Saturday, February 7, 2015

Winter walk along the Shenandoah River

This afternoon I decided to take a walk along the Shenandoah River since it was so nice out.  Right away I found a branch with several gouty oak galls caused by Callirhytis guercus punctata, at least I think that was what it was.

Nearby was Exidia nigricans, Black Jelly Fungus which is similar to Whitche's butter only black.

I expected to find Ebony Spleenwort, Aspleinium platyneuron, but most of them were very dried out. They remind me of Christmas Fern mimi-me’s.

I didn't expect to see a winter stonefly. In fact I don’ think I have ever paid much attention to them before but when it is the only think moving besides leaves I tend to notice. This one was Strophopteryx fasciata, and Early Brown Stonefly. My field guide said they are found near rivers and streams in late winter on warm days through early spring. Well that described exactly where I was.

I also found an unknown cocoon that was very small.

 touched its soft outer surface and to my surprise a door opened up. I didn't see anything inside so I rubbed it shut. I think those little white things were on the outside and just showed up against the dark background. It is all a mystery to me.

I was taking a photo of a cicada exuviae when I saw a Purple Cliffbrake lying on the ground. The scientific name is Pellaea atropurpurec. I placed it back on the cliff and held it in place with some small stones. My hope is that the spores with distribute themselves in the area and I will see new ones this spring.  I don’t recall ever seeing it here before.

I walked along some more and the turned back.  I loved the way the ice seems to be coming out of the tree.

It had been way too long since I had been down this river path.


The Furry Gnome said...

Always nice to get out exploring.

Lea said...

Amazing how much can be seen if we just take the time to look closely!

squirrel said...

Lea thanks for stopping by. I agree taking time is very rewarding.