Archive for April, 2013

Round-Lobed Hepatica

April 28, 2013

Saw the first Round-Lobed Hepatica (Hepatica americana) of the season. Appearance of this flower is usually considered a sign that spring has indeed finally arrived. For that, I am glad. This specimen was located in our hardwoods, but the trees’ leaves were not yet out. The round-lobed in the name refers to the leaves that can be seen on the right side of the picture. The three lobes of the leaf is kind of liver-shaped leading to other names for the plant including liverleaf and liverwort. The fern fiddleheads on the left side of the picture are also a welcome site. The woodlot will be exploding in greens soon as the ferns unfold and the tree leaves arrive.

Hepatica_DSC_8499

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Scarlet Cup

April 23, 2013

This fungus has shown up at the upper part of our woods trail. It is known as a Scarlet Cup (Sarcoscypha austriaca). It seemed to be coming out of a hardwood twig partially buried in wet soil near a seep. The fungus was a loner, but quite bright. Have not seen any other fruiting fungi yet this year.

 Scarlet Cup

The book “Mushrooms of West Virginia and the Central Appalachians”by W. C. Roody says it is non-poisonous. I think I will continue to just enjoy looking at it.

Northern Water Snake

April 23, 2013

Cleaning brush along our creek I had this guy strike and bite, just got the pants and broke no skin. The snake was quite aggravated and aggressive. At first I thought it was a copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix), but after review I decided it was a Northern Water Snake (Nerodia sipedon).

Image

A few days later I came across two of them in the same location. One was brighter than the other and both were about the same size. Guess I better keep the grandkids out of that area.