Wisteria was in full fragrant bloom at the Virginia Tech Horticulture Gardens on April 24, 2008
Virginia Creeper (which actually appears on the State Seal and State Flag of Virginia) in my backyard.
Three wild turkeys crossed the Appalachian Trail near Rocky Gap
Two black vultures and a turkey buzzard were hanging out on a fence on Tom's Creek Road near the Deerfield Bike Path
Two black vultures and a turkey buzzard were hanging out on a fence on Tom's Creek Road near the Deerfield Bike Path.
At the lower elevations of the Appalachian Trail, we saw a single pink Azalea bloom on April 27, 2008
On May 10, 2008, the Appalachian Trail's Rocky Gap had pink azaleas in full bloom.
Saw a number of deer hanging out in the field to the left of Sunshine Farm Lane around dusk
Saw a doe with THREE babies walking on Plank Road.
When looking at dry Mountain Lake, saw an adult Red Spotted Newt swimming in some of the remaining puddles.
After hiking to Signal Knob in Tropic Storm Hanna, we ran across a Red Spotted Newt in its Red Eft terrestrial stage on the Tuscarora Trail. He was pretty lethargic because of the cold.
Off the Canal Walk in Richmond, Virginia, spied a blue heron
Saw about a dozen herons at Lake Ridge Park while rowing.
The Mountain Laurel on the Prickley Pear Trail at Poverty Creek (outside of Blacksburg, VA) was just starting to bloom on May 21, 2008
At first I thought this little guy was a woodpecker as he hopped from tree to tree, pecking at the bark.
The beautiful bell-shaped white flowers were in full bloom at the top of the Appalachian Trail's McAfee's Knob on April 27, 2008
The leaves looked suspiciously like Mountain Laurel, but the flowers revealed to be something else! The little group of bell shaped flowers were blooming in mid-April.
Merchant's Millpond is home to a large popular of Bald Cypress Trees which house Spanish Moss.
On the Cape Henry Trail in First Landing State Park (formerly Seashore State Park), there is a stunning display of Spanish Moss
Along the shores of Lake Ridge in Northern Virginia, the presence of Mountain Laurel surprised me and it was blooming.
On June 8, 2008, the rhododendron blooms at Mount Rogers National Recreation Area were just about to peak. The hillsides were dusted with pink and a lot of dark pink buds were prevalent. A number of the bushes just started to open.
The oldest known fossil of Wthe ollemia genus dates back to 90 million years ago, but since the most recent fossil is a mere 2 million years old, it was assumed this sect of pines were extinct. Then in 1994, David Noble found some hiking in Australia.
One of the oldest and rarest trees in the world, this specimen of Wollemi Pine is growing at the Amsterdam Botanical Gardens
On the Appalachian Trail, slightly northbound of Keffer Oak, there are mayapples. When I spotted them on May 1, 2008, you could see buds underneath the broad umbrella leaf, but no blooms yet.
On the Appalachian Trail, just Southbound of the VA-601 road crossing, I saw a little patch of mayapples which were infected by an orange fungus. I did not see any white blooms.
Walking along a trail at the Frisbee Golf Course in Christiansburg, Virginia, I spotted a really tall Mayapple and took a picture with my cellphone. It was in bloom.
Mayapples, with their single white flower hidden under a broad leaf umbrella, were blooming in my backyard
The trails at Dismal Swamp State Park right on the Virginia and North Carolina border were prominent with the bright purple berries of American Beautyberry.
We squished a few and were surprised to see they are white inside and have very little odor.
On the property of The Home Place in Catawba, Virginia, stands a Chinese Chestnut. Since the Chestnut blight fungus (Cryphonectria parasitica) originated from Asia with the Chinese Chestnut, the two species evolved together allowing the Chinese Chestnut to develop a resistance to the fungus.
WIth this observation, I can add the sense of taste. I ate one of the chestnuts. It was delicious!
Right at the trailhead of the Prickly Pear Trail at Poverty Creek, there is an example of the perseverance of the American Chestnut. As the blight fungus (Cryphonectria parasitica) attacks the main trunk causing it to crack and canker, new shoots for the stressed tree spring up from the roots. Those shoots will grow and get larger until one day they will be overcome by the blight as well.
A number of young American Chestnuts grow on the Appalachian Trail at Rocky Gap. (Southbound from VA-601). None are very old or large enough to participate in the breeding program for the American Chestnut Foundation.