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Observer

denniswross

Date

August 14, 2012

Description

Another landscaping plant seen in many species and locations.

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What

Butterfly Bush Buddleja davidii

Observer

denniswross

Date

September 10, 2012

Description

This plant has a natural very wide distribution, interacting with butterflies and other insects of very many species.

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What

algodoncillo Ceiba aesculifolia

Observer

denniswross

Date

March 15, 2012

Description

I have never identified this interesting tree from the Thorn Forest of Mexico's Pacific Coast, just N of Sayulita. Loarie may know, having been there

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What

early winter cress Barbarea verna

Observer

denniswross

Date

April 26, 2012

Place

woods Gap (Google, OSM)

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What

Virginia Opossum (Didelphis virginiana) Didelphis virginiana

Observer

denniswross

Date

December 16, 2012

Place

Woods Gap (Google, OSM)

Description

Possums are very common around here. This one walked into my trap, that I had set out to re-locate a skunk living in an out building.

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Observer

denniswross

Date

December 4, 2012

Place

Woods Gap (Google, OSM)

Description

Puff ball, olive green, one of the Lycoperdon species. These have persisted longer than usual as Nov and Dec have been dry.

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What

Black Rat Snake Pantherophis alleghaniensis

Observer

denniswross

Date

November 8, 2012

Description

This snake was coiled up on the black asphalt of the Blue Ridge Parkway near MP 164. I stopped and coaxed him out of the road. He defended his position for a while before moving off. I estimate the snake to be 5 feet long and a maximum diameter of 2.5 inches. The air temp was 45F, but the strong sun on the pavement probably made it much warmer there. No hard frost yet at this location. Many snakes die on the pavement of the BRP. I should have taken a picture before moving him, but I was concerned about traffic.

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What

Black Vulture Coragyps atratus

Observer

denniswross

Date

November 3, 2012

Place

Woods Gap (Google, OSM)

Description

Black vultures have recently made this old, topped, dead pine their roost tree. There are two meadow openings in the forest nearby. Not easily visible in this photo, but one turkey vulture was hanging out with them. Both species are quite common here.

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What

Eastern White Pine Pinus strobus

Observer

denniswross

Date

October 13, 2012

Place

Woods Gap (Google, OSM)

Description

White pine is very common here, having been planted years ago for lumber. It is generally no longer economical to harvest white pine, so stands are becoming older and mixing with hardwoods. Pine needle drop, where the inner needles turn yellow and shed usually occurs twice a year. The roads and trails through stands of pines become pleasantly carpeted with soft and fragrant needles.

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What

Black Walnut Juglans nigra

Observer

denniswross

Date

October 3, 2012

Place

Woods Gap (Google, OSM)

Description

The black walnut is one of my favorite trees. This year they are producing a very large crop of nuts, the previous two years there were hardly any. This cycling probably serves the purpose of not allowing nut eating animals to breed up to match a steady yearly crop. The cycles of production of walnuts (natural, not plantation trees) seems to be 3 to 5 years at this location.

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What

Bottle gentian Gentiana andrewsii

Observer

denniswross

Date

October 3, 2012

Place

Woods Gap (Google, OSM)

Description

I first 'discovered' this wild flower last Sep. I watched the buds patiently for some days, but the flower never opened. Consulting a botanist friend, I learned that closed bottle gentian never opens. Bumble bees, the common pollinator, force their way into the un-opened buds. This adds a degree of selection as to which pollinators the flower will accept. You can watch a bee forcing into the flower on You Tube.

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What

Banded tussock moth Halysidota tessellaris

Observer

denniswross

Date

September 22, 2012

Place

Woods Gap (Google, OSM)

Description

Photo by Elvira Muniz

I think I have the ID right on this, but I am quite inexperienced with caterpillars.

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What

Eastern Box Turtle Terrapene carolina ssp. carolina

Observer

denniswross

Date

September 22, 2012

Place

(Somewhere...)

Description

Photo by Elvira Muniz.
I am trying to ID individual turtles by their shell patterns. They have been very active, seen every where, and unfortunately on roads.

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What

Sensitive Fern Onoclea sensibilis

Observer

denniswross

Date

September 22, 2012

Place

Woods Gap (Google, OSM)

Description

Photo by Elvira Muniz
Common in wet places, one of the many ferns in this area. I hope to learn to speciate them all reliably.

