Thursday, July 29, 2010

Summer in the Big Meadow

It's high summer in the big meadow. Everything has a slightly dry and crispy look. I did my walk at noon, and most of the creatures, being smarter than I am, were hiding in the bushes, keeping out of the hot sun. Two creatures, however, were very much in evidence. One, I could only hear. There was the constant buzz of cicadas. That, to me, is very much the sound of summer. I was hoping that my camera would record it, but all I got was a hum, that sounded very much like static.

The other creature very much in evidence was the grasshopper. With every step I took, one or more would jump up and fly away from my feet. I suppose, if you're a little grasshopper, big human feet are very dangerous.

I was very surprised to see this Butter and Eggs plant flowering. I found them over at the Great Meadow at least a month ago, and they are long gone from there. It's surprising how the ecology of similar places varies, even if they're just a short distance from on another.

It's a peaceful place, this meadow. You can see so far that it makes you feel very small. At one point, as I was standing, admiring the view, I saw something jumping up above the grass. "Oh look!" said I, "Rabbits." Then I realized that what I was seeing, so far away that they looked small, were a couple of deer, playing hide and seek. No pictures, they jumped and disappeared much too fast.

There, beyond the milkweed, in that strip of brown grass, is where I saw the deer.

There is an old apple tree along the path, laden with apples.

Around the base, you can see where the deer have trod down a path. Checking to see if the apples are ripe yet, you think?

I often wonder, on my walks, if this old barn once held the fruits of what the meadow grew when it was part of a farm.

One of the things I was most interested in was finding Monarch butterfly eggs and caterpillars on the many milkweed plants in the meadow. I had no luck. The only thing I found was this, and it isn't a Monarch egg. Maybe it's too early?

There was plenty of activity on those milkweed plants, however. This Red Milkweed Beetle thought he was hiding from me.

But, he was no match for the intrepid beetle hunter!

The Bumblebees were swarming all over a few late Milkweed flowers.

These ants had quite the successful aphid farm pastured on this milkweed.

I did see a couple of birds. My Indigo Bunting was sitting and singing, high on this wire.

And, high over the woods, this Turkey Buzzard was gracefully riding the air currents.

Just as I was ending my walk, I spotted this new flower. I took several pictures of it, before I stopped, and thought that it looked very familiar. I looked a little closer, and realized that what I was looking at was a flower from a Butterfly Weed. The poor plant had not produced a complete cluster, just this one little blossom. It's very pretty, however, all by itself.

When I got back to my car, I was hot, and sweaty, and tired. But, happy, too. There is just something about this particular Meadow that brings me peace. I hope that these pictures of my walk brought you a little of that peace, also.


Tina said...

I love Indigo Buntings, I only seen one twice in my life. They are absolutely beautiful. Your close up ant pictures gave me goose bumps lol....I am not a bug person, as interesting as some of them are. lol...great pictures as always.

Upupaepops said...

we just need to get you out the door earlier so you wont be in the blazing sun

Rock on Beetle Hunter

Louise said...

I'm up plenty early enough, but I can piddle around like nobodies business since I retired. You just wait, Upupaepops, until you retire.

Roses and Lilacs said...

In my garden the Monarchs much prefer the butterfly weed to the common milkweed. I would look on those plants for monarch eggs or caterpillars.

Have you ever visited GardenWebs butterfly garden forum? It's kind of nice place to share photos and learn everything new.

Terry said...

Oh, such a nice walk. A little bit of everything - widlflowers and wildlife.

Canyon Girl said...

No wonder you were happy after that walk. What a lovely meadow that is and what interesting insect photos. Did your turkey buzzard go "peep, peep, peep" or make any kind of sound similar to that? I saw some this morning, or so I thought, but that sound they made -- they are supposed to be quiet. I'll post the pictures soon.

Jabacue said...

From one 'old hippie' to another, I like your blog. The pics are great....and that Indigo Bunting!!! Saw one here once a few years back....never saw it again. Must have gotten swept too far north! Beautiful meadow too....lucky you>

Callie said...

Thank you! Yes, that was very enjoyable... I enjoyed the quiet time strolling the meadow. Wonderful photos. Hope the deer leave a few apples for you to sample.

Tammy said...

Beautiful place and beautiful pictures. Is this a state park, or a walking trail? Just curious.

Sharon said...

Great pictures! (As always!) Love the pic of the old barn, has lots of character. The sounds of summer scare Jack, he has become a real sissy.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

I love how you wrote:
"These ants had quite the successful aphid farm pastured on this milkweed."

So descriptive and a perfect analogy, too. You really should consider writing a photography book. :)

That old farm is just begging to be explored. The silo has almost been completely engulfed by those vines.

I love how you are always looking for new and old friends during your walks. I'm the same way about enjoying nature walks.


barefootheart said...

What a nice spot for a walk. You spotted lots of interesting things, too! Wish I was there!