Arquivos de periódicos de novembro de 2020

05 de novembro de 2020

Observation Highlight of the Week: Heterocampa umbrata

Observational Highlight #1: Heterocampa umbrata (White-blotched heterocampa)
Virginia Outdoors Foundation - Bull Run Mountains Natural Area Preserve



© Jacob Saucier, all rights reserved


White-blotched Heterocampa Moth (Heterocampa umbrata) observed by @saucierj

Sometimes vast beauty can come in small sizes. That’s exactly the case with this White-blotched Heterocampa moth caterpillar (quite the name right?). This moth caterpillar belongs to the Family Notodontidae or the prominent moths. Their namesake, prominent, comes from the tufts of long “hairs” trailing along the edges of their forewings. Adult prominent moths are typically unassuming in appearance humbly displaying a drab blend of tans and browns. However, many of the caterpillars from this family are anything but modest.

Boasting a veritable wardrobe of bold bands, slick stripes, zigzags patterns, and in some species bear bizarre body bits to mimic twisting twigs, foliage, and partially eaten leaves. Besides having a bit of a flare most prominent moth caterpillars are picky eaters restricting their diet to a single family of woody plants.

We have an abundance of Lepidoptera (moth and butterfly) species along the bull run mountain range and are always excited to see a new species added to our biological index!


ABOUT #BullRunMountainsNaturalPreserve
The Bull Run Mountains are the easternmost mountains in Virginia. The Virginia Outdoors Foundation’s Bull Run Mountains Natural Area Preserve is approximately 2,350 acres that serve as a living laboratory that sits in the backyard of our nation’s capital. The preserve contains 10 different plant community types and a plethora of regionally uncommon and threatened plant and animal species. In 2002, this land was dedicated by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation as a natural area preserve to protect the unique ecosystems found here. As the owner and manager of the preserve, the Virginia Outdoors Foundation is committed to protecting the special ecosystem found here and sharing it with the public through managed access.

Follow us on Social Media!
Instagram: @bullrunmountains
Facebook: Virginia Outdoors Foundation (Bull Run Mountains Natural Area Preserve)
Our website: VOF RESERVES: Bull Run Mountains Natural Area Preserve
Meetup Events: Bull Run Mountains Natural Area Preserve Guided Hikes Group

Publicado em 05 de novembro de 2020, 08:37 TARDE por mjwcarr mjwcarr | 0 comentários | Deixar um comentário

10 de novembro de 2020

Observation Highlight of the Week: Opheodrys aestivus

Observational Highlight #2: Opheodrys aestivus (Rough Greensnake)
Virginia Outdoors Foundation - Bull Run Mountains Natural Area Preserve



© Joe Villari, some rights reserved (CC-BY-NC)


Rough Greensnake (Opheodrys aestivus) observed by @jvillari

This gorgeous snake was found during an inventory and photographic documentation project underway at one of our cultural heritage properties. Also known as the grass snake, it’s easy to see where it gets its namesake. This nonvenomous colubrid, or constrictor, is a connoisseur of terrestrial arthropods and is likely to be found in moist, open woodlands and grasslands (they are particularly partial to spiders for all you arachnophobes). They are also one of the most arboreal snakes in our region, meaning they spend a considerable amount of time above ground in trees and shrubs.

The rough greensnake can be found in suitable habitat throughout the southeastern United States. On closer inspection, you’ll find that it gets its name “rough” from the keeled or ridged scales along its body (see picture two for a better look!).

Unfortunately, many of our snakes are misunderstood and frequently find themselves facing misplaced hate. Snakes play a vital role in our ecosystem as managers of “pest” animals like rats, arthropods, and even other snakes. Killing snakes is also illegal within the state of Virginia, and in the majority of cases unneeded. Please be considerate of our limbless neighbors and give nature its due respect and admiration.


ABOUT #BullRunMountainsNaturalPreserve
The Bull Run Mountains are the easternmost mountains in Virginia. The Virginia Outdoors Foundation’s Bull Run Mountains Natural Area Preserve is approximately 2,350 acres that serve as a living laboratory that sits in the backyard of our nation’s capital. The preserve contains 10 different plant community types and a plethora of regionally uncommon and threatened plant and animal species. In 2002, this land was dedicated by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation as a natural area preserve to protect the unique ecosystems found here. As the owner and manager of the preserve, the Virginia Outdoors Foundation is committed to protecting the special ecosystem found here and sharing it with the public through managed access.

Follow us on Social Media!
Instagram: @bullrunmountains
Facebook: Virginia Outdoors Foundation (Bull Run Mountains Natural Area Preserve)
Our website: VOF RESERVES: Bull Run Mountains Natural Area Preserve
Meetup Events: Bull Run Mountains Natural Area Preserve Guided Hikes Group

Publicado em 10 de novembro de 2020, 03:07 MANHÃ por mjwcarr mjwcarr | 2 comentários | Deixar um comentário

19 de novembro de 2020

Observation Highlight of the Week: Goodyera pubescens

Observational Highlight #3: Goodyera pubescens (Downey Ratlesnake Plantain)
Virginia Outdoors Foundation - Bull Run Mountains Natural Area Preserve



© Michael J. W. Carr, some rights reserved (CC-BY-NC)


This week's highlight is the downy rattlesnake plantain ( or Goodyera pubescens) which was observed by @mjwcarr back in August.

