Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Oyster Mushrooms are back! These edibles will likely only remain for a week or so before they dissapear until late fall/early winter.
Most of the wildflowers in the woods are still going strong and those on the glades are becoming more numerous and colorful everyday! The reptilian world is once again becoming active... found a black rat, two ringnecks, a *****wormsnake***** and a handful of five-lined skinks. One of the skinks was missing the better part of his tail and two others were getting their orange.
I saw blooming:
False rue anenome
some kind of cinquefoil?
Black Mustard, garlic mustard***bad and evil!***
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Squaw Weed covers large patches throughout the glades.
One of the first things I notice- at the base of the hill (the entrance of the trail)- is some kind of lavender-colored phlox. I knelt down to photograph the flower when I realized just how many there were. Amongst them was an odd one that I recognized, but could not identify- I examined one of the strange green plants- there were several around. At the bent top of one I discovered a yellow, droopy flower. It was bellwort!
I peaked over the bluff onto the glade. It is incredible green compared to two days ago, when the redbud was only budding and the service berry were in full bloom. I immediately identified some yellow-eyed grass and pucoons. There are only a few small redbud on the glade-they are on the rocky bluff and are each only a few feet tall. There are others that light-up the woods above the glade,- they are huge and impressive in full bloom.
Some cool little peewee-lookin birds flew over. There were three and they seemed to stick together. On the second glade, there is verbena blooming. I found four large plants and a skimpy one. I wondered below the glades, too. There are acres of mayapples- which were only just popping up the day before yesterday. The poison ivy and virginia creeper are greening up.
This colourful tiger beetle was one of a handful that zipped about the bald spots on the glade... It is of a species that Ive never seen before (big deal!)he only allowed me to get within about four feet of 'em to take the photo before he 'poofed' into invisibilityGarlic Mustard is flowering on the hills above and below the glades.
Sunday, April 20, 2008
I submitted the hill and found a pile of rocks. I approached the pile in hopes of finding a snake or skink to shoot, but found nothing that moved. Instead I found a mass of thick, strong web. I knew that the web belonged to a widow and looked around for her hammock.
The web of a black widow spider is made of the thickest, strongest individual strands I know to exist in the area. The strands are strung tight and feel unusually sticky when they are touched. The web is massive and without any noticable pattern or organization. They can be large- up to several feet in diameter, but tend to be fairly dense. In every web-usually on the edge- there is a small, much more dense part that leads to a small, open cocoon for the spider. The spider hides in the cocoon, which is set in or under a rock or pile of leaves that give her shade, and darts out when she senses any of the right vibrations from her web.
I left the web alone and found her little home under a rock. She was cradled by the hammock-like structure and shot out when I moved the rock above her. Once she was on the rock, I lifted her with a stick and set her away from the web to take some photos.. I found an even younger one, too!
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
I immediately found a handful of ringnecks and two large skinks with orange faces- only got a glimpse of them, and I dont know what kind they'd be.
Branched coral, a small chrinoid stem and some kind of Brachiopod.
Exposed are many differesnt layers of limestones, shale and flint. The majority of fossils are in the eroded porion on top of the first level. Fossils are usually found clean and sitting on top of the grey dirt. More common ones include chrinoid segments, bryozoa, horn corals and mullusks.
Today I ventured further that I have ever before and discovered a huge chrinoid!Its about 2in long and the diameter of a penny!
(left) a small fossil found in shale- only a few mm in diameter.
The shale here is pretty interesting. It is often easy to peel away from other layers and will leave pathes of brown and blue crystals. If your luck enough, enen a smaller fossil will show its face! Ive heard many rumors that trilobites have been found in Swope's shale. Most of the rumors have been about a certain deopsite a hill of two south of BlueRiver glades that I have yet to check out.
(right) a small unknown fossil and pyrite on fragment of shale.
(below)When a shell is fossilized holding seawater, the minerals inside will form crystals and as long as the shell is airtight the crystals will survive until they are exposed.
I collected a small handful of rocks an a large one for the garden- left that small pyrite shale thing, though I knew when I reviewed the photos that I shoulda nabbed it! ...put the fossils in the truck and ventured back to those puddles below the rocks. The screams of a few species of frogs and toads make it sound like there is an army on the other side of the puddle in the cattails. Before I ever got to the origin of the noise, I started find pairs of American toads mating. I bothered one blob of toad for a few minutes and returned to the frog hunt.
I must have looked goofy crawling through the mud off of 87th!
I saw a single small, dark frog- couldnt catch it. I identified the calls from the toads and chorus frogs, but didnt recognise two others.