An Evening at Hughes Mountain Natural Area

I’ve discussed Hughes Mountain Natural Area a few times in this blog.  There is still so much I have yet to discover and photograph here, that I am always keen to pay a visit.  Typically, plants go quickly dormant and animals become hard to find during summer’s dog days.  The cooler, wet summer we are had this year provided an extended window of activity for many of the residents of this glade-covered knob.  These images were taken during a July evening as Steve and I paid a visit to one of our mutual favorite destinations.

For a while now, I’ve know of the first citizen I’d like to introduce to you.  Because I often have troubles slowing down and looking around, I had never actually seen one of these guys until this summer.  Of course, they are everywhere you look.  I am speaking of the Lichen Grasshopper, a species perfectly adapted at blending in with the lichen-covered exposed rocks on igneous glades such as those found at Hughes Mountain.

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Lichen Grasshopper
 

As I was destroying my delicate knees and elbows trying to get a shot of these weary grasshoppers I happened across this gal, a mamma Wolf Spider, out for a stroll with the kids.  She didn’t seem to mind the paparazzo activity.

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Mamma Wolf
 

The Fame Flower, a member of the succulent tending, Purslane family, is also known as Rock Pink and Flower-of-an-Hour, due to the ephemeral flowers opening late in the afternoon.  The flowers of this magnificent little plant are suspended on fine, wispy, leafless stalks (scape) many times longer than the short, succulent leaves.  Any small breeze sets these warmly saturated blooms swaying back and forth, bringing difficulty to obtaining a nice photograph.  Bravos to Steve for identifying this one!

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Fame Flower
 

Finally, I wanted to provide a “habitat shot” that exemplifies where these organisms can be found.  Hopefully next time I can show you some of the other kind-hearted citizens of the Ozark Glades, like the Tarantula, the Black Widow and Scorpions.

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Moist Times
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The Tail Slap

This past May, Steve and I took a hike around the Heron Pond area at Riverlands.  To our surprise we found this Beaver swimming around near mid-day.  He seemed a bit upset by our presence, although the pond was quite large and we stuck to the levee trails.  Every few minutes he would give us a tail slap that was a bit intimidating.  Imagine making such a fuss over OZB!

I’m sorry to have been a bit absent on the blog the last few weeks.  Life has been a bit busy lately.  I am also working diligently (sort of) on a piece of photography news that I hope to reveal on the blog in the next week or two.  Stay tuned for the really big news!  😉

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