VNPS 2015: Madison Run

For Sunday, a short and sweet stroll along the Madison Run Fire Road at the foot of the Blue Ridge. Saturday’s rains freshened the green stuff everywhere.

crawlThe fire road follows the run up into the park; at this time of year, and after periods of drought, the run was more like a crawl. As you walk almost directly east into the park, the stream is on your right and some rather impressive cliffs, broken up by talus slopes, are on your left.

bloomwavyThe group ID’d Wavy-leafed Aster (Symphyotrichum undulatum); see the wavy, clasping leaves on the right. I could not keep up with the group’s mania for keying out desmodiums and yet more asters, although I began to recognize Desmodium paniculatum. We found an interesting assassin bug, perhaps Apiomerus sp., that refused to stay in focus for my point-and-shoot; it was hanging out on a Gerardia pedicularia.

miraclesubstrateResurrection Fern (Pleopeltis polypodioides), working its way into the crevices of this outcrop, is quite beautiful.