1.25.2011

A Chilly Stroll

On Sunday afternoon I dusted off the camera and headed out for a stroll with Treebeard. The sun was shining but the wind had a definite chill to it with high temperatures only in the 30s F. It has been a very cold winter.

A few birds were moving around. We saw this yellow-bellied sapsucker checking out a sweetgum tree. If you look closely, you can see how puffed out this bird was. See the belly feathers? He looked like he had swallowed a tennis ball.
 


A bit farther down the trail, Mother Nature provided us with a collage of leaves accented with a whisper of Spanish moss and a couple of sweetgum balls.
 


A young crossvine was climbing a tree.  The leaves looked a bit winter-weary but it was still nice to see a little green in this gray season.
 


In a field adjacent to the trail, sunshine had the broomstraw glowing.
 
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Down in the swamp ice was everywhere.  Like I said, it's been a cold winter.




 

 

 

 
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An oak leaf sporting a fuzzy gall...
 


Looks like just a stump, right?  Come spring it will sprout cottonmouths :)  The snakes use stumps like this as winter hideouts.  In March we start seeing sluggish snakes out sunning nearby.


 
This little pond is a borrow pit. It was pretty in the afternoon sun.
 





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We enjoyed our walk despite the chill.

15 comments:

Sara Rall said...

Beautiful! The leaves and gumballs is my favorite. Cool fuzzy gall, and yikes to the cottonmouth stump!

Sally said...

I agree with Sara-- the sweetgum still life is terrific... And I love the fuzzy gall ball...

Can you give us another name for broomstraw? It looks so much like little bluestem I'm wondering if it is...

KaHolly said...

Such a delightful walk through your swamp. Thanks for taking us along. I was just introduced to Little Blue Stem this past weekend, and although I haven't imported the pictures from my camera yet, I don't recall it being so fuzzy. Perhaps it's Yellow Indian Grass? Perhaps it's time to get those pictures into the computer!! Have a great day, karen

Woodswalker said...

There's always something amazing in the swamp. Thanks for taking us there.

swamp4me said...

Sara,
I like the little leaf collage, too. And the snakes aren't so bad ;)

Sally,
The broomstraw is an andropogon -- probably Andropogon ternarius, Silver bluestem.

Karen,
I think Little Blue Stem has been moved to another genus. It used to be in Andropogon...

Woodswalker,
I think you would like the swamp. You'll have to make a trip south one of these days.

Murr Brewster said...

I'm getting ready to do a frog egg monitoring in a swamp around here, for our regional government. We start in February. It will be ice water up to my chest. I was all set, but now I'm thinking about turtle monitoring instead. That's in June, and only on sunny mornings.

Crowe said...

That fuzzy gall reminds me of the Star Trek episode 'The Trouble with Tribbles'. Are you sure it's not a tribble?!!

Happy New Year, Swampy!

Sara

swamp4me said...

Hi Sara! Since I saw only one gall I'm pretty sure it wasn't a tribble -- you know how prolific those little critters are.

Murr,
While I dearly love frogs, I would not want to be chest deep in ice water (I can't afford any shrinkage in that area). If I were you, I would be all on for the turtles. It is, after all, the year of the turtle.

Lené Gary said...

Lovely images and details. I especially like the snowy swamp shot you've used for the blog header. :)

swamp4me said...

Thanks, lene. I hope you are staying warm up there in Vermont. We have friends in Bristol - last time we talked with them their air temp was -13!

Ontario Wanderer said...

Nice swamp walk. Nice to see someplace without snow. Getting warmer in southern Ontario. Up to just below freezing today from a wind chill of -28 earlier in the week.

swamp4me said...

OW,
This winter has taught me that I would be hard-pressed to make it in more northerly climes. Snow is nice every once in a while -- as long as it melts away within a day or two. I also find that I do not enjoy days when the high temperature climbs only into the 30s. Yes, I am a whimp.

Lené Gary said...

It has been mighty chilly up here. Please let me know if you come to Vermont to visit. Your friends live near one of my favorite places to paddle. :)

Anvilcloud said...

Oh my, here you are. I just saw a comment on Swampy and thought I would check. Didn't you give up blogging once upon a time?

swamp4me said...

Lene,
We are hoping to go to Vermont this year - just haven't decided whether to go early in the summer or early in the fall. I'll let you know when we are headed that way. I'd love to know where you like to paddle.

Anvilcloud,
Long time, no see! Yes, I did sort of let the blog languish for a while but I'm trying to get back into a more regular posting routine. Hope all is well in Canada!!