I've been pressed for time of late and haven't had a chance to put together a coherent post. Hopefully this little disjointed post will satisfy the reader who emailed me with the complaint that I hadn't posted anything "swampy" in a while :) I will try to do better in the future -- say, February?
Many thanks to Treebeard for holding this pair of very active ticks for me. I wanted a picture of both sexes but couldn't hold them and focus the camera at the same time - the little suckers are quick! The female is the larger one on the left, the male is on the right. The Black-legged tick (Ixodes scapularis) is a carrier of Lyme disease. Luckily we seldom find them attached.
A surprise on the forest floor. This is a puttyroot leaf. Puttyroot, a.k.a. Adam-and-Eve, Aplectrum hyemale, is a native orchid that blooms in the spring. It is much more common in the mountains and piedmont of my state so I didn't expect to find it here in the work swamp.
Not sure which species of potter wasp constructed this nest. I will have to keep an eye on it and see what emerges in the spring.
Are you lookin' at me? White-tailed deer, Odocoileus virginianus.
Treebeard snapped this picture of a hermit thrush, Catharus guttatus, from his truck window. He seems to be enjoying the new digital camera that Santa brought him.