Wednesday, August 17, 2016

And There She Was…

August 12th.  i turned into our drive and…

there she was, with her fawn.

Luckily this section of drive is down hill, so I turned off the engine and coasted down the drive, stopping periodically to take photos. This was the last one - zoomed, not that close up - before she decided that enough was enough, and took her fawn and left.

This has been a good year for White-tailed Deer in our area. This doe had a single fawn. Another doe that we see frequently had twins this year.


Saturday, August 13, 2016

Something You Don’t See Very Often…

August 4th. I took a slight short detour from my usual route to look at an unusual mushroom by the trail. After satisfying my curiosity, I walk a little further along the trail to meet the main trail I wanted. 

I was surprised to see the trail cordoned off with caution tape. I’d never seen a trail blocked in this area before. In fact, I’d never seen a trail in this park every blocked from travel. I had to walk over and find out what was going on.

And here it was. ‘KEEP OUT – ACTIVE HORNET’S NEST’ 

That explained something else. I parked at the lot uphill from this section of trail. While I was gathering my gear, a couple of Southern Yellowjackets (Vespula squamosa) flew in through the open door of the car. They seemed more active than I’m used to seeing. I just stood back and they flew off within a few minutes.

Postscript. The trail was still blocked on August 11th and I encountered a couple more yellow jackets in the car. Guess the trail will be closed now until winter at the earliest. The major nest building will occur this month, and will reach its maximum size in October to December. Hopefully this will be an annual nest and the trail will be opened again in winter or spring.

Wikipedia: Vespula squamosa