Monday, November 30, 2009

Greenbrier State Park, Maryland

With the temperature up to 57 degrees Fahrenheit the day was a treat after Thanksgiving. I went for a walk at the Greenbrier State Park in Maryland with a fellow naturalist.

We took a leisurely walk around the beautiful lake where we saw a Great Blue Heron fishing along the bank.

No sooner had I asked about dragonflies when three of the appeared. Two were in tandem with the male clasping onto the female behind her neck as she laid eggs in the water. She does this by tapping the tip of her abdomen to the water’s surface to release the eggs. Another male was nearby and challenged the mated male to get him to drop his grip. They were Yellow-legged Meadowhawks (Sympetrum vicinum). You can see the single male in a typical horizontal perch. They are usually the last dragonfly (Odonata) species that we see flying in the Mid-Atlantic region. They are members of the Libellulidae or Skimmer Family and love to hang out at lakes like this one.

We also spotted a Cabbage White (Pieris rapae) and either a Clouded or an Orange Sulphur Butterfly but they were both two flighty for me to snap a good photo. We did see one dandelion but other than that I have no idea what they were feeding on.

Next we found two interesting seed pods. One was a Seedbox (Ludwigia alternifolia). The Seedbox had a hole in the end for the tiny seeds could be dispersed. It is in the Primrose family and has yellow flowers which bloom from June to August. This was the first winter weed plant that I took notice of and it has been my favorite ever sense.

The other one I believe is a Wild Indigo (Baptisia australis).

Moving on to the small stream we found early Skunk Cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus) just peaking its head above the water. I don’t remember seeing them before March but there they were. I love the color in these unusual plants.

I stopped for a moment to take a photo of this Ceramic Fungus (Xylobolus frustulatus).

We saw some more interesting things but I will tell you about them tomorrow.

Visit others adventures at My World Tuesday.


Sistertex said...

I love to hike on trails through the woods. Lovely photos!

Rinkly Rimes said...

That square seedbox hardly looked real! What a fascinating thing!

Riet said...

What a beautiful post and pictures.
Thank you for explaning

Gaelyn said...

What a beautiful place for a warm fall walk. Gorgeous red dragonfly. Love the interesting seedbox which I've never seen before. Surprised to see the skunk cabbage coming up already. Maybe it was fooled by the warm weather.

Steve Borichevsky said...

I've have become quite interested in the dragons this past year. The last of our Autumn Meadowhawks are gone. After getting used to seeing their antics, is seems lonely now that they are gone.