Field trip roundup

Blandy Experimental Farm/State Arboretum of Virginia, Clarke County

On the native plant trail, too late for spring ephemerals and too early for summer meadow flowers. I did see some Penstemon sp., and Oxeye Daisy was fairly common. Not very birdy—I saw some Chimney Swifts by one of the buildings. A mystery pink-flowered sedum-like something.

I got some reasonably good observations of Magicicada cassinii and M. septendecim. Cassin’s sounds like a recycling lawn sprinkler.

new growthwell drilledIn the conifer collection, I was taken by the bright green new growth of Nordmann’s Fir (Abies nordmanniana).

Red Rock Wilderness Overlook Regional Park, Loudoun County

Mostly families on the poorly marked trails. The drop down to the riverside is steep and slippy. Pass.

Fraser Preserve, Fairfax County

Six-spotted Tiger Beetles (Cicindela sexguttata) were tolerably common; a Great Blue Skimmer (Libellula vibrans) defending turf at the entrance gate. At Nichols Run, a mystery hollow-stemmed, maculate shrubby something and a handsome Northern Watersnake (Nerodia sipedon). Much lovely dappled shade on the trail/gravel road.