Not so long ago I put up some pics from Lake Frank. Rock Creek Regional Park is pretty much just across the road, and leads to Lake Needwood. I went up there a second time to have a look at the Rock Creek end of things.
There were deer all over the place, so I took a few pics.
And just to make this post as complex as possible, I am including a camoflage animal shot. Can you find it and name it? Answer photo is at the bottom of this post.
And now, if you have read this far, it is quiz time. A bird and a feather. What species do you think these are (from).
As no one has taken a stab at this feather, I will tell you it is from a northern flicker.
And, since you have been waiting, here is the close-up of the camoflage animal.
Melrose Caverns still has more interesting things, even after two postings about it. Well, don't all caves? True, but the variety of stuff in Melrose is somewhat amazing given that you can see most all this stuff rather easily in a single trip. Granted I did about six trips into the cave to get all these photos.
The cave is a graffiti wonder. And a lot of it is historical stuff. Lots of Civil War stuff but also things like a Mason's drawing apparently done by one or more of the Harrisons for whom Harrisonburg, VA is named. I'll get a photo of that next time I get there, as it is complicated and hard to light and I was in the middle of helping with a TV news bit when I learned about it.
Speaking of the news item, it is here and you can watch the video:
And while others are documenting all the art/graffiti, here are a few examples.
While lots of this stuff is engraved, there actually are a couple of honest petroglyphs. This one is of a face, and I find it looks like the standard shot of George Washington available back in the day. Most of the soldiers who visited the cave were Union, and there is a pictograph of Abe Lincoln in the cave, so some credence to my interpretation. Your opinion may vary.
And while the cave is full of this kind of stuff, on to another interesting bit. Roots. Toward the back end of the cave it is quite close to the surface, and a number of tree roots have made it into the cave.
Those were the two big bits that needed added to really cover Melrose Caverns. But there is more, and I will finish with a set of photos of this, that, and the other thing.
And two passage shots. I wasn't taking passage shots for the most part, but always nice to get a bit of what the cave looks like.
And finally, I end with a bat, given that by profession I am a bat biologist and generally don't put enough bats on this blog. It is a tri-colored bat (Perimyotis subflavus). This bat has been proposed for endangered species status but failed it's first attempt. Formerly quite common, as a species it has succumbed to White-Nose Syndrome (a fungus that kills bats during hibernation) in big numbers. Time will tell how this bat fares over the long run.
Couple of things rattling around today. No rhyme or reason, just some things that might be interesting.
First up, a caving video made in Helictite Cave, near Burnsville, VA. This is a pretty spectacular video of an ongoing cave dig, and was just posted by Zeb Lilly.
And then there is this video about Smokey Mountain salamanders that is quite well done for school kids.
This article about what seems like a massive scam related to bat protections in the UK is worth a look on the bat front.
Last link for today. If you enjoy my macro invertebrate shots, and can handle macro invertebrate feeding pics, then this guy Nicky Bay has some pics you ought to have a look at.
And a pic for today.
Mostly I am interested in animals. But plants and fungi at the FCRE can be interesting...to a point. A couple pics of such.
And that's all I have on that for now. So next up is a more interesting exercise. You have thirty seconds to figure out what this is...
So do you have it figured out? I'll give you another moment.
This lump is...
Another planthopper (two more obvious ones have been posted recently). This is one furry critter, and is facing right. An eye can just barely be seen at full size.
So, after that, time to see some millipedes, more obvious than the previous.
A while back I published a pic of a bee looking out of the nest. And to continue that bit, I have found more similar pics.
And now just a few more pics
And to finish tonight.
This photo was taken in a cave in Virginia. The entrance is a sinking stream, and much detritus washes in, and this fungus was growing on a log just into the dark zone.
mountain of fungi
A stump full of mushrooms. I expect an ID update from Don soon.
And a pic of Daelivannet.
Mushrooms in a livestock field
Every fall in Norway, the masses head out to harvest mushrooms. Not so much this variety, which I have no idea what they are. They kinda look edible, but without much knowledge and experience, it is best to leave such things to the experts. I prefer to just take a picture of them and call it all good.
UPDATE 10/09/2012: Blog reader Don has provided more details on these mushrooms. They are Shaggy Ink Cap mushrooms (Coprinus comatus), and are in fact edible. Thanks Don!
Keith Christenson - Wildlife Biologist