The minute I hit the Great Meadow, I could see that things had changed since the last time I was there. Queen Anne's Lace was blooming everywhere, dominating the scene completely. Beautiful, and completely different than the grasses that had dominated before.
But, once you started looking, there were a lot of other flowers there, also. Much to my surprise, there were large patches of Butter and Eggs. Now the question becomes, why was that one patch that I saw blooming so much earlier?
Black-eyed Susans were in their glory.
The Early Goldenrod was in full bloom.
Many stalks of later blooming Goldenrod had these rosettes on the very top. I believe that they are caused by the larva of the midge Rhopalomyia solidaginis. At least, they're pretty.
I saw one of my favorite flowers in quite a few places. Joe-Pye Weed draws my eye where ever it is. Obviously, one reason is because it's so tall. But, I love the beautiful purple clusters of flowers at the top, and the red veined stems themselves.
This particular flower isn't open yet, but the buds look paler than most. I wonder if it will be white when it does open? I'll keep an eye on it, and see.
Seed pods are beginning to mature.
And, the birds, oh, they were everywhere. Singing, and singing, and singing.
Catbird -- This bird was not doing the "kitten in distress" call that they are famous for. Instead, it was singing a very lovely and complicated song.
I'm not 100% sure of these next two identifications.
Hermit Thrush - The picture is the best I could get. I did see this bird flying around, and it appeared to have the right characteristics. The dark tail is another indicator.
Correction -- I think that Upupaepops is correct and this is some kind of flycatcher. I'm not going to try to identify it any further as they all look pretty much alike.
Field Sparrow - What a lovely song this bird was singing. That's partly what I based my identification on,. Picture taken at highest magnification.
The Orange Trail isn't all meadow. Part of it goes through a lovely second growth woods. Unlike the meadow, it is very quiet there, with the eternal feeling that woods can give you. I'll leave you with a picture of it.