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What

Red-spotted Purple Limenitis arthemis ssp. astyanax

Observer

denniswross

Date

September 22, 2012

Place

Woods Gap (Google, OSM)

Description

Photo by Elvira Muniz

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What

Aster vimineus Symphyotrichum lateriflorum var. lateriflorum

Observer

denniswross

Date

September 28, 2012

Place

Woods Gap (Google, OSM)

Description

The fall meadow is snow white in places with small white aster. Some goldenrod persists, but is going to seed. I plan to wait until end of November to let all the wildflowers seed before the annual cutting.

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What

northern red oak Quercus rubra

Observer

denniswross

Date

September 28, 2012

Place

Woods Gap (Google, OSM)

Description

Heavy mast from the red oaks as well

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What

White Oak Quercus alba

Observer

denniswross

Date

September 28, 2012

Place

Woods Gap (Google, OSM)

Description

This is a heavy mast year, with all the oaks dropping a large crop of acorns, as well as walnuts and hickory nuts.

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What

Bog Turtle Glyptemys muhlenbergii

Observer

denniswross

Date

September 20, 2012

Place

(Somewhere...)

Description

The bog turtle is reportedly found only in Floyd Co, Va and two adjacent counties. Rarely seen, I rescued this male from the mouth of a dog and returned it to its place.

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What

Oriental bittersweet Celastrus orbiculatus

Observer

denniswross

Date

May 5, 2012

Place

Woods Gap (Google, OSM)

Description

An invasive vine not to be confused with American bittersweet (Celastrus scandens). This has been a growing infestation here, difficult to remove except by hand pulling. I believe that it is crowding out native plants and vines such as Virginia Creeper which is very beneficial to birds

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What

strawberry, Fragaria virginiana Fragaria virginiana

Observer

denniswross

Date

May 3, 2012

Place

Woods Gap (Google, OSM)

Description

Wild strawberry, very common here. A sketch from my field notebook.

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Observer

denniswross

Date

August 30, 2012

Place

Woods Gap (Google, OSM)

Description

Wild grape vine is abundant all through the woods around here. This will be a big year for all components of mast. Grapes, apples, walnuts, hickory, and many species of acorns all seem abundant.

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What

Common Apple (Malus pumila) Malus pumila

Observer

denniswross

Date

August 29, 2012

Place

Woods Gap (Google, OSM)

Description

Apple trees are an invasive species to North America But unlike Ailanthus, Japanese stilt grass, and Rosa multiflora; the invasive plants that I work to remove, I can love the apple. I usually do not harvest, letting the crows, deer, and occasional bear help themselves. This year the apples are abundant so I have helped myself as well. There are commercial apple orchards lower down on the mountain.

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What

Goldenrod Solidago virgaurea

Observer

denniswross

Date

August 29, 2012

Place

Woods Gap (Google, OSM)

Description

The late fall meadow is heavily dotted with the yellow of golden rod, replacing the predominant white of boneset seen in July. This year seems to be a heavier bloom than in the recent past.

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What

Winged Euonymus (Euonymus alatus) Euonymus alatus

Observer

denniswross

Date

August 18, 2012

Place

Woods Gap (Google, OSM)

Description

Probably an escapee from landscaping; I do not plant non native species. What constitutes an invasive species is getting harder to define.

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What

Common Raccoon Procyon lotor

Observer

denniswross

Date

August 4, 2012

Place

Woods Gap (Google, OSM)

Description

Raccoons are common, eating the corn in my neighbor's garden, and being general opportunists. I use a trail camera to watch their activities. This raccoon resides in a bramble near the apple tree.

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Observer

denniswross

Date

August 10, 2012

Place

Woods Gap (Google, OSM)

Description

This fuzzy yellow larva with 3 distinct pairs of long black spikes is I believe the American dagger moth. What is unusual is that the caterpillar is feeding on Rosa multiflora, an invasive species here that does not usually have insect predation. I have saved the specimen and will observe if it continues to truly feed on those leaves.

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What

Chestnuts Genus Castanea

Observer

denniswross

Date

August 10, 2012

Place

Woods Gap (Google, OSM)

Description

This American Chestnut grows behind my house. It sets seeds every year, but they appear to be sterile. The tree is about 20 feet tall and has a circumference of 9 inches at chest height and is not yet blighted.

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What

northern white cedar Thuja occidentalis

Observer

denniswross

Date

August 2, 2012

Description

In Mt Philo State Park, near Burlington Vermont, nice dense forest mixed hardwood and these cedars.

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What

Wood Betony Pedicularis canadensis

Observer

denniswross

Date

July 28, 2012

Description

When not in flower, I could mistake this as a fern.

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