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.