Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Whites Run

One of the days during the WV Wildflower Pilgrimage at Blackwater Falls I took a trip with one of the leaders as he scouted out the area and planned his route. The day was a little drizzly but that certainly didn’t stop us.

Many of the normal wild flowers had bloomed early but there were a few left such as this Painted Trillium (Trillium undulatum). It really only grown in cool, moist, humus-rich acid soils so it is very common in this part of WV unlike the dryer habitat where I live in the eastern panhandle. The seeds are dispersed by ants when they take them into their tunnel to feed on the nutritious structure called elaisomes that is attached to the surface. Notice how the flower has three petals, three sepals and is generally divided into threes.

Our route took us up Whites Run where the water was rushing down the because of the rain. The photo below was taken at the lower part of the stream and you can see how the water had accumulated more than in the previous photo that was taken more at the top of the mountain.

At the very top we were greeted with this beautiful pasture with the mountains in the background. There aren’t any in this photo but a lot of trucks were passing us on the road taking sheep and cattle up to these high pastures for the summer.

Here is a blow up of the barn below. Notice the speed limit sign.

We made several stops and at one a Catocala ilia caterpillar was found. It feeds on oaks. The adult is an underwing moth.

One of the defining characteristics of this caterpillar is its pink under side.

I thought this Maidenhair Fern was especially pretty. Like the Painted Trillium this plant prefers moist humus rich soils.

Nearby was a snail but I have no idea what species.

This was a fun find in the one of the pull off areas. These are aften refered to as "benchmarks". These marks were often placed as part of triangulation surveys, measurement efforts that moved systematically across states or regions, establishing the angles and distances between various points. Such surveys laid the basis for map-making in the United States and across the world. This one has a triangle in the middle indicating that is a triangulation station marker or the main mark. I cannot honestly say I undersand how it all works but it does help in making the US.

Mostly I take close up photos but I really enjoyed these high back country scenes.

1 comment:

Woodswalker said...

The misty weather only added to the beauty of these scenes. Lovely! That caterpillar's pink tummy -- who knew?