This species is currently the most commonly observed orchid species here at the preserve. Its silver-reticulated evergreen leaves make it an easy thing to see during the winter - so keep an eye out! The orchid prefers dry to moist, acidic soils in upland habitats, the typical habitat through many areas of the preserve. The colloquial name rattlesnake comes from the interlaced pattern of the leaves which roughly resemble the scales of its snake namesake. The entire plant is also covered in short, very fine downy hairs that can be hard to miss without a close inspection.

Despite the name, the rattlesnake plantain should not get confused with the garden variety plantain that many consider weeds (that is the greater, American, and ribwort plantain). This is a real deal orchid, and so proper excitement should be exhibited whenever one is spotted! According to the USDA plant fact sheet (just google the reference below), the rattlesnake plantain was used by indigenous peoples to treat snakebites, burns, and other ailments.

Please be sure to share any observations you come across here on iNaturalist!


ABOUT #BullRunMountainsNaturalPreserve
The Bull Run Mountains are the easternmost mountains in Virginia. The Virginia Outdoors Foundation’s Bull Run Mountains Natural Area Preserve is approximately 2,350 acres that serve as a living laboratory that sits in the backyard of our nation’s capital. The preserve contains 10 different plant community types and a plethora of regionally uncommon and threatened plant and animal species. In 2002, this land was dedicated by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation as a natural area preserve to protect the unique ecosystems found here. As the owner and manager of the preserve, the Virginia Outdoors Foundation is committed to protecting the special ecosystem found here and sharing it with the public through managed access.

Follow us on Social Media!
Instagram: @bullrunmountains
Facebook: Virginia Outdoors Foundation (Bull Run Mountains Natural Area Preserve)
Our website: VOF RESERVES: Bull Run Mountains Natural Area Preserve
Meetup Events: Bull Run Mountains Natural Area Preserve Guided Hikes Group

Publicado em 19 de novembro de 2020, 03:19 MANHÃ por mjwcarr mjwcarr | 0 comentários | Deixar um comentário

25 de novembro de 2020

Observation Highlight of the Week: Calostoma lutescens

Observational Highlight #4: Calostoma lutescens (Calostoma)
Virginia Outdoors Foundation - Bull Run Mountains Natural Area Preserve



© pgwamsley, some rights reserved (CC-BY-NC)


This week's highlight is of the collared calostoma (Calostoma lutescens, oh how I love it when common and scientific names overlap) observed by preserve visitor and iNatuarlist user @pgwamsley

This remarkable looking fungus was observed just about two months ago on our south section trails. This isn't to say that the opportunity to see them has passed. Just last week another cluster of collared calostoma was observed by @sammie10 ; You can view her observation here.

But let's start digging into what this peeled orange of a mushroom really is!

The collared calostoma is a member of the gasteroid fungi which is characterized by producing spores inside of their fruiting bodies, as opposed to on external structures like the gilled mushrooms. Now, the taxonomy of fungi, or even mushrooms, is something of a wonder in itself. The taxonomic history of this species has been spicy with revisions moving it across classes. The species is currently suspected to be evolutionarily related to the Boletales clade of mushrooms, which include more commonly recognized "mushroom" forms.

The species is Mycorrhizal, or rather in a mutually symbiotic relationship, with oaks. They can grow along or gregariously, such as in the illustrated in our observation here! They are distributed across the eastern United States from Arkansas to Massachusetts, and specifically abundant in the southern Appalachians. As appetizing as the fried egg look-alike mushroom is, it isn't considered edible.

Thanks again to all our visitors who continue to document the amazing diversity our natural area preserve protects!


ABOUT #BullRunMountainsNaturalPreserve
The Bull Run Mountains are the easternmost mountains in Virginia. The Virginia Outdoors Foundation’s Bull Run Mountains Natural Area Preserve is approximately 2,350 acres that serve as a living laboratory that sits in the backyard of our nation’s capital. The preserve contains 10 different plant community types and a plethora of regionally uncommon and threatened plant and animal species. In 2002, this land was dedicated by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation as a natural area preserve to protect the unique ecosystems found here. As the owner and manager of the preserve, the Virginia Outdoors Foundation is committed to protecting the special ecosystem found here and sharing it with the public through managed access.

Follow us on Social Media!
Instagram: @bullrunmountains
Facebook: Virginia Outdoors Foundation (Bull Run Mountains Natural Area Preserve)
Our website: VOF RESERVES: Bull Run Mountains Natural Area Preserve
Meetup Events: Bull Run Mountains Natural Area Preserve Guided Hikes Group

Publicado em 25 de novembro de 2020, 08:04 TARDE por mjwcarr mjwcarr | 0 comentários | Deixar um comentário

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