Flora – and some fauna

I’ve been remiss with blogging. This post is FLORA. This is flora here in  central Virginia. That blooms in early May. Most of it smells divine.

In the unlikely event I end up in Heaven, and in the still less likely event Heaven has only one flower, I hope it’s Honeysuckle (Lonicera). Some was more “under my nose” than others. I managed a few breathtaking shots across the street from home this weekend. But I got this one at Pony Pasture with my pooches this morning and I like it best. I like flowers that are beautiful to look at. But I like a nice smell more than anything, and it’s difficult to beat a big clump of honeysuckle for sweet smell (“heavenly,” you may even say):


Isn’t that just gorgeous? That’s one of my favorite pictures ever.

Also a few days ago I was down in the Brown’s Island/Belle Isle area checking out trains with my buddy Clark. While there we came upon an enormous thistle with a bumblebee (that’s FAUNA) dining out:

A thistle and a bee and a bridge

Speaking of mixed flora and fauna, check out this shot of Ivory traipsing through some big vines at Pony Pasture on Mother’s Day morning. This was before we left for the mountains!:

Ivory at Pony Pasture with some very big vines!

First stop on our Mother’s Day adventure.

I can’t leave out our second stop – he and I went to have lunch with Mom and Dad at Massanutten. Dad took the picture. And bought lunch!:

With Mom and Ivory for Mother's Day brunch - thanks Dad!

A little more fauna – we surprised this raccoon (Procyon lotor) at Pony Pasture. She (or he) was moving fast (thank goodness) and I didn’t get a great shot:

Raccoon, moving quick

This guy, as you may imagine, wasn’t in quite such a rush. Or perhaps he was, but come on, it’s a turtle. How would you even know?:

Box turtle

I’ve still got a few shots left for a future post – maybe I’ll put it up tomorrow. But this one is big enough for now. I’ll close with a picture I was fortunate to take at Pony Pasture near the end of April. My friend Lynda Richardson and my sister Katie identified this beauty as a Barred Owl (Strix varia). It was quite cooperative, stopped in a tree within sight of the parking lot at Pony Pasture on the last Thursday in April:

Barred Owl

Have a great day,


PS The dogs and I love company on our hikes. Catch us at the Starbucks at the north end of the Huguenot Bridge (near the VA Eye Institute) most Thursday mornings around 7:00 or on Sundays around 8:00. Or meet us at Pony Pasture around 15 minutes later. We park at the northeast end of the parking lot. That is, the farthest downstream and the closest to the river. We don’t see raccoons and owls and ducklings and turtles and deer and beaver and opossums and muskrats and bluebirds and otters and geese and herons and kingfishers and eagles every single morning. But we do see the river every single morning, and it’s always different and it’s always perfect. Don’t wear your best clothes. And feel free to write a comment – we’d love to hear from you!

About Jay McLaughlin

I am a rehabilitation counselor. I have many friends with autism and traumatic brain injuries. They help me learn new things constantly. I hike with dogs at the James River in Richmond - a lot. I've completed an Iron distance triathlon a year for 11 years. My most recent was in Wilmington, NC in November, 2013. I currently compete in mid-distance triathlons. And work and hike and take pictures and write and eat.
This entry was posted in Dogs, Flowers, Fun, People, Rivers, Smiles (including "dog smiles"!). Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Flora – and some fauna

  1. Evelyn says:

    Lovely – can’t beat honeysuckle for a sniff sensation and those vines have tales to tell. Thanks for a sweet morning read.

  2. I’m glad you enjoyed it – I love the experiences and I have fun putting up the posts. Have a great day,


  3. Clare says:

    Wow, really pretty! Whenever we ride the ponies up from the barn to the bug guys’ pasture, we pass a mass of honeysuckle and the smell is wonderful. And wow, an owl!

    • Hi Clare,
      I’m glad you enjoyed it. And thanks for the comment! Honeysuckle is my number one favorite flower. I love the way it smells and the way it looks. I think what I love most is it takes care of itself! Also it was neat to see that big barred owl. I was lucky to be out in the woods when he was out there. He certainly looks very wise. Have a great day,


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