth of the Missouri River "8emessourit" meaning "people with canoes (made of logs)." Over time, the name was simplified to "Missouri" and became the river's name.


The object of you mission is to explore the Missouri river, & such principal steam of it, as, by it's course & communication with the waters of the Pacific Ocean... may offer the most direct & practical water communication across this Continent..." 
from Thomas Jefferson's instructions to Meriwether Lewis, July 4. 1803.



Lewis and Clark camped here on July 25, 1805 along with others in the group and Lewis' dog Seaman who traveled with him from Pennsylvania.


I skipped a few rocks across the river, took some note, ate and then moved onto Crystal Park. It was higher up in the mountain and the views were great.  I really fell in love with Montana.




At Crystal Park I joined other who were looking for Quartz crystals in the soil. I dug around and found a few but neglected to take any photos. The mosquitoes were fierce so I didn't stay long. On a good day and with some time it could be a fun place to dig holes and find more crystals.


I drove back down the mountain a little and found a campsite in the National Forest. I love the national forest campgrounds mostly because they were in expensive and also because they were never crowded and in beautiful locations. I just wish there were more of them in the east.