Monday, July 19, 2010

Friday Walk

I took a walk in the Big Meadow on Friday. I went right after it rained, and everything was dewy and fresh. There wasn't too much new, but I enjoyed just seeing stuff.

As I walked along, I saw the swallows darting and swooping in the air again. This time, though, the reason that they were so busy was more evident. Along the telephone/power lines that run on the north side of the meadow, the babies were waiting for Mom and Pop to bring food. Soon, they will be doing their own darting and swooping.

The only new flower this week was the Bull Thistle.

But the Garden Phlox, just starting to bloom last week, was in full flower this week.

Butterflies were everywhere.

Meadow Fritillary

American Copper

And, of course, the Monarch.

And, just to prove that my pictures sometimes lack that certain something, here is a blurred butterfly. I can't identify it, and I dearly wanted to, but the darn thing just wouldn't come into focus. Plus it was a flitter -- flit here, flit there, land for just a second then flit off again. I thought at first that it was a Small White, but I was in the woods, cooling off. I've never seen a Small White in the woods. It was smaller than that butterfly, and it had a bluish tinge to it. Oh well, maybe next time.

I decided to go down to the Lake after that. I was hot and sticky and I knew that the breeze off of the lake after a rain would cool me off.

I couldn't take a picture of the first thing I noticed when I got there. Phew! The stench was horrific. There must have been an algae bloom, or something. Cleared my nose right out, that's for sure.

I headed out to the pier. Off in the distance, way out in the water, I saw something. I couldn't figure out what it was. I thought it was a ship, but it looked like it was tilted. I hadn't heard of any ship in trouble, so I wondered if it was a couple of dredges, way out there. But why dredge in the middle of the Lake? I took some shots, anyways. I'm leaning towards ship, with the distance of the shot making it simply appear that it was tilting. But then, who really knows?

As I walked back towards the creek, and the car, I saw that, while I had been on the pier, we had gotten some new visitors. Seven Mute Swans had cruised into the area. Mute Swans are not natives, and they are presenting a problem because they are displacing native populations of waterfowl. In keeping with my "invasive species are always beautiful" theory, however, they were a pleasure to watch.

They don't seem to be displacing these mallards.

Bottoms up!

This swan was banded. When I got home, I did some research on the computer, found out that there had been a study in the area. The study was over, but the article said that they were still interested in reports on these swans, so, I dutifully did so. I guess you're going to have to click on the picture to see the band.

Edited to add that I have just heard from the N.Y.S. Department of Environmental Conservation, Division of Fish, Wildlife & Marine Resources. This swan was banded over five years ago, and has been regularly seen and reported in our area. Cool. And, may I say that I was very impressed with the quick reply.

I actually sat there for quite some time, watching the swans and the mallards. Finally, the swans left. I was very surprised to see that they headed way out into the lake. Though not really bad, the lake was definitely rough. I would have thought that they would have stuck close to shore, but, apparently, rough water isn't a problem.

Funny, it wasn't until after the swans left that I noticed the stench again. I quickly cleared out, heading for home, to smell a few flowers.


Roses and Lilacs said...

Enjoyed seeing your butterflies. I haven't seen the first two in this area. The swans are interesting. Beautiful creatures but I know they are aggressive toward some other waterfowl.

Sharon said...

Loved the swans! It didn't seem they were having any problem with the ducks or vice versa. Nice pictures!

Terry said...

Your new header photo is gorgeous. What lake is that? Is it the same one with the swans? Love the swans.