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.
I found this animal dead on the front lawn of a farm house I was staying at on the outskirts of Floyd.
I made this sketch of it in my field notebook and identified it as Blarina brevicauda using my Peterson's guide to mammals.
(I just found this file on my computer today. It's a quaint reminder of how things were done in the days before digital cameras, when I only took photos of the most important things.)
And, yes, it looks like I forgot to add a scale. It was small!
Bicycling along the Blue Ridge Parkway early Sunday, two fawns (still with spots) emerged and raced ahead of me on the grassy shoulder. For at least 50 meters the moved ahead of me as I sprinted at 35 km/hr. They were no where near their top speed.
Saw more deer than cars on that ride.
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.
Meadow is full of yarrow.