The beauty of oaks

Wildflowers and wildlife aren’t the only beauties in these Ouachitan woods. While grown up oaks add to the lovely fall color here, these youngins show their spring colors nicely.

Five little oak leaves.
RADIANT — Young oak leaves edged in red.
Young oak leaves
Young oak leaves
Oak flowers
DUST IN THE WIND — Black Jack Oak flowers spread their pollen to the aggravation of allergy sufferers. There is a somewhat graceful beauty to the “stringers” as they wave in the wind. 

Flying phlox

The bright pink of these wild phlox caught my eye while wandering around the deer trails in the Ouachita (pronounced “WASH’-ih-taw”) Mountains. An incoming storm system brought some big winds from the south and even at ground level (at 700 feet or so), these phlox were flying.

wind blown phlox
WIND BLOWN — Plenty of wind at ground level when you grow at 700 feet.

Snake season 2014 is now open

Our first snake sighting — at least of one near the house — happened on Wednesday.  A little water snake warming himself on the concrete road  that runs near the neighborhood pond. We just missed running him over and stopped the car to get out and my husband moved him to a safer location. He wan’t terribly appreciative of the gesture and lunged at the air near my husband’s legs. (After getting home, we had to looked him up be sure he wasn’t a copperhead.)

The sighting was to the day we posted last year’s “Opening day for snake season. And two years to the day after posting “Snakes in the garden.” At least our neighborhood snakes seem to be consistent.

 

water snake coiling
GO AWAY!

Weekly photo challenge: Monument

This week’s photo challenge is titled “Monument.” Here is our monument to spring in the Arkansas Ouachita mountains: All of 5 inches tall including stem, this crested iris is getting ready to unfurl its flag.

4-12-Iris-to-Unfurl-web

 

Other monuments we liked: