Thursday, March 15, 2012

Spring is definately here

Last week is was spring peepers and now it is Spring Beauties. I found two blooming Spring Beauties along the Kingfisher trail at Yankauer Nature Preserve last Sunday.


Moving on down the trail I came across this bird kill.  I have no idea what ate it, only feathers remained.


 From the looks of this feather I think a Titmouse was the victim.


Yankaure has a big variety of mosses for such a small space. I found this Delicate Fern Moss,  nestled in with a Broom Moss, particularly beautiful.

Thuidium delicatulum surrounded by Dicaranum scoparium

And LOOK! Spiders are coming out! Some live through the winter but most don't so I was delighted to see these. There were lots of these tiny spiders building horizontal orb webs but they were still way too small for me to identify.


Just as I walked on past these webs a couple of Comma Butterflies landed near by. I've drawn an arrow to point out the "comma" on the underside. Like the Mourning Cloak from last week these Angle wings overwinter as adults and like to bask in the sun of early spring.


They slowly opened and closed their wings, appearing to be in no hurry, always a good reminder to slow down when walking in the forest.


Yankauer is bordered on one side by the Potomac River. In contrast to the Shenandoah River, this river is much deeper than the section of the near my home that I visit so often.


Another early sign of spring is the emergence of Blood Root. I love the crispness of this flower.


One of my friends helps with bee studies so I am usually aware of their presence and they just weren't out and about, so I was beginning to wonder what was pollinating these flowers. Now I'm not saying there weren't any bees around but I didn't see any if there were. When I came across this sap oozing out of a Virginia Creeper vine, I took notice to see what was feeding. I have arrows pointing to the holes (probably made by a woodpecker) where the sap was coming from.


Flies of several varieties were just lapping it up. It was like the grand opening after the long awaited renovation of every ones favorite bar. You can really see and hear them on the movie below.

1 comment:

Woodswalker said...

Oh! Oh! Oh! So many springtime delights! Even though we haven't had much of a winter, I'm still excited to see the budding and buzzing signs of spring. Thanks for the preview (we won't see these things in northern NY for several weeks).