Monday, December 31, 2012

2012: The Best Of... (Part II: June - December)

December 31st, 2012. Continued from… I’ve never done a year-end review of the year’s posts before but we’ve had some interesting finds and it’s fun to look back on them. So here goes… 

Swamp. There are two swamps on Enoch John Road in Wilkes County, Georgia. We visit them every time we go to Wilkes County. This photograph of the easternmost swamp was taken late afternoon. What you can't see is a beaver lodge to the right behind the trees. More of this in 2013.

Gray Petaltail (Tachopteryx thoreyi). I still remember this Gray Petaltail lumbering towards me like an overloaded cargo plane. I had just one shot, and this is it.

White Cabbage Moth (Pieris rapae). There are puported to be a ‘dime a dozen’ but we don’t see many. This one posed, and who could resist it. Even the 'ordinary' is beautiful.


Sunset at Margery Lake. Whenever we visit the Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center in the Clybel Wildlife Management Area, we try and get to the dam at Margery Lake at sunset just in case…


Halloween Pennants (Celithemis eponina) never disappoint. We stop at a couple of ponds in the Piedmont NWR to see if the Halloween Pennants are putting on a performance. If they’re there they can be depended on to entertain us.
Pippsissewa (Chimaphila umbellata). This is the first time I’ve seen this flower outside Fort Yargo State Park where I had photographed a series. It was surprising how easy it was to spot them from quite a distance as we drove along the Saxon-Norman-Board road in Oglethorpe and Wilkes counties.

Tiny damselflies. We found two color forms of the Fragile Forktail (Ischnura posita) hunting for lunch in the Scull Shoals Experimental Forest. They were about an inch long. We were lucky to spot them.

Rosepink (Sabatia angularis). We saw these blooming in Hancock, Greene, and Banks counties. The unfolding of the style and stigma is fascinating.


This Bee Assassin bug (Apiomerus crassipes) was just one of several insects feeding on a Hoary Mountainmint (Pycnanthemum incanum) bush late one afternoon in Banks County, Georgia.


Hummingbird Clearwing Moth (Hermaris thysbe). We had seen these in Oconee and Wilkes counties but they were always on the move. Some folks have resorted to netting them and cooling them in a refrigerator in order to be able to photograph them as they warm up again. We were lucky to be in the right place at the right time when one alit on a bush briefly. After a few seconds, it was on its way again.


Black and Gold Argiope (Argiope aurantica). These spiders were common when the weather was wetter but we haven’t seen many in the last couple of years. It was a treat to find this one in Greene County, Georgia.

EasternTiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus). A common butterfly in this area but its unusual to have one pose so prettily.


Spotted Beebalm (Monarda punctata). We found these in Greene County and found more later in Hancock County.


Timber Rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus). So far I’ve never met a Timber rattler that I didn’t like. They’ve been so well-behaved. So far.

Showy Rattlebox (Crotolaria spectabilis). Found in Hancock County south of GA-16 at the edge of  a pine forest. 


Pinesap (Monotropa hypopithys). We found these late in the season. Earlier in the season, plants would be yellow-green without any red. They don’t produce chlorophyll and are parasitic on mycorhizal fungi.


Diana Fritillary (Speyeria diana). It was late in the season and we saw only females. These are large butterflies – much larger than the Variagated and Gulf Fritillaries we see at home. Hopefully we’ll see the male next year.

Great Spangled Fritillary (Speyeria cybele). Another very large fritillary that has silver, reflective patches on the underside of the wings.

Great Swallowtail (Papilio cresphontes). A teaser. I’ve seen these fly by the house but they don’t settle. This one, in Hancock County, was feeding on flowers on a high embankment – too high to climb. Next year, maybe…


Indianpipe (Monotropa uniflora). Another parasitic species that gets energy from mycorhizal fungi. Early in the season, they plants are white; late-seaon plants are tinged pink.


Honey mushrooms (Armillaria mellea). We found a couple of large stands of these mushrooms on Plum Orchard Road in Rabun County, Georgia.

Curtiss’s Milkwort (Polygala curtissii). We’ve seen these in Athens-Clarke, Banks, and Rabun counties. These, in Rabun County, have been the best that we’ve seen.

Striped Gentian (Gentiana villosa). This is my favorite gentian. We’ve found only two plants; hopefully we’ll find more in the future.

All in all a very good year. Looking forward to another great year in 2013.
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Related post:; 
- 2012: The Best Of (January – November)


Crystal said...

Thank you for your lovely blog. I am so glad I found it, and have enjoyed it ever since I did. Your photography is stunningly beautiful, and your identification of natural wonders helps me in learning more names of different creatures (and plants-but I think of plants as creatures,too!).

JSK said...

Thank you.
I started the blog as I was learning about the wildflowers and creatures in our area and wanted to share what I had learned.
I'm so glad that you enjoy it.