Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Picking Our Puddles

B and I like to wander. Often our little trips wander down dirt roads. During wet seasons, we try to gauge just how wet our chosen road is likely to be as B's truck is a standard pick-up and does not have four-wheel drive or a wench or any of the equipment that might be needed should one become stuck in the  mud. But sometimes, we get  surprised and I guess that is part of the charm of wandering.  It seems that often the deepest puddles are where the road is the most narrow. 

After this little investigation, B decided to turn around. 

A couple of weeks ago, we were wandering through the National Forest using two maps to guide us through the maze of numbered roads. After going parallel to a major U.S. highway for some time, the road gave way to one puddle after another and, finally, got so narrow, we determined we could no longer travel to the road that would take us back to the highway. We turned around and met a couple on an ATV. They informed us that the road was no longer maintained to the crossroad and that only ATVs use it now. The maps were out of date. Felt like we dodged a bullet on that one!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

St. Marks in a Reflective Mood

We made an escape down to the lighthouse one evening to soothe a little soul. It turned out to be one of those beautiful fall evenings when the light is right and the temperature is pleasant. We started on a short hike down one of the dikes; but we didn't get far before I was done. The breeze was nonexistent, so the biting bugs were pretty bad: mosquitoes, no-see-'ems, and yellow flies. On the way back to the truck, I took these first two shots, while shooing the biters.

The sun was low on the horizon and it seemed like every blade of needle grass in the marsh was illuminated.

I am thankful to have been there to see the glory. 

I returned with my soul refreshed.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Tiny White Moths

We came across a hatch of tiny white moths on what (I'm pretty certain) was a loblolly pine. Because of their size, I assume the term "microlepidoptera" is an accurate description  for them. There were more than a dozen of these little guys clinging to the bark, probably hoping not to be noticed.

I struggled to get a decent picture of them--- and all but failed as clearly as their attempt to not be noticed.

B noticed this one moving on the ground: it was being carried by an ant.

I came across tiny, white moths once before many years ago. We were camping at Vogel State Park in the mountains of north Georgia. As the evening cooled, I had donned a long-sleeve, white silk pull-over. Dozens of tiny white moths began to gather and were drawn to the light of the lantern, and then to my top. It was kind of magical as they fluttered and lit on the shirt. I have to wonder if it was the whiteness reflecting the lantern light or if, perhaps, they could detect the silk worms that had made the fibers.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Lost Aquatic Creature

As we walked along Lake Seminole, B noticed this burnt log in the distance.

I thought it looked like a common or red-breasted merganser (duck), hurrying away.

B thought it looked more like a seahorse.

Either way, it was lost in the woods! 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Hair of the Dragonfly

As we sat on a dock on Lake Seminole, I noticed this dragonfly. Sometimes, I can't get my camera to see what I see. And sometimes it sees what I cannot until I put the image on the computer, such as the hairs on the body of this dragonfly.   For once, the camera focused where I asked. Auto-focus is truly a mixed blessing.

B and I only recently learned that some dragonflies also migrate south in fall.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A Cloud of Cloudless Sulphurs

B was the one who first spotted this cloud of Cloudless Sulphur butterflies puddling at a Lake Seminole boat ramp. Boaters had dutifully removed the aquatic vegetation from their motors as they came out of the lake. It was collecting and drying on the concrete just above the shore line.  Butterflies puddle in various places on the ground where they replenish their essential minerals.

Like Monarchs, Cloudless Sulphurs migrate. There have been so many  this year. I can lie out on our screen porch and watch them flying south over our yard.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Mailbox Monday: Electric Box

This is the mailbox for an electrical company.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Mushrooms and S'more

On our hike at Lake Seminole, we noticed several mushrooms and lichens. I thought this first looks similar to melted marshmallows, so I called it the S'more tree.

This was a tiny little group, as attested by the pignut on the right.

And this one was ginormous!

Such variety!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Muhly Grass and Goldenrod

Even God loves the garnet and gold!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Weaving and Waiting for Dinner to Arrive

This beautiful spider, a Golden Silk Orb Weaver, (Nephila clavipes) was hanging out by the trail we hiked that ran along the shore of Lake Seminole. There were lots of webs in the woods. At one point, B said he thought that there was one thick enough to snare one of the yearling deer we saw. (We saw eleven deer in several sightings at Three Rivers State Park that afternoon.) While to catch a deer is clearly a stretch, I read that the Golden Silk Orb Weaver sometimes catches small birds and bats in their webs and consumes them. This one is female, as the males are tiny and have different coloration.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Seminole Sunday

We spent a Sunday afternoon around Lake Seminole. This was the view from our picnic table. We had the place entirely to ourselves.

We walked on every dock we came to.

We got "nothing" here.

We thought it looked like pumpkins in the lake. They were floats.

We saw some bass, but they were not on the road.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Alligator in the Sky at St. Marks

There's a little fish swimming right into its mouth!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

A Disappointing Hurricane Season

It has been a disappointing hurricane season.

Not the storms---the lilies.

Every August we look forward to our hurricane lilies blooming in September. We have dozens in two varieties.

These pictures are from previous years. The reds are about seven inches across and the goldens are even larger.

I do not understand why, but this year was a "bust" for hurricane lily blooms. I know where they normally show up in the gardens of others, and they weren't there either. I am not sure if it might have been the long drought or the ten plus inches of rain that we had in August or something different entirely. The green, strappy leaves that follow the blooms are now up, so they are still alive.

We shall just have to look forward to them next September.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Adding Insult to Energy

We noticed this sign at a gas station market.

Of course, it might be closer to the truth: they may well be injurious to your health.
And to your wallet, too.