Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Kentucky: Naturalists get an early jump on spring.

In April the naturalists get an itch to go south to meet the on-coming spring.  We just can't wait another day!   About 12 of us headed down to Jenny Wiley State Park near Prestonburg, Kentucky.

Crossvine, Bignonia capreolata
 A southern species, found only on the southern most locations in Ohio, Crossvine was ever present.  A sun-lover, it winds up to the tree top canopy to rain individual florets upon the forest floor.  We spent lots of time looking up.

Fence Lizard
We also looked down, at the Eastern Fence Lizard, Sceloparus indulatus.  This handsome guy was enjoying a little sunbath as well.  He was a hefty guy of nearly a foot in length,  with a tinge of blue at the throat. He should impress the lady lizards.

Pinxter Flower
 Next, we are out on a limb. That's where you'll find the Pinxter Flower, Rhododendron periclymenoides. It is a showy pink azalea confined to southern states-and the Appalachian regions of Ohio. Take time to smell this one. Heavenly!

Jim and Sandy Davidson
Our hiking hero, Jim Davidson, and his wife, Sandy,  are still burning up the trails in their eighties! Well, maybe not exactly "burning up," but they are definitely out for a pleasant morning shuffle.

The Day Hikers from Ohio
Bill Marsh, Jan Voelker, Cheryl Harner, Greg Ratterman, (Mary Ratterman is hiding)
Joe Murra , Diane Weeks,  and Deb Marsh.    Photo by Susan Nash

 Anytime Greg Ratterman is involved, there will be black lights and mothing!  We enjoyed see what was flying on all three nights. All sizes and shapes were present and accounted for.  We had a high count of seven Rosy Maple (Dryocampa rubicunda) Moths in their full pink and yellow glory.

Mr. Bug by Luna Light
 We bid you good-night as Mr. Bug basks in the light filtered by a Luna Moth.  Not a bad way to end the day...

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