Thursday, June 24, 2010

Walks This Last Week

Monday is Red Trail day, and, as most of you know, I took my good friend, the power walker along. She cracked me up. The first thing she said was that she had already done her power walk, so she was ready to stroll. An hour and a half later, at the end of the walk, she told me that she hadn't needed to do the power walk. I think she was surprised that this fat old lady was toddling around the trails so well. But, she says that she still likes her walks around the gym, with climate control and no bugs, better.

I have to admit, we did a lot of chattering, and I didn't take nearly as many pictures as usual. However, I did catch this shot of a little chipmunk up in a tree. He was so busy scratching fleas that he didn't even notice us walking underneath us.

We walked past the spot where I had noticed day lily scapes before. They are, indeed, Road Lilies, but, what I want to know is why I have to spend tons of money on spray to keep the deer away, and they haven't touched these?

When we got into the woods, we found this mushroom. I wouldn't eat it, but it looks like someone took a couple of bites.

And I caught the sun on this spider web just right.

Once into the Great Meadow part of the walk we did find a couple of interesting things.

The new flower for the day was Common St. John's Wort. If you click on the closeup picture and enlarge it, you'll see that the edges of the flowers look like they have little pinholes all around them.

And, the Butterfly Weed is finally out in many places.

I also noticed that they had mowed the path. Then I noticed what a wide path they had mowed, and how many plants they had knocked down. I started to worry about my beautiful Butter and Eggs plant. It was very close to the edge of the trail, and, almost at the end of our walk. But, when we got there, we found that the mower had just missed them. Phew!

We left with the decision made to do another walk soon. We'll do the Hojack Trail. It's a long, railroad bed trail, and I had had my doubts that I could walk it all, then turn around and walk all the way back to get to my car. We'll park a car at one end, drive to the other end and walk the trail down. Then, we'll pick up the car we left at the trail end, and drive back to the beginning to pick up the car we left at the trail head.

Yesterday, I walked the Big Meadow, near the Old Woods. Man, was it hot. Yet, there were kids running that trail. I watched them go by, with the sweat pouring off of them. Yup, looked like fun to me, not. The meadow is huge, and the path is well over a mile long.

There was so much cow vetch out that, in places, the ground was purple.

And, I spotted a very beautiful plant that was different. This one stalk of cow vetch was white.

At first I thought it was just old, but, as I focused my camera on it I saw that the blossom was just opening. The lack of color made it look so much more delicate.

There were variations in the everlasting pea also. But, that is common and expected.

The Common Mullien was flowering here. I never noticed that even the flower is fuzzy.

The new plant here was spreading dogbane. What a miserable name for such a pretty little flower.

This Japanese Beetle seemed to like it just fine.

That miserable black swallowwort is here also. Especially near the borders of the field, where there is a little shade. Here, it has formed a dense mat, and you can see the seed pods that have formed. It seems weird to hate a plant, but I hate this stuff.

But, as usual, the good far outweighed the bad. I saw many Monarch Butterflies yesterday, for the first time this year.

This cute little wren was flitting around. I was too far away to tell what kind of wren it was. The only way I knew it was a wren at all was because of the tell tale perky tail.

And, this red-winged blackbird was singing his lungs out on top of this old tree.

After I left the meadow, I got a sudden urge to see what was happening at the bay. I drove to a spot where there used to be a very popular restaurant. But, that was torn down a few years ago, and now there is only the plants that follow in the wake of demolition.

There was a ton of sweet white clover. Funny how such massive plants produce such a delicate little flower.

And, the cow vetch's relative, crown vetch, had begun to appear. I see, now, why they call it crown vetch. The flower does look something like a little crown, though I think it looks more like the fancy bow that you would find on a present.

And, I'll leave you with a view of the bay, cool and inviting on that hot, muggy day.


Tina said...

Wasn't it muggy yesterday, it was really awful here too. I love the picture of the bay. I just love looking at water.

Roses and Lilacs said...

You got some great wildflower shots. Hiking is always more fun with a friend.

It's supposed to be nice here today and I'm taking the afternoon off. I'm excited about putting up a new birdhouse. I'm sure the wrens will want to move in. Sometimes I wonder if they notice the decorative houses are so different from anything they encounter in nature:)

Sharon said...

I laughed when I read about your walker friend! It's a whole different game from doing it indoors on a flat surface!
Nice trip on today's blog, although I couldn't get all the pictures to load. Wonder why a spider would build his web on basically ground level, maybe he has a taste for the crawling bugs?

Canyon Girl said...

That sure was a lot of gorgeous pictures for someone who didn't take a

~Kim at Golden Pines~ said...

A busy week has me behind on my blog visits, and I've enjoyed my walk through your blog to catch up! You take some really great pictures and I continue to love what you're seeing that I know so many would overlook, me included! We have Common Mullien growing around here too, and I'll have to take a closer look at it because I think your pictures of it are just lovely!

Terry said...

It's nice that your friend came in the true spirit, ready for a stroll. Your photos are beautiful, as always. The butterfly weed is so pretty. We've had a ton of vetch this year too, in white, pink, blue and purple. I've never seen so much vetch.

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful wak....everything is so green. We're entering our dry and hot period so things will get a little brown looking. Of course, it IS Oklahoma, so the weather could drop a bucket of rain by surprise!

Great Pictures!

John Gray said...

I have told you before... you should write a book!!!!! about wild flowers