Naturalist Notes – Week of July 18

Naturalist Notes from Ranger Gretch : Week of July 18

     This is a great time of year to visit Virginia’s Natural Bridge & Historic Hotel as so many of our native animals are readily seen going about the business of life in the forest.  Wildflowers are abundant and teeming with life :  various butterflies and bees are taking advantage of the rich mid-summer nectar supply while goldfinches dart from thistle to thistle.   Black bears must be appreciating the bumper wild berry crop.

Blooming this week :  Mullein, Ox-Eye Daisy, Black Eyed Susan, Queen Anne’s Lace

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This week’s shout out :   Must go to NASA for the spectacular new views of Pluto and its natural satellite, Charon.  By the way stargazers, look up this week  to see Venus and Jupiter bright in the night sky, to the right of the crescent moon, about a half hour after sunset.