Archive for ‘Great Swamp Refuge’

January 22, 2013

Baby evergreen

Tiny baby pine thing!

I dunno, sometimes I just think, “man, wouldn’t it be cool to get a close look at some kind of tiny budding pine-thing?” Doesn’t that ever cross YOUR mind?

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December 25, 2012

Baby spruce

Awwwww, a wittle baby spwuce

Merry Christmas, if you celebrate.

December 23, 2012

Swamp berries

Berries make the season bright!

The timing of my posting has been obscenely irregular lately. I’m sorry.

But on the bright side… hey, look, berries!

December 18, 2012

Fuzz

Fuzzy seed pod things!

It’s soft, it’s fuzzy… beyond that, I guess it’s some kind of a leftover seed dispersal thing from some kind of a swamp plant. Do you recognize it?

December 17, 2012

Grassy lumps

Grassy swampy lumps

I imagine these grassy lumps are probably what’s left when tall grasses keel over and die for the winter, and their firm grassy root balls remain intact, but I’m not entirely sure. Do you know? Have you seen things like these in your own local swamp?

December 16, 2012

Piebald!

Piebald deer (buck without antlers)

If you live in the U.S., you’re probably familiar with white-tailed deer. Most of them are, y’know, brown.

Every now and then you’ll find an albino deer, which is all white with pink eyes.

And sometimes, you’ll find a deer that doesn’t quite fit into either category. These spotty brown-and-white deer are PIEBALDS.

Like albinism, piebald is a rare genetic thing: less than 1% of the deer population is piebald. It’s frequently associated with other weird physical stuff, like a bowed (“Roman”) nose, short or deformed legs, a curved spine, short lower mandible (overbite), and internal organ deformities.

This piebald buck— either a young button buck or a buck who’d recently shed his antlers, but I’m not familiar enough with deer to make an educated assertion— seemed pretty physically normal to my inexpert eyes… except that he was out at the wrong time of day, and totally unafraid of people.

Source:
Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. (2012). “Deer: Frequently asked questions.” http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/wildlife/deer/faq.asp#piebald-deer.

October 12, 2012

Speed limit

OBEY THE SPEED LIMIT, YO.

Sometimes… there’s just a very slow drive through a meadow, and that’s all there is to say about it.

October 11, 2012

Walkin’ on boards

What's this? ANOTHER boardwalk in a swamp? Seriously? YES.

Does it seem like I’m always photographing boardwalks? This is where I took the photo of that turtle in the Great Swamp.

October 10, 2012

Bicyclists

Biking on a Saturday morning!

Something I’ve noticed since I’ve started living here— this whole area has way more hardcore racing bicyclists than I’ve seen anywhere else. Throughout the weekend, they’re a common sight, and you just get used to sharing the road with them.

Hi there!

Unlike the bikes in New York City, which will run you down on the sidewalk and blast through red lights as though they’re green, these racing bikes are pretty good about following traffic laws. They keep to the right on the road, they use hand signals, they stop and yield everywhere they should.

Look, it's a pack of bikers!

When some of the roads around here were repainted last year, they included a nice wide shoulder, which acts beautifully as an unofficial bike lane.

Hello Mister Biker!

These photos were all taken in the Great Swamp, which provides some scenic routes that are really popular with bicyclists, but the routes are unfortunately quite narrow. Navigating the road requires a lot of leapfrogging with all the bikes on your side of the street, all the bikes on the other side, and all the oncoming cars.

It’s not a problem— just requires some patience.

(Which I unfortunately have in short supply.)

October 9, 2012

Purple buttons

Some kinda Centaurea. Maybe a Bachelor's Button? But it's violet!

I’m unable to identify this flower by name, but I think it’s something in the Centaurea genus— related to a Bachelor’s Button (cornflower). I’m hesitant to identify it as such because cornflowers are BLUE, and this is clearly purple.

Any botanists or wildflower experts out there?

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