Happy Birthday, Treebeard!

December 31, 1953...a very important date to me. It was the day my best friend and soulmate was born.
Happy Birthday, Treebeard! I love you more than you can know. Posted by Picasa

Shhh...She's Sleeping

Where does the queen sleep away the winter chill? This particular one was nestled inside a dead pine log on the forest floor. She was perfectly safe and content -- at least until we came along :(
When we rolled the log to check for salamanders, it broke apart and revealed itself as the winter home of this queen bald-faced hornet (Vespula maculata). She mated in the late summer or early fall and now waits patiently for the warmth of spring when she will emerge and begin a new colony.
Luckily, we were able to piece the log back together so perhaps we didn't do any lasting damage to this sleeping beauty -- we'll keep an eye on things throughout the rest of the winter though, just to be sure. Posted by Picasa


For Ontario Wanderer, As Promised

My December 11th post dealt with "duckweed." Seven genera were mentioned in that post. With Treebeard's invaluable assistance, I have done my best to identify them to species correctly.

For an excellent introduction to duckweeds and other interesting plants, may I direct you to Wayne's Word.

Sorry it took so long for me to get around to doing this, OW!

Azolla caroliniana (Mosquito fern or Water-velvet) This one is not a duckweed, but is often found along with the duckweed mats on the millpond. The Azolla is green in the summer but turns to a velvety red in the fall.

Ricciocarpus natans (a Thallose Liverwort commonly called Purple-fringed Riccia)

Wolffiella gladiata (Sword bogmat or Florida mudmidget)

Spirodela polyrrhiza (Common water-flaxseed, Big duckweed)

Spirodela punctata (Dotted water-flaxseed, Dotted duckweed, Dotted duckmeat) syn: Landoltia punctata

Lemna valdiviana (Pale duckweed)

Wolffia brasiliensis (Watermeal)


Three Unrelated Photos

Chickweed (Stellaria media)

A garden, by chance.

Ruddy duck at sunrise on Big Lake (Umstead State Park, Raleigh,NC)


Peace and Joy

A holiday wreath for you - swamp style. May your holiday be full of things that bring you joy.


Homeward Bound

Merry Christmas to all you bloggers out there! May your holiday be joyous and safe.

Christmas Eve finds us in Charlotte, preparing for the long drive home to the swamp. Our visit has been brief and pleasant, but we are ready to head back. I know I've told you before, but there is just too much stuff here in 'Carlot' and Treebeard and I long for the peace of the woods and wetlands.

Happy Holidays!


That Green Stuff

Water garden...there are at least six, probably seven, species of plants in this photo: a liverwort, an azolla, two spirodelas, a wolffia, a wolffiella, and just possibly a lemna.

Let's simplify and call it all "duckweed."


Resinous Polypore, Maybe?

Treebeard has been keeping an eye on this whopper of a 'shroom the past couple of days. Currently, it measures 49 cm across, 24 cm deep. (you can divide by 2.54 if you want to convert to inches...)
It is growing near the base of a dead sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua).

From a distance for a little perspective.

From a bit closer to appreciate the fact that it has absorbed the fence.

And finally, right along the edge to note the ooze.

Something's up with either my monitor or with Hello because these pictures were much sharper before I loaded 'em on the blog. Curious.


Crazy Dog

Wonder what she's thinking...

...she's thinking, "I'd like to eat some dirt."

Yep, she's a crazy dog.

Note: T. Beth tells me there is a name for this practice. Seems my dog indulges in geophagy. Let 'em eat dirt!!