Mason Wasp

photograph of a wasp with blue wings

When I think of the color of bees and wasps, I think of yellows, oranges, and reds.  This little Mason Wasp is black and white with beautiful blue wings.  Sadly, it flew away before I could get a another photo showing more of the wing.  From what I’ve read, they mainly feed on nectar and caterpillars.

Tiny Forest

photograph of moss growing on a log in a swamp

The moss and saplings growing from this semi-submerged log make up a tiny little forest of their own.  A microcosm of the world around them.

Tri-Colored Pine Cone

photograph of a pinecone

I’m not much of a pine cone photographer (is there such a thing?) but the colors on this cone really caught my eye.  It grew from the branch of a fallen tree that was clearly still very much alive.

Lichen Bloom

photograph of lichen blooming on the side of a tree

Sometimes it’s the little things in nature that really catch my eye.  This lichen was growing on the side of a very large pine tree.  I approached the tree to get a closer look at something else when I noticed the tiny, bright red blooms on the lichen.  Who knew that lichen actually bloomed?

Melt Off

photograph of trees reflected in a puddle of melting snow

As I hiked past this puddle of melting snow I stopped to look at the reflections in it.  Snow was falling off the trees in clumps and caused ripples in the puddle.

Steaming Stump

photograph of steam coming off a log as snow melts

When I arrived at the edge of the lake, this stump was absorbing the sun.  As the dark wood warmed snow was converted into a small cloud of steam.  As a result, this photo shows all three forms of water:  frozen (snow), liquid (water), and vapor (steam).

Seed Pod

photograph of a seed podI can’t identify the plant which produced this seed pod but I can confidently say it wasn’t a dandelion.  It was low, leggy bush with dried up leaves when I took this photo in November.  Regardless of my ignorance, I thought the plant’s seed pod was worthy of a close up photo.

Jones Run Cascade

photograph of a cascade along Jones Run in Shenandoah National ParkThis cascade along Jones Run in Shenandoah National Park provided an interesting photographic experience.  My friend was smart enough to stay at the top.  Despite my better judgement I decided to hike down a little farther from the trail.  Just as I was thinking I needed to be careful on the leaves and wet rocks, I stepped on a patch of wet moss covering a large, flat downward sloping stone.  As the moss gave way I began sliding down the rock face, watching my camera bounce off the stones beneath me and hoping I would be able to stop myself.  Fortunately my slide came to an end before I got to the actual waterfall, about 6 feet beyond the point from which I took this picture.