Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Mossy Riverbank

Today I spent a couple hours drawing on the mossy bank of Lawson's Fork. By the time Radu, Daisy and I hiked there, it was the middle of the day. The sun, bright and strong, made all the new spring leaves shimmer as they danced in a strong breeze. I'd felt warm when I sat for a while in full sun, out of the wind. Beside the river though, there was only dappled sun and the open water allowed the wind to pick up speed, so it was definitely cool enough for the sweatshirt I had on. While I worked, the dogs ran, jumped and splashed in the water and nosed around Susan and Helen Islands. Beetles and spiders came to visit, and a Tufted Titmouse sang Chiva! Chiva! from a blooming dogwood tree. One spider (above) looked like a miniature Daddy Longlegs - is there such a thing? I haven't been able to identify the brown and black beetle. Zebra Swallowtails fluttered throughout the woods - I counted five - as well as Spring Azures, Sootywings, and an unidentified orange/brown butterfly.

Hundreds of Violets, sedges, and grasses grow in mounds of moss along this stretch of the river. I followed a well-used wildlife trail through them to the very edge of the river, where I could touch the water if I wanted. Just downstream the arching branches of Dog Hobble were in bloom, and a few Rue Anemone still held delicate white flowers. Other plants sprouting beside the river, but not in bloom: Euonymus, Virginia Creeper, Goldenrod, Poison Oak, Christmas Fern (unfurling), Japanese Honeysuckle, Ginger, Trillium, Solomon's Seal, and Maple Leaf Viburnum.

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