Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Summer On A Fort Yargo State Park Trail: Section B To The Dam, August 12th (Part 1)

August 12th. When I visited Fort Yargo State Park in mid-February, there were few signs of Spring. The only wildflower plants that were obvious were the leaves of Cranefly Orchids (Tipularia discolor) that I found in many places.

The route… I’ve described it here, here, here, and here. This walk doesn’t have the variety of wildflowers as my other walk from the Group A Shelter to the Old Fort but it does have some gems. One of the Smallflower (Asimina parviflora) had developed fruit that, unfortunately, it had lost; the Pink Lady’s Slipper (Cypripedium acaule) Orchids had bloomed, and some Green Adder’s-mouth (Malaxis unifolia) Orchids had bloomed and two were setting seeds. The slime molds appeared to be finished for the season. For the moment, some wildflowers we still blooming but there was a lull between seasons.

Kudzu (Pueraria montana) vines – blooming in the woods the previous week - were blooming in the open near the beginning of the trail. 

I hadn’t seen dragonflies along this section of the trail this year. But, on this day, a…

female Eastern Pondhawk (Erythemis simplicicollis) was hunting  at the edge of the Kudzu.

In the woods, St. Andrew’s Cross (Hypericum hypericioides) plants were still blooming.

The Witch’s Butter (Tremella mesenterica) that rehydrated after recent rains; a Leopard Slug (Limax maximus) was happily munching on it. I’ve seen a lot of Leopard slugs on mushrooms and slime molds, as well as munching on lichens; no wonder the ‘vegetation’ looks ragged at times.

The Bicolor Lespedeza (Lespedeza bicolor) was still blooming; this is one of the longest blooming plants in these woods. 

On the previous walk, there weren’t any slime mold fruiting bodies at either of the two logs I visited on the way to the dam, but on this walk I found…

Dog Vomit/Scrambled Egg (Fuligo septica), and both…

immature (pink), and…

brown, mature Wolf’s Milk (Lycogala epidendrum) fruiting bodies. The upper photo has clusters of stalks left from Chocolate Tube (Stemonitis sp.) fruiting bodies.

The fruit on the Tulip Poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera) tree looked unchanged from the previous week; in fact, it’s looked like this for months now.

The Lanceleaf Coreopsis (Coreopsis lanceolata) had put on some new flowers. The flowers are smaller than that had been in spring.

A Red-spotted Purple (Limenitis arthemis) was basking in the sun at the end of the dam. 
(To be continued…) 

Related posts: 
- Summer On A Fort Yargo State Park Trail: Section B To The Dam, July 29th (Part 1)
- Spring Is In The Air: Fort Yargo State Park, Section B To The Dam, May 1st (Part 2)

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

When The Model Takes Over The Photoshoot

August 10th. I always take any opportunity to photograph Chinese Mantises. They are usually agitated when I first catch them but they seem to sense that I mean them no harm and settle down and start climbing over me – usually up my arm onto my shoulder or head. 

This female – she was heavy with eggs – had different ideas. She started to climb over my camera and the light I use for macro shots.

I managed to unscrew the light and took a couple of shots of her occupying the light. Positively sassy!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Summer At Fort Yargo State Park: Shelter A To The Old Fort, August 10th, 2015 (Part 2)

August 10th. (Continued from…). I started to walk again at Fort Yargo State Park in Winder, Georgia. One of my favorite walks is from the Group Shelter A to the Old Fort and back.This is a rewarding walk for viewing wildflowers and I’ve This is a rewarding walk for viewing wildflowers and I’ve been walking it every week and documenting the wildflowers that I see.

The route, which I described here, here, and here.
The early spring wildflowers have finished blooming; it’s time to watch the developing fruit. A few late spring/summer wildflowers are blooming now.

Just past the first bridge, the Pipsissewa (Chimaphila maculata) seed capsules looked healthy. These take a long time to ripen.

In the woods, I could see scuppernongs on the vines.

The seed capsules on the Wild Yam (Dioscorea villosa) vine were yellowing; maybe they were starting to ripen.

The fruit on the first Eastern Sweetshrub (Calycanthus floridus) was a darker brown than the previous week; it was starting to dry.

A Hairy Elephantfoot (Elephantopus tomentosus) was blooming beside the trail. The plants are sparser on this trail than on the trail from the Section B parking lot to the dam.

The seed capsules on the witchhazel bush (Hamamelis sp.) still showed no sign of ripening; the…

the flower buds developing for this season remained unchanged from the previous week.

The lomonts on the Naked Ticktrefoil (Desmodium nudiflorum) were still developing; they were ‘sticky’ now – waiting for some unsuspecting animal or person to carry them away to a new location.

The fruit on the second Eastern Sweetshrub was still yellow; it was taking its time to ripen.

When I got to the bridge to the Fishing Area, I found another – or maybe it was the same as I saw the previous week – young Yellow-bellied Slider (Trachemys scripta scripta) sunning itself on a log in the inlet.

The fruit on the Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis) were unchanged from the previous week.

As I walked past the point in the Fishing Area, clouds had started to build up.

Groundnut (Apios americana) vines were still blooming along the shore of the lake.

In the ‘Rock Garden’…

the seed capsules on the Wild Yam (Dioscorea villosa) were starting to turn yellow. Hopefully, they were starting to ripen.

A single Smooth Yellow False Foxglove (Aureolaria flava) was blooming.

The Indian Woodoats (Chasmanthium latifolium) were already starting to ripen.

I found another Solomon’s Seal (Polygonatum biflorum) with berries that were just starting to ripen. 

At the inlet below the Old Fort, the…

seed capsules on the Swamp Rosemallow (Hibiscus moscheutos) were opened to release their seeds. It was remarkable how many seeds were still in the capsules.

I’d been watching the Floating Primrose-willow (Ludwigia peplioides) that grows along the shore of this inlet in the lake. This patch used to be thick and bloom profusely; it’s much sparser now.

Finally, there was one flower and it was as beautiful as I remember. Sadly, it was the only flower this season. I’m glad I saw it.

Before I set off back along the trail, I noticed an interesting feature on the wooden retaining wall along the edge of the lake. One of the large timbers had split and had been repaired with an iron wedge hammered into its end. I wondered if they still used this method for repairing timbers like this.

Related posts: