On the Mullen

A female Downey Head Woodpecker found the Mullen plant to her liking this morning as she spent quite a bit of time hunting and then pecking away for a meal.

She inspected the plant then with target in sight and eyes closed tight she pecked away like only a woodpecker can peck.

Then back again for another round on the beautiful Mullen plant.

Beetlemania

Not John, Paul, George and Ringo but a handsome looking group of Beetles nonetheless.

Various encounters with members of the order Coleoptera we photographed over the last couple of months.

Diverse adapted and ready for whatever is thrown their way. Beetle species number over 400,000 and a large number are probable still to be discovered.

Beetlemaina…catch it.

Woodland Pinedrops: Pterospora andromedea

Earlier this summer we ran across a peculiar plant making its way up through the earth in the forest. A strange striped asparagus? No Woodland Pinedrops: Pterospora andromeda.

According to Wikipedia “Like all members of the Monotriopoidiae , Pterospora andromedea lacks chlorophyll (trace amounts have been identified, but not enough to provide energy for the plant or to color it. Plants exist for most of their life as a mass of brittle, but fleshy, roots. They live in a parasitic relationship with mycorrhizal fungi, in which plants derive all their carbon from their associated fungus, but the relationship is not yet well understood.”

This makes it similar to several of the orchids we have encountered along the trail.

Now that summer has passed and fall is in the air the plant looks like this.

Somewhat like a small tree full of small pumpkins decorating the autumn forest.

A dragonflies flight

Relentlessly buzzing and zooming while patrolling his small pond a dragonflies flight is something to behold.

This patch of pond must have been a treasure worth holding onto as anyone who dare flew into his view was quickly escorted away with a swift deliberate attack. As he flew head on into the camera we got a quick a cursory glance then he was gone.