This member of the Mustela family was road kill near the house this morning. I think it is a long tailed weasel (M. frenata) but I cannot rule out a mink (M vison). Examination showed: length 47 cm, tail 27 cm, weight 1550 g. Two ticks attached to skin, not engorged (ticks are of special interest in SW VA right now). No internal parasites. Animal was male (testes present). Death due to crushing blow to R side of head. Time of death, at most a few hours before I picked up corpse at 09:00.
Not very good at identifying spiders, something I need to work on. Lots, and lots of spiders in the meadow and woods at this time.
a common name is 'Pale Indian Plantain' Very common in meadows at this moment.
Black locust trees are turning red brown due to their heavy infestation with black locust bug Lopidea robiniae, and black locust leaf miner Odontota dorsalis. The trees seem to do OK despite losing most of their leaf mass by the end of July each year.
I found this stinkhorn by its smell of rotting meat. Flies and other insects are attracted, presumably to help distribute the spores.
A very heavy crop of chantrelles is popping up everywhere in Floyd Co. Very tasty when sautéed in butter and colorful on the kitchen counter and dinner plate.
Wineberries (ID thanks to Botanygirl) are coming into fruit now.
tracks in scat
Meadow is full of yarrow.
Claire has been with me on almost every nature walk for years, helping me to find animals with her much improved smell and hearing. She will hold perfectly still and stay when on command, not interfering with a close observation. When I begin to sketch, she goes off on a short recon for about 30 minutes, knowing how long it takes.
I took this picture in winter 3 years ago. It is easy to forget what winter looks like on the summer solstice.