Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Stuart's Signal Hill trail part two

Stuart's Signal Hill Trail head 
In Manassas overnight with Keith, today we decided, in spite of a steamy July kind of day, that we wanted to go to Stuart's Hill trail in the Bull Run National Battlefield Park for a nice long nature walk. Keith missed the first time and I really wanted to explore it again with him along to share my experiences. I got a few more photos of things I didn't see last time. Wild field flowers and stream side a very beautiful blue flower. We saw an adult pair of wild turkey but they slipped by so fast at the end of the trail I barely had time to see them. There was a most exotic crimson red and black ant that was as big as my little finger about about 1.5 inches long! He was moving fast too but I captured something to show. Different this time was the way I went roving up the other side of the trail I had missed the first time through a wood that had been hit by winds or a storm and felled a lot of pine and cedar.  We found lots of turkey feathers in a couple different spots along the trail. There were deer dashing off into the woods. Birds included a small flock of blue birds, several pairs of blue jays. We spotted a hawk and a couple woodpeckers too. There were lots of things jumping we didn't catch a good look at but it was hot and the woods are drying out now. Fall is sneaking up on us even thought it feels like the fourth of July today.

sweet everlasting

switch grass flowers pale yellow

purple gerardia


look closely for the gray "deer foot" moss between the blades of grass 

the edge of the woods the last field before  the trail to Lewis house. 

field seen from the edge of woods where the Lewis house stead was. 

back into the woods 

lichen on the rocks and bark in the woods 

 in bright sun the great lobelia's blue flowers by the creek 

by the creek blue flowers of great lobelia, lower right side

blue flower great lobelia at the edge of creek 

closer view of the  great lobelia 

remarkable grass going to seed 

Stuart's hill today 

brown and orange butterflies are called Pearl Crescents (Phyciodes tharos) in the grass field on white asters 

two of these pearl crescent butterflies were the size of a quarter or smaller

"red velvet ant" that raced along the trail running from my camera is actually a female wasp  

this wasp lays eggs on bumble bee larvae and have a sting that hurts so much it's also called a Cow Killer wasp.  

Keith marching along beside me on the trail through the field 

Proof I had company

there he is the little frog or toad that jumped on the trail 

1 comment:

Frederick Nunley said...
Red Velvet Ant is a wingless wasp which can sting and cause a pain so painful it is said it could kill a cow!
Glad we didn't try to pick her up today.