09 Nature Photo Album

Just have to love those Tulips

Phallic Fungus

May 4, 2009-by John Blair, valleywatch.net editor. I saw something really different and nasty in the Valley Watch garden today. In numerous locations where I had placed some forest mulch last year, sprang forth a variety of fungus I had never seen before.
Doing some research, I came up with this description. It oozed some really nasty liquid and stunk.


“The stinkhorns probably take the prize for most phallic mushroom family, which is probably why the family is called “phallaceae”. This one is a “dog stinkhorn” photographed in Illinois; there’s a very similar one called the “devil’s dipstick” which is just a little thinner.

There can be quite a bit of variation in color – sometimes the dog stinkhorns are very pale white with just a bit of pink near the tip.
It’s not only their shape, it’s also the fact that they’ve got a hole at the end which oozes a nasty looking liquid containing the spores. It’s easy to smell it from 40 or 50 feet away, and flies just love it – this is how it disperses the spores.

It really doesn’t bear thinking about.” richard-seaman.com
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Butterflies in Winter???

March 17, 2009-by John Blair, valleywatch.net editor. Butterflies are known more as late summer and fall insects, but this butterfly was found in the Valley Watch garden on St. Patrick’s Day.
Just last week, temperatures were below freezing in the Tri-State. This week, all sorts of things began to change as temps began to rise. Does the appearance of a butterfly before spring has even arrived indicate something about the climate and the changes that are occurring worldwide?

Spring brings color, new hope

March 17, 2009-Photo © John Blair. Nothing heralds the arrival of spring more than tulips bursting forth through the decay of winter. This tulip is just one of many in the Valley Watch garden that will soon sport blooms along with blue bells and bachelor buttons.

Crocus offer hope of change to warmer weather

Critters in the garden flourish with the arrival of summer