Saturday, July 30, 2016
Friday, July 29, 2016
Thursday, July 28, 2016
Taken yesterday under slightly better conditions than the day before. I think the humidity level was down in the 70 percentile range as compared to yesterday's 82%. Early morning temps, however, were still in the 80s and heading again to afternoon highs in the mid-90s. Whew! But, hey! It's D.C. in July. It comes with the territory. Fortunately, we've also got the river to play in.
Wednesday, July 27, 2016
I don't know whether you can tell or not, but this photo was taken through a lens that was about to be completely clouded over with condensation as a result of yesterday's unusually high dew point. I captured the image at 5:53 a.m. when the outside temperature was already 85F (29C) and the humidity was 82%. Unfortunately, my camera had spent the night where it was dry and relatively cool, so when I pulled it out of its bag to snap this pic, the result was--well, let's just say--predictable.
Still, I was able to finally photograph these young people training. I've seen them out on the Potomac River most mornings now.
Tuesday, July 26, 2016
"Newborn spotted fawns remain hidden and solitary for about three weeks. The doe visits her young only two to three times per day in order to nurse and groom the offspring. When the fawn is strong enough to run with the doe, it will follow its mother and begin to sample foods eaten by the doe. Fawns can live independently of their mother at about two months old." ~ Maryland Department of Natural Resources
Monday, July 25, 2016
Sunday, July 24, 2016
Saturday, July 23, 2016
Friday, July 22, 2016
Thursday, July 21, 2016
Wednesday, July 20, 2016
Tuesday, July 19, 2016
This still is a place of "honking geese".
"'Potomac' is a European spelling of Patowmeck, the Algonquian name of a Native American village, perhaps meaning 'something brought'. Native Americans had different names for different parts of the river, calling the river above Great Falls Cohongarooton, meaning 'honking geese' and 'Patawomke' below the fall, meaning "river of swans". The spelling of the name has taken many forms over the years from 'Patawomeke' (as on Captain John Smith's map) to 'Patawomeck', 'Patowmack, and numerous other spellings in the 18th century and now 'Potomac'. The river's name was officially decided upon as Potomac by the Board on Geographic Names in 1931." ~ Wikipedia
Monday, July 18, 2016
Only pale by the evergreen,
hardly distinguished by leaf or color,
it used to slide a little pale from other trees
and – no great effect at our house –
it sustained what really belonged,
but would, if severely doubted,
Sunday, July 17, 2016
Found this interesting piece of information:
"White bergamot--a plant species native to America--received its Latin botanical name in the 1500s. The entire genus--Monarda--was named after the Nicolas Bautista Monardes of Spain, a botanist and a physician. Interestingly, Monardes studied the white bergamot only on Spanish soil through its import to Spain from the United States." ~ Dave's Garden
Saturday, July 16, 2016
Friday, July 15, 2016
Thursday, July 14, 2016
I was shocked to discover that what I've been calling Granddaddy Longlegs isn't. Not really. :-)
"English speakers colloquially refer to species of Opiliones as 'daddy longlegs' or 'granddaddy longlegs', but this name is also used for two other unrelated groups of arthropods: the crane flies of the family Tipulidae, and the cellar spiders of Pholcidae, most likely because of their similar appearance. They are also referred to as 'shepherd spiders' in reference to how their unusually long legs reminded observers of the ways that some European shepherds used stilts to better observe their wandering flocks from a distance." ~ Wikipedia
Wednesday, July 13, 2016
Tuesday, July 12, 2016
Monday, July 11, 2016
Sunday, July 10, 2016
Saturday, July 9, 2016
Friday, July 8, 2016
Thursday, July 7, 2016
Wednesday, July 6, 2016
Totally out of focus, of course, but there's a story behind this pic that still makes it worth sharing. The story is that I was in the process of photographing the turtle below when I noticed something stir in the water to my right and just outside the picture frame. When I turned to look, I had only enough time to see the patterns formed by the snake's scales and to snap this pic.
Uh, oh! (Okay, so maybe another expletive came to mind.) In any case, I first thought it might have been a Copperhead. There are some around. But later, after I had time to think about where I spotted it, a Northern Watersnake seemed more likely.
Ah, but who was willing to take a chance, right?
Tuesday, July 5, 2016
Monday, July 4, 2016
According to Maryland's Department of Natural Resources there are four species of skinks endemic to the state, two of which are very closely related--too closely related for me to distinguish between them. They are the broad-headed skink and the five-lined skink. The one I showed you yesterday is almost certainly a common five-lined skink. The one above, though, has got me stumped. Here's how the DNR says you can tell them apart:
"Experienced herpers will differentiate between these species by counting the number of labial scales on the upper lip between the nostril and the corner of the eye of the animals. Broad-headed skinks have five scales; five-lined skinks have four. This should only be attempted by experienced handlers, as these animals have powerful jaws that can deliver a painful bite."
But, now, if you'll excuse me, there's no way I'm going to sit here and count the scales between this guy's eye and his nose--powerful jaws or not. So I'll leave it for the "experienced handlers" to decide. :-)
Sunday, July 3, 2016
I forget who it was now who wanted me to photograph one of the Paw Paw trees growing along the edge of the C&O Canal's towpath. It's most easily identified by its fruit. As you can see here, these are still in their very early stages of development. They'll grow much larger, of course, about the size pears. My neighbor who grows them in his garden tells me they'll ripen by September and that they taste a little like a mango.
Saturday, July 2, 2016
I can almost hear you saying now, "Oh, no! Not another bloody skink!"
But. . . 'fraid so. I think this has been an especially good year for skinks. I've been seeing them frequently sunning themselves on stumps and fallen trees all along the C&O Canal.
Friday, July 1, 2016
"Gray squirrels have a very high metabolism, maintaining a body temperature of about 101 degrees F [38.33 degrees C]. To do this, they need to eat about their own weight in food every week. During the late summer and fall, they consume about a third more than required for sustenance to fatten up for the winter. They preferentially feed on the nuts, flowers and buds of oak, hickory, pecan, walnut and beech trees. However, squirrels move extensively around their home ranges according to the availability of food, generally consuming only one type of food at a time. Their diet extends to a wide variety of trees and flowers, including the seeds and catkins of gymnosperms such as cedar, hemlock and pine. They are omnivorous and they will eat insects, bones, bird eggs, fledglings, frogs, and fungi." ~ www.sierrapotomac.org