This fellow was likely returning from a night's hunting when I saw him about 9 am on the trail ahead of me. I followed him for a while, until the animal turned uphill, probably to a den.
Rock Castle Gorge off the Blue Ridge Parkway, once had a few farms in the mid 1800's . This double flowered daffodil is near some old stone foundation material. It has persisted.
This scat continues fur and a fragment of bone, the tibial plateau (knee joint) of a medium sized mammal (skunk, fox, or raccoon). I think it is coyote, but I am not good at scat ID
Under log bark, spring has not yet come to these mountains. Snow showers today.
I have visited this place often over the last 20 years. The death of these hemlocks at about 3500' is nearly complete. They die from the top down, loosing branches. The dead trunks remain upright for many years. The river, this far up stream is less shaded and the ecosystem is changed.
This hawk has spent much of the winter in this tree. I photographed the bird this morning just as dawn was breaking. The bird flew off to hunt (Squirrels and Koi) just after this photo. I have not seen another bird paired, or any nesting activity
I found a number of these larval forms in the wood of a decaying log. I have put a few in a terrarium and will hope to ID the adult form
Gently prying apart a decaying log, I found a number of insects on this warming spring day
Two birds in nest, now doubled from birth size. Mom in nest only at night
Grafted. One species, red, on top another
In Huntington Library Botanical Garden
Unlike the red tailed hawk that I posted on 31 Jan 2014; this hawk is captive. He is trained in falconry, and this shot was taken while he was hunting. Falconers around the state (VA) report a marked decrease in squirrels, those remaining are smarter.