Native Plants, Habitat Restoration, and Other Science Snippets from Athens, Georgia

Wednesday: 14 May 2014

View from Above  -  @ 16:27:15
It wouldn't be spring without mayapples, would it? Aren't they nice? These are doing great, and developing their fruits nicely. They cover the ground at the point on SBS Creek, and I'm always especially carefully how I walk here. Oddly, the population one ravine away to the west has (as it did last year) quite a rust infection, and is senescing at this point.

Oh, but what is that? Take a closer look.

This guy is only a couple of feet long, and probably it's the same copperhead I saw last fall, just a hundred feet upstream. Then, as today, it was right in my usual path, which would take me over that log in the background, and at that point.

You'll have to look even closer to see its head, which is raised - it was very much aware of my presence.

Yesterday, I ran across Reuben the box turtle, and after I did the usual photography, and weighing and linear measurements, I waited for him to come out of his shell, which he did fairly quickly. He's used to me by now, I guess.

He walked ahead a foot, and then stuck his head w a y up in the air and looked around. Then he moved another foot, and repeated the observation. I thought, that's how I walk.

And I do, except instead of looking up and around, I look down. Ten feet ahead, and then I move forward, looking around for box turtles. In the initial sweep, I set my brain on long and thin, and examine the ground ahead. Then, when I've walked the ten or so feet, I set it on round and domed, and look around. Apparently I can't see snakes if I'm thinking of turtles, and vice versa. I can do this for two or three hours, and then I'm exhausted. I may have only covered two miles, but the mental discipline is eventually tiring.

And rewarding, since that's why I didn't step on this guy.

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