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.
Released after capture. Notice the large amount of white on the back, is this a winter phase?
I cannot see what its prey is. Dropped in rapidly and stayed a while.
A rare snow aided in tracking the movement and activities of the turkeys that are resident here. One snow image showed a turkey turning in a circle dragging its feathers; probably a male putting on a display.
Watercress grows in a specific niche at Woods Gap; the outflow pipe of our biggest spring. The water is a constant 6 deg C. Today when the air temp was -20C, the plants were not frozen, being submerged in flowing water.
A number of these beetles are in crevices of the bark of a large tulip poplar.
Very common home invader this winter
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.