Blog Archives

14 April 2014 – Oldtown Elkridge and Thomas Viaduct

This gallery contains 11 photos.

The venue for today’s foray took place in Oldtown Elkridge and in area of the nearby Thomas Viaduct (the world’s oldest multiple arched stone railway viaduct still in use from the early 19th century). Below, you can see some of … Continue reading

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31 March 2013 – Hood’s Phlox – Phlox hoodii

This gallery contains 2 photos.

Hood’s Phlox (Phlox hoodii Richardson) is a highly variable, widespread species found in Western North America from Alaska to Northern Mexico on the west to Manitoba, Nebraska, and New Mexico on the East. It is a common constituent of the … Continue reading

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30 October 2012 – Sandy: Flood at the Main Entrance to North Tract

This gallery contains 15 photos.

Today, I had the day off because of Sandy and so this morning I decided to go the North Tract to check things out. As soon as I came up to the entrance of the North Tract, I spotted an … Continue reading

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26 August 2012 – Giant Puffball

This gallery contains 4 photos.

Today at church my son A.J. pointed out a large fungus fruiting body in the flower bed just outside of the chapel. It is a Giant Puffball (Calvatia gigantea (Batsch ex Pers.) Lloyd). It is commonly found in Europe and … Continue reading

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23 August 2012 – Northern Slender Lady’s Tresses Orchid – Spiranthes lacera

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Today, I revisited the site where I found some Northern Slender Lady’s Tresses Orchid (Spiranthes lacera (Raf.) Raf. var. gracilis (Bigelow) Luer.) two years ago. I visited the site last year but there were no flowers blooming. However, this year … Continue reading

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8 Aug 2012 – Old American Chestnut Stump – Castanea dentata

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Today, due to the kind help of Dennis Green, one of the longtime volunteers at the North Tract, I was able to document the first evidence of an American Chestnut (Castanea dentata) for the project. After a ride up a … Continue reading

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23 July 2012 – Common teasel – Dipsacus fullonum ssp. sylvestris

This gallery contains 4 photos.

I spotted a patch of common teasel – Dipsacus fullonum ssp. sylvestris (Huds.) Clapham next to the road in Lawrenceville, PA and decided to take some pictures. This is the wild form of the teasel which was used for carding … Continue reading

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14 July 2012 – Small Green Wood Orchid or Club Spur Orchid – Platanthera clavellata

This gallery contains 5 photos.

While exploring the south side of Beaver Valley, I came across a population of Small Green Wood Orchid or Club Spur Orchid (Platanthera clavellata (Michx.) Luer). The plants were found in a boggy seepage area at the base of a … Continue reading

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The Inner Core – Untouched by Human Hands (Mostly)

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INTRODUCTION The purpose of this article is to draw attention to and spark interest in a special parcel of land on the North Tract. For the purposes of this article, I will call it the “Inner Core.” While there is … Continue reading

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5 May 2012 – Close Encounter of a Slithering Kind

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Today while slogging in the steam which flows between Beaver Valley and Shangri La I had a close encounter with a snake called a Black Racer – (Coluber constrictor). It did not try to slither away like most racers I … Continue reading

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21 April 2012 – Beaver Valley – Search for more Bogs

This gallery contains 7 photos.

Today, I went back out to Beaver Valley to explore the east end and north bank. I discovered that most of the good bogs are on the west end of the south bank. On this trip, I ventured further on … Continue reading

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20 April 2012 – Beaver Valley

This gallery contains 9 photos.

I scoped out Beaver Valley today. It is another one of the remnants from the Little Patuxent River. It is further south from the Little Patuxent River than Shangri La, and is much older. There is a stream that flows … Continue reading

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19 April 2012 – Neverland Swamp

This gallery contains 8 photos.

Today, I ventured into a part of the North Tract that I had not been to yet – Neverland Swamp. It is located south of the Old Forge Bridge along the Little Patuxent River. I was pleasantly surprised with what … Continue reading

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17 April 2012 – Termites

This gallery contains 3 photos.

While traipsing through the woods near Wild Turkey Way at Loblolly Fork I stepped on a log which broke and exposed a bunch of little critters scurrying about. I examined the log closely and discovered that the critters were termites. … Continue reading

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24 March 2012 – Mistletoe Bog and Shangri La

This gallery contains 5 photos.

Mistletoe Bog This afternoon, Barb Dyko and I scouted out some boggy areas near the Wood Duck Pond. There are several slow flowing streams throughout this area and the layout of these streams are such that boggy areas can form. … Continue reading

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14 March 2012 – Froggy went a courtin’ (Toad actually)

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While driving down Telegraph Road, I saw some movement in a mud puddle in front of me. I slowed down and discovered a bunch of American Toad (Bufo americanus) swimming around. Looking a little closer, I discovered that they were … Continue reading

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12 March 2012 – Eastern Fence Lizards and Black Widow Spiders

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Today I did not do much botanizing. Instead I just drove around to see what I could find. Along side South Road near the BGE Powerline Right-of-way I spotted a lizard, which I believe is an Eastern Fence Lizard. In … Continue reading

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1 March 2012 – First Spring Beauty of the Year

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SPRING IS HERE! Today along the Little Patuxent River Trail spotted the first Spring Beauty (Claytonia virginica L.) of the year blooming. By comparison last year, the spring beauty was spotted on 16 March. By the looks of one of … Continue reading

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29 February 2012 – American Hazlelnut – Corylus americana

This gallery contains 8 photos.

Today, I spotted some American Hazelnut (Corylus americana Walter) along Bald Eagle Drive just north of the Contact Station. It was in full bloom with both male (staminate) flowers and female (pistillate) flowers. The staminate flowers were on 3 to … Continue reading

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25 February 2012 – Flight 93 Memorial, Shanksville, Pennsylvania

This gallery contains 6 photos.

This is a departure from my usual nature related posts, but I don’t have another place to put it. While up in Somerset, PA today, we decided to visit the Flight 93 Memorial in nearby Shanksville. It was 23 degrees … Continue reading

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