Thursday, May 3, 2012

Catching up

During the spring sometimes I get out so often and take so many photos it is hard for me to keep up with myself but I wanted to go back a week and share a walk I took along the Shenandoah River. A lot of the spring ephemerals had already boomed but there were a few still out like this Woodland Phlox.

and Wild Stonecrop (Sedum ternatum) that is ever present on the limestone wall of the trail.

I almost walked right into a dangling jumping spider. I think it had jumped and missed its prey and was in the process of climbing back up its safety line. It has about 4 feet to go so I put my net out and let it crawl on so I could take a closer look. I’m not sure of the species name. I then transported it to a nearby spicebush.

Often I pass people on the trail, especially in the early evening, like that day. It is a good place to come and wind down after work. A gentleman stopped and showed me the box turtle he picked up and said he was going to take it to a stream and let it go. Well, my alarm bells went off since I know Box Turtles are very territorial and they don’t live in the water. I kept quiet and admired this beautiful turtle that some refer to as the gems of the woods. After much gushing over the reptile on my part, he asked if I wanted the turtle and of course I quickly said, “Yes, indeed.” I held the box turtle admiring it until the man got bored and moved on and then was able to set it down and take this photo. I moved it to the side of the trail and walked on with a big smile on my face, knowing I had rescued this gem from good intentions.

Next I took a detour up to the meadow and found a few butterflies.

Zebra Swallowtail (Eurytides Marcellus)

Eastern Comma (Polygonia comma)

Out of the corner of my eye I spotted this fine specimen of an American Toad (Bufo americanus). I don’t think it was happy with me chasing it through the grass to get a good snap shot but who can resist a toad?

The last flower of the day was a violet. One of the characteristics of Canadian Violets (Viola Canadensis) is the purple tint on the back of the upper two petals. It is very noticeable on the spent rolled up flower on the right. The other thing that sets this flower apart from other white violets is the yellow base of the petals. It is rather pretty even though there are signs that something has been chewing on the underside of the petals on the right. It was a good reminder that I was getting a little hungry myself and it was time to go home and fix dinner.

1 comment:

Woodswalker said...

Everywhere you go, you find something wonderful! Thanks for posting about it.