Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Forest is coming ALIVE

The Mayapples are beginning to bloom. At the office where I work there are two varieties, one blooms white and other pink. Until this year I did not know they smelled so heavenly, but they sure do, just like perfume!

The Jack-in-the-pulpits are nearly ready to open

The Spring Beauties have been blooming for several weeks now, they are such delicate little flowers.

The Hickory Trees are opening up

A beautiful "fishing spider" disturbed from his winter hiding spot

Galls formed on an oak leaf, some tiny little wasp laid her eggs on the leaf, and the leaf protects itself by forming a cyst over the egg. When the egg hatches, the larvae feed and grow, causing the cyst to also grow. 

Unknown peach-colored mushrooms

Wild Phlox growing beside a log. The spring flower is blooming all over the woodlands right now.

Morel--the treasure of the woods!

Wild plum is one of the first trees to bloom in the spring, which gives nectar to hungry bees just waking up from their winters sleep.

I believe these purple violets are Birdsfoot violets. They sure make the forest

Anywhere there are paw-paws growing in the forest, you are sure to find this gorgeous Zebra Swallowtail.

Snakes, like this little garter snake hide out on cooler days in the spring. This one was hidden behind the bark of a rotting tree.

You may find other unexpected surprises like a five-lined skink. These little guys hide out under logs and under the bark of trees. This one was living with the garter snake pictured above.

An empty snail shell, left behind.

An Eastern Comma Butterfly looking a little worse-for-wear after a long winter. 

Exploring the woodlands in the spring is one of the best ways to spend an afternoon. Everything is waking up after a long winters nap. Wildflowers are beginning to blooms, trees are leafing out and the creatures who live there are becoming active. Don't miss out....get outside and EXPLORE!

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