Crappy lemonade

As mentioned earlier, there was an outing scheduled for the other day, that I had to postpone by two hours, and like far too many bosses on an early Friday afternoon, the sun had vanished and wasn’t coming back. It also wasn’t anywhere near as warm as it had been earlier in the week, so things weren’t looking too promising. But you know what they say about when life gives you lemons…

It was Mason Farm Biological Reserve (again,) before most spring growth had really gotten into its swing and with a dearth of animal life. In searching for anything at all to make decent photos, I spotted a cluster of white in the woods well off the path, and traipsed over there to investigate. It turned out to be a stand of Atamasco lilies (Zephyranthes atamasco,) also called rain lilies or easter lilies – supposedly common, but I don’t recall seeing them before.

Atamasco lilies Zephyranthes atamasco against flood bog
Portions of the Reserve were still flooded from the recent rains, being a lowland bordering a decent creek, but the footing was largely solid. These were large for wildflowers, though about average for lilies I guess – big enough to attract attention from 30 meters off, anyway.

cluster of Atamasco lilies Zephyranthes atamasco
They weren’t really enough to offset the grey of the day, but they remained better than most subjects visible.

Further on in a perpetually flooded channel, a very old fallen trunk was playing host to some opportunistic plants.

wild violets and grasses growing from semi-submerged dead tree
Getting back far enough to show the setting meant minimizing the already-small wild violets (Viola papilionacea,) but you know what they look like and the cluster of growth in the log was what I wanted to illustrate. There had been plenty of fresh water added not a week earlier and it still looked like that – the flow just wasn’t impressive. Small disturbances hinted at minnows within, but nothing wanted to show itself, and certainly no frogs were calling or basking.

The only thing that showed serious activity, aside from a cluster of sparrows, was a trio of juvenile eastern grey squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis) that had been tussling with one another at the mouth of a hollow trunk, though they ceased before I could get the long lens affixed. They still scampered around almost randomly, though, and I took the opportunity to shoot down the length of the log as one appeared at the far end.

juvenile eastern grey squirrel Sciurus carolinensis peeking from opposite end of hollow log
They yet appeared closer, and posed semi-cooperatively, though they didn’t resume the wrestling that I was hoping to get.

pair of juvenile eastern grey squirrels Sciurus carolinensis pausing at end of hollow log
I remained ready, and at least captured a sequence of typical sibling behavior when the closer one decided to head back down the log.

sequence of eastern grey squirrel Sciurus carolinensis trampling over top of sibling
There was plenty of room to go past alongside, but trampling over top was obviously more fun, though you can see evidence of a likely swat-in-the-ass bestowed by the littermate. As the youngest of four kids, you know I can relate, no matter how distant those memories are.

But… yeah, that was about it. Not going to update the gallery pages with anything from this outing – my little roadside stand isn’t raking in enough for a comic book. It’ll get better soon enough, though.