Saturday, August 25, 2012

Trip Report: Scott's Run

We had a great walk at Scott's Run with a nice surprise: the pawpaws are just starting to drop. In fact, a few dropped with a loud *plunk* right as we were walking by!

We found a nice stand of cardinal flowers, sat down for a bit, and sure enough, a hummingbird came by and fed on the flowers just a few feet in front of us. It almost never fails, but it never fails to take my breath away when one comes so close.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird at Cardinal Flower
Photo credit: Bill Buchanan / USFWS

Also blooming:
Conoclinium coelestinum
Mistflower by Pris Sears
Joe pye weed (Eupatorium sp.)
Jimson weed (but no sphinx moths, not a big surprise since we were there during the day)
Woodland sunflower (Helianthus divaricatus)
Wingstem (Actinomeris alternifolia)
New York ironweed (Vernonia noveboracensis)
Mistflower (aka Wild Ageratum, Eupatorium coelestinum)
Blue lobelia (Lobelia syphilitica)
Sharpwinged monkey flower (Mimulus alatus)
Phlox (Phlox paniculata?)

and the spicebush berries (Lindera benzoin) are starting to turn red.

Heron, Green  (Immature)
Green heron by Tom Coleman
other critters of note:
Baltimore oriole
Spicebush and tiger swallowtail butterflies
Great blue herons
Green heron
Piliated woodpecker
and lots of toads

And some fun fungi:
A nice flush of oyster mushrooms (Pleurotus ostreatus)
A big Berkeley's polypore (Bondarzewia berkeleyi)
and bright orange Mycena leaiana.

What have you been seeing on the trail lately? We'd love to hear about it!

Fall on the C&O Canal Trail
Pawpaws by Jerry Edmundsen