Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Summer Signs

I was glad to see July end.  Like everywhere else, it was just too darn hot--record high for Virginia.  I did get out a little bit in the evenings after the sun went down behind the trees.  The photo above was taken on July 20 when I took my dog on a walk.  For some reason, the dog missed the mother and 2 baby raccoons in the cove while I heard them scramble up the poplar tree.  The mother looked down at me while she put her paw on the younger ones to go up the tree.  They climbed 80 feet up into the canopy and couldn't be seen.

Here are some other photos of late summer....

The jewelweed that grows along our driveway is yellow while those plants along the creek down the road are orange.  

I was thrilled to see this zebra swallowtail, very unusual for our yard.  There must be a pawpaw tree around somewhere because that is its host plant.

I found this huge chicken? mushroom at the base of a large red oak tree on August 7.

Here is another look from above. I love the orange color.

This Rattlesnake Plantain is an orchid that some folks dig up for terrariums.  But, I would never do that since there aren't that many of them in the woods.   It will send up a single stalk with little white flowers later this month or September.

The first half of August has been what I expected--highs in the lower 80s with cool nights (50s).  That keeps our house cool all day.  August can stay as long as it likes!


  1. What a sweet raccoon family!
    I have only seen a zebra swallowtail once in my life..... how thrilling to see one!!
    I'm enjoying our August weather.... July was a HOT one!

  2. So nicely observed. Keen awareness of the natural world around us is like a medicine for the soul. Greetings from Yorkshire, England.

  3. It looks like "chicken of the woods" mushroom, i think. If so, it's delicious. BUT ... i don't know enough to recommend eating THAT one. I could be totallhy wrong.

  4. Oh where did summer go? It sure was hot here in New England too. that isure looks like chicken of the woods..and it is super yummy.

  5. Lovely photos and I agree, it's been seriously hot this summer.
    Have you heard for every morning fog in August, there'll be a snow in winter? My Aunt Esther used to tell me that and she kept records; said it was true. From the records I've kept, I've found it to be true as well.
    I'm in southwest VA also; a beautiful part of the Commonwealth.

  6. Lovely photos and I enjoyed your narrative! Thank you. I am watching the end of summer unfold in the Appalachians now. Some leaves have started to turn and a few come down in the breeze right now! We have a lot of jewelweed on the sides of the road here and I was glad to learn its name!

  7. i loved going along on your walk. i love woodland walks.

    happy autumn.

  8. Very nice photos...We were down in Shenandoah Park this summer,hiking and enjoying nature and it's so beautiful there! I think I'm almost jealous of anyone living in those mountains! We live in northern Ohio and it's nice here too,lots of woods, but we really enjoy exploring wilderness areas.I too have a nature blog,address is: naturediaries1.blogspot.com