Sunday, November 22, 2009

Chasing Moths

This morning, I was fearing that today would be as quiet as yesterday.  It was dark and gloomy out.  When I was doing my paperwork, it kept getting darker instead of the usual which is the other way around.  Finally, it started to rain.  The weather forecast predicted rain all day.  I really thought I was going to have to spend the whole day inside.
When the paperwork was done, I got out an umbrella and walked over to the cabin to open it up.  I saw that there was a van in the parking lot so I headed that way next.  The van carried a cheerful group of divers who were optimistic about the rain keeping the park empty and quiet for their enjoyment.  They didn't mind the rain, they came to get wet!  After checking them in, I filled the brochure racks and kept myself busy in the office for a while.  I went home for lunch and was happy that the rain stopped while I was there.  Back at the park, another diver had arrived and he was waiting for others.  The slow, but steady stream of divers continued all day and the rain did not.  I don't think that they could have all spaced themselves out any better if they had tried.  When one group of divers started to get ready to leave, another group pulled in... all day.
I took a walk in the afternoon.  I spent some time near the river looking for fish.  The Gar usually start gathering at the spring in December.  I was hoping that I might catch a glimpse of an early bird.... errr fish.  I didn't find any Gar, but I did find some Stickbugs.  They were mating.  The little one is the male and the giant one, the female.
IMG_5210I took a photo of the cool tree across the river.  I don't think I will ever have enough pictures of that tree.  Here are a few more.
IMG_5212As I walked away from the river dock, I noticed that my movement unsettled some tiny moths.  When I came close, they would flutter out of the brush and then hide themselves again a few feet away.  I was determined to get a good look at them.  I would rustle a plant with my foot and then watch the moths to see where they landed.  In most instances, the moth would land, I would try to take its picture and it would fly away again.  Eventually, I found a second type of moth that was much bigger and I was able to follow it and get its picture.  I haven't found a definite ID for it yet.
IMG_5215I still wanted to "catch" that tiny type of moth though.  I finally found a brave (or tired) one that didn't flutter away when the camera came close.  The moths landed underneath leaves to roost, so even when I was able to photograph this one, it took some maneuvering.  I am grateful for the swiveling LED screen on my camera.  Can you find the moth?
IMG_5220I wasn't satisfied with any of the shots that I got so I tried turning the leaf over to get the best distance and a clear shot of the moth.  I can't believe that after all of the chasing that I had to do, this moth stuck around when I moved the whole plant!  It is a very pretty little moth, called a Lace-border.
IMG_5224When I was satisfied with my moth capture, I continued my walk along the spring bank.  I intended to look for fish in the water, but the rocks on the shore caught my eye.  I love the way they are all covered in moss now.  The limerock is very porous and is easily worn away, so there are holes and divots all over their surfaces.  The holes catch little things like this piece of Spanish moss or the moss and leaves in the next photo.
IMG_5227While I was standing there, I heard a branch fall in the picnic area.  It sounded like whatever fell took more branches with it.  I headed up toward the picnic area to see where it landed.  I had to stop for one more photo of the moss though.  It was so fuzzy and it had sprouts everywhere.  The sprouts are the reproductive organs of the moss.
IMG_5230When I got near the office, I saw our volunteer and we talked about the branch.  He had heard it too and we decided that it probably fell in the wooded area next to the picnic area.  We decided to check the nature trail and sure enough, it fell right across the path.  Fortunately, it was not nearly as big as it sounded and it only took a minute to clear the path.
IMG_5232The rest of the day was pretty quiet.  I checked in divers and sold a pass.  I talked to my evening relief when she came in and then headed home for the day to start cooking.  We are having a Troy Springs staff cookout tomorrow evening and I made some potato salad, fruit salad (Ambrosia) and coleslaw.  Tomorrow I will cook baked beans and hamburgers and hot dogs.  We will have a feast to prepare ourselves for another feast on Thursday!


Anonymous said...

Amy, I wonder if it was the big eagle again! When he pushed off a branch to fly away from me as I walked your trail, he knocked down the branch and that broke off more branches. That's my theory, and I'm stickin' to it!

Ranger Amy said...

Yes, I'm sure that it was an eagle... definitely not the rain storm the previous day and a lot of wind.