Preddy Creek is a newish park north of Charlottesville with hiking and biking trails.
Guttation is sort of like plant sweat: if the ground is wet at night, a plant’s roots could continue pumping in water while the stomata are closed–meaning no transpiration to release excess water. Some plants handle the overflow by squeezing the water out of special pores called hydathodes. Great explanation here. Here’s what it looks like:
Grasses vs sedges vs rushes
Pink ladyslipper orchids
The arrangement of leaves on the stem of this plant is fantastic. They spiral down in bunches, directly attached to the stem.
These ferns have delicate fronds, arranged in a semi-circle on fine, black stems.
A hiker and her dog alerted our group to an injured owl on the trail not too far back. She said it was large and flopped around on the ground as if its wing was injured. A few of us went back to help it, and found a big Barred Owl in a tree across the creek, peacefully watching us. Apparently it had swooped in to grab a treat and wrestled with it, or was faking injury to escape the woman and dog. The owl was big and beautiful, with a gray-brown body and lighter face, and hooted hello at us. Here is more information about Barred Owls. It was too far away to get a good picture, but here’s one from http://thedailybirdnewengland.blogspot.com/2011/02/barred-owls.html: