Wednesday, November 17, 2021

HUNTLEY MEADOWS PARK ON MONDAY, 11-8-21 - PART 1

I usually wait until the end to say this, but if you would like to see other posts from Huntley Meadows Park, you can either type its name in the subject/search box at the top left of this page, or go to the label below this post.  Oodles and oodles of posts from here.  We have been visiting for years.  Lots of wildlife photos, as well as flowers, plants and trees.  We never know what we are going to see as there is always something different, which you have no doubt realized when visiting your favorite places.In the above photo you can see their visitor center.  On the left is a tree marked for cutting down.  
It is about half a mile to walk to the wetlands through the wood... 

and is a very pleasant trail that is nice and flat. Benches along the way too.
On one of the markers showing how far along on the trail we are, we spotted this, a Woolly Bear Caterpillar.  It becomes the Isabella Tiger Moth (Pyrrharctia isabella).  According to this link, it says, "The Isabella Tiger moth can be found in many cold regions, including the Arctic. The banded woolly bear larva emerges from the egg in the fall and overwinters in its caterpillar form, when it literally freezes solid" and "It survives being frozen by producing a cryoprotectant in its tissues.  In the spring it thaws."  If curious you can click on this link for the explanation of the word 'cryoprotectant'.  Can you imagine the scientists trying to unlock this phenomena?  Absolutely fascinating!
By observing the Woolly bear caterpillars, also called woolly worms, there are those who believe we can predict the winter weather by looking at them.  If their rusty band is wide, then it will be a mild winter. The more black there is, the more severe the winter. 
Whether there is any truth to this I have no clue but the info can be found in many places.  I remember reading about this years ago but I needed a refresher, and I found more at this website.  I will find my photo again at the onset of next Spring.  I wouldn't hazard a guess with this one what our winter will be like, but it will be fun to look later, just for curiosity's sake.  Cute little thing!
We have reached the walkway that takes us through the wetlands.  There are several signs along the way.  This one gives us the do's and don'ts, for the benefit of wildlife and preservation of the area.  
Another board with information on what we might see.  There are others at intervals.
The water level is higher than the last time we were here, but this all seems to fit in with the nature of things.
Advice from a Wetland
Make a splash,
Take time to reflect,
Listen to nature,
'Reed' more,
Be green,
Don't get bogged down,
What's the rush?
No rushing here, everyone seems to go at nature's pace.  For a Monday their were lots of cars in the parking lot, with plenty of spaces still available.  We passed several people but it wasn't crowded, and the weather was gorgeous!  I dressed in layers thinking it was going to be chilly like the day before.  I should have looked at the weather forecast.  It was 72 degrees Fahrenheit that day.  
There was a swarm of what I thought were ladybugs.  Both of us had several land on us.  I counted 10 on me, and about as many on Gregg.  I have never seen so many at one time, and later read that they were not ladybugs.  They have been found in other areas too.  You can read about them here.  In the next photo you can see one.  It landed on Gregg's jeans and it was the only photo that came out without being blurred.  The previous link has a photo that shows you the difference between these and ladybugs.  It's in how many spots they have, more than the ladybug.  There is also an “M” design on its head. The ladybug 🐞 doesn’t have one. 
We came across a line of geese on a log.  They were busy preening themselves.
One looked up but they were too busy to pay attention...
until some other geese landed just across the way.  I didn't get any photos of them.  Our crew gave them what-for!  They were very noisy for several minutes until the usurpers left and they went back to preening, and we left them smiling, having been fully entertained.

And then there were the frogs and other critters, but I will leave those until next time.

Thanks for going with us on another walk.  I hope your day is a great one.




36 comments:

  1. What great fun, and such a learning experience! WE have these Asian Lady Beetles, and thought they were Ladybugs until right now, reading this!!! And now I know they are imposters! The Wooly Bear is cute, you can't tell which end is which!

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    1. Happy you think so Ginny :) and I am happy to share what I have learned. As I have said many times before, I am no expert and am learning too. Always appreciate more knowledgeable people popping in to either agree or disagree with my findings. I looked very carefully at those Woolly Bears to see which end was which and had a real hard time.

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  2. Nice place for a walk..
    Haven't seen a caterpillar in years.
    Geese are looking good there too.

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    1. It always is Margaret and we love walking there :) I was happy to see the Geese looking nice and healthy, compared to my other post at Meadowlark where I saw the two with the damaged wings. Did my heart good to see the ones at Huntley Meadows.

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  3. It is a beautiful area. I am not surprised you go back often. I would too.

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    1. Thank you Sue, we will always return to this place :)

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  4. What a beautiful place for a walk
    It's been a while since I've seen any caterpillars. Must be I need to get outside more.

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    1. I was happy to come across this one Ann, it's been a while since I saw any. It's always good to get out in the sunshine but hard to set time aside when you're working. We are able to do it a lot more now we are retired :)

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  5. Hello,
    It is a wonderful place for a walk and to see wildlife. Neat captures of the Wooly Bear, ladybug and the geese. Have a happy day!

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    1. Thank you Eileen, glad you enjoyed. A happy day to you also :)

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  6. i love the advice and the photo just below it. it is such a beautiful place and i would visit it over and over like you do. when i was about 12 years old, i stepped barefoot on a wooly and wow did it sting.. it had more black than red and was in KY.. i love the view looking up and up that tree

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    1. Thank you Sandy :) Ouch on that memory! I used to be tempted to pick them up but those bristles are there for a reason I learned. Sorry you stepped on one and felt the pain. I am one of those people who always look up into the trees :)

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  7. All of those ladybugs would have irked me. LOL. Lots of moisture over there.

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    1. Definitely lots of moisture :) I didn't mind the ladybugs, a swarm of bees or wasps might have gotten my attention though, LOL!

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  8. A nice place to wander around in. that wooly caterpillar was cute. Wonder what kind of winter he's predicting. Loved the geese.

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    1. Thanks Latane :) I keep hearing we are going to have a colder winter than normal. I hope those predictions are wrong.

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  9. Love all the shadows and the sunshine and how they play out in these photos!

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  10. You give a great tour with detailed descriptions. Thanks.

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  11. So interesting about this cryoprotectant

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  12. What a beautiful place...thanks for the trip

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    1. You are very welcome Ashok, so glad you enjoyed my post :)

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  13. All so beautiful...but, I have a favorite. Surprised? I didn't think so...5th from the top. And the perspective you captured of the woodland all is phenomenal Denise. I would go there probably once a week.

    Do you stop to read those kiosks (signs)? Me too!!

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    1. I like that one too Anni :) and thank you, always happy you enjoy my walks. If it were closer I would go more often :) And yes, I stop to read every one, lol!

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  14. such cool information on the banded woolly bear, i'm not sure i have ever seen one!!

    i will never look at a lady bug the same way again...

    this looks like a great place to walk, flat paths and the nice wooden boardwalks!!

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    1. Thank you Debbie, this was the first woolly bear I had seen in a very long time :) Yes, definitely a great place to walk.

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  15. Such a lovely place for a walk.
    Lovely photographs Denise.

    All the best Jan

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    1. Thank you Jan, so glad and all the best to you too :)

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  16. I so would love to have a place like this near me...it looks like a wonderful place to visit.

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    1. Thank you Rose, we are very fortunate to live close to several places we enjoy walking around.

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  17. I love the photo of the geese on the log, Denise. The reflection is perfection! Great info on ladybugs vs. the beetles--so interesting.

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    1. That's great Martha Ellen :) I am happy you enjoyed everything.

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