Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Noticed Along the Way

While Kali and I were walking throughout "my" natural area preserve last Sunday photo-documenting the damage to the forest caused by Hurricane Sandy (see "In the Wake of Hurricane Sandy" post), I noticed a few other interesting and/or photogenic mid-autumn subjects.

For example, the trails were "littered" with woollybear caterpillars (Isia isabella).  I don't think I've ever noticed them in such densities before.  They're all searching for a protected spot in which to overwinter safely as pupae so as to emerge in the spring as rather drab and nondescript tiger moths.

Watch-hazel in bloom
On the edge of a woodland with a relatively warm southern exposure, we came across a large, golden witch-hazel shrub (Hamamelis virginiana) in bloom.  Witch-hazels are the latest-blooming flowering plant in the Mid-Atlantic.

As I was capturing the image of woody debris produced when my staff and I cut up a 125-year-old oak tree brought down by the hurricane, I found this polypore bracket fungus on a nearby well-seasoned log that my staff had cut years ago.

And, finally, in a herbaceous old-field, I came across this purple and green plant.  I have no idea as to its identity - it's probably a non-native "weed" - but its striking coloration attracted my attention


The forecast calls for a nor'easter storm tonight and tomorrow morning, with high winds and the possibility of snow; it's been snowing lightly since mid-morning today (Wednesday) and we may get two to four inches.  I certainly hope we don't get any accumulation or high winds; we don't need the electric power to be interrupted again so soon after the outage associated with Hurricane Sandy.  If we get get any significant snow accumulation, it will be only the fourth time since weather records have been kept (dating from the 1880s) that there will be measurable snow in our area during the first week of November.  What's next--a plague of locusts?


packrat said...

Love the photo of the caterpillar, Scott. Hope the new storm passes without incident. By the way, I never say things like "What's next--a plague of locusts?"


Gail said...

HI SCOTT - great pictures and narrative of nature hanging on for life. The snow storm "Athena" was very powerful here - we got 8" plus here and the storm raged on for hours. How did you fare?
Love Gail