Catching Snow

Tools: We laid black pieces of construction paper on a bench during yesterday’s snow. We left them in the frigid air for two hours prior to beginning. The images were captured with a point-and-shoot camera(Cannon Powershot SX110-IS) on its wonderful macro setting. The temperature at the time of taking these photographs ranged between 14-18 degrees […]

An Amazing Tree – Part II

I’ve had a closer look at this mysterious tree. Not being able to quickly label this tree resulted in something wonderful…an awareness of the details that make it unique. As with most learning experiences, I find it to be very very helpful to explore qualities and concepts prior to visiting the label (even though this […]

The tranquility of Nature- NOT!

With recent stories of raptor sightings around Charlottesville, including Osprey and Bald Eagle, I’d like to share one of Bill Dunson’s stories with you. It introduces a very fierce predator…the Great-Horned Owl, and its occasional interactions with the Osprey. I have seen several accounts of Bald Eagle and Osprey around town, and imagine these and […]

Belmont Bridge Ecosytem, a Broad View

I visited the Cooper’s Hawk yesterday. It remained perched in its usual spot for at least 2 1/2 hours. While I was taking some photographs, a train lurched by, and an enormous metal dinosaur continued its debris removal nearby, a building reduced to rubble. It’s been real cold; probably the longest stretch of teens (nighttime) […]

Mystery Critter Tracks

I have to say the snow storm that blanketed the region in late December couldn’t have come at a better time. We were fortunate to enjoy a week and a half of vacation time together as a family just after the snow fell. The joys of being house and neighborhood bound for several days meant […]

A Comparison of Two Common Hickories

Recently I spent a couple of hours observing the stems of two trees: Shagbark Hickory (Carya ovata) and Pignut Hickory (Carya glabra). The result of time spent with these trees was a thorough exploration of the details of their stems, leaf buds, leaf scars and other minor details. Distinguishing between the two has become quite […]