Archive for the ‘Outdoor Activity’ Category

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.



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).


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.

Happy Trees

October 2, 2009

While Susan and I were driving to the cabin today we took a sidetrip to Gaudineer Knob. The contrast exhibited by these trees made me feel as if I was driving into a Bob Ross painting. Happy Trees – Happy Me!


Cold Morning at the Cabin

November 11, 2008
We woke up to a cold morning of 18 degrees at the cabin today. The cabin interior was quite toasty. Susan ventured out to the creek in our back yard and found thsi interesting pattern in the ice covering one of the pools.

Later, after it warmed up a bit, we took a walk in the creek that runs by the front of the cabin. The creek is dry right now because of the lack of rain this fall. I was searching for a place to get some gps coordinates in the creek when Susan snapped this picture.

Susan loves to look for fossils in the creek. They happen to be plentiful here and she found this interesting specimen, which includes a worm fossil. It is the first of one of those we have found.

Tree Hugger

November 11, 2008
I am a self-proclaimed tree hugger and this photo proves it.

Old Monarchs

October 27, 2008
Susan and I were recently blessed with the oportunity to buy a piece of her maternal ancestral farm in the Mountains of West Virginia. She had often told me about seeing the old sugar camp that her mother’s family had worked for so many years. The sugar camp had disappeared by the time I came on the scene 30 years ago. While walking with Vandy on the old farm road I was awed by the old manarchs – I always am. The old monarchs of the forest are the ancient sugar maples that served the family well for so many years. They are large and gnarled. They look tired, but stately. I bet the maple syrup from these trees was lip-smacking delicious and served the large family well.

Three Boyers in Boyer

October 18, 2007


The Boyers took a leaf tour in the West Virginia Highlands, but we were about a week ahead of the peak. It was a nice day nonetheless. We stopped for lunch in Boyer, WV. Interestingly, Boyer, WV is where my mother-in-law was born and raised on a farm. We Boyers have no other connection to the place (other than being one of my favorite places in the world) since we are French Canadian descent.

The picture below is a view along the Highland Scenic Highway. The leaves were a bit further along here. We even saw a few trees to cheer for. When our kids were young we took leaf tours and all four of us would cheer enthusiastically for the bright, colorful trees. Now we cheer together for the WVU Mountaineers. I think we need to get back to cheering for nature again. Mother Earth needs our help.


Have You Flipped a Rock Today

September 2, 2007

Today was International Rock Flipping Day and it was an interesting excercise for Susan and I. We have not had much rain this summer and we flipped several rocks in our yard and found nothing large enough to photograph. We finally flipped a limestone rock we call the elephant foot in the front yard and found an ant colony. There was a mass of eggs there and much activity ensued trying to move the eggs to safe places. We took our pictures and replaced the rocks. We are pretty sure we can still hear the ants cheeering our effort.

Another GeoCache Found

December 22, 2006


Treah and I occasionally head out in search of geocaches. On this particularly beautiful Sunday afternoon in December we headed into the local county park. The walk was along a beautiful trail that went along some sandstone overhangs and passed a nice looking sandstone cave. The cache was located rather easily following about a half mile of hiking.


Treah is checking out the contents. We did not take anything from or leave anything in the cache. We did log our visit in the log book.