Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Beauty in the Big Field

Yesterday was a lovely day.  It was warm, but not hot, and the humidity was low.  So, off I headed to the Big Field, which last year I mistakenly called the Big Meadow.  Summer had arrived there.  The grass was tall, the flowers were blooming and the birds were everywhere.

In some places, the grass was so high that I could hardly see over it.  I was pointing my camera exactly at eye level when I took this shot.
Birds were everywhere.  From the grackles in this mostly dead tree.
To the robins, which I am seeing everywhere this year.
To this Redwinged Blackbird, singing his heart out on the wires.
Here's a little video of this guy.  Don't look at it too closely, because it wobbles like crazy.  I should have had a tripod.  I took it for the song, a true sound of the season.
There were, of course, flowers everywhere.
A little bit of Yarrow
A lot of Hoary Allysum
Common Milkweed everywhere.  Look at those lovely little individual flowers.
Bladder Campion, just done blooming and beginning to form its seed pod
Birdsfoot Trefoil
Sweet Pea everywhere.

And, Butterfly Weed, just beginning to bloom.  You can see from the little flowers how it is related to Common Milkweed.
Somehow, Goatsbeard, gone to seed, always makes me think of geometry.
Insects abounded.  The prize was probably this Eastern Black Swallowtail, which I almost passed right by, thinking it was just a dark spot in the grass.
 But, there was also this pretty little mottled moth.
A dragonfly, briefly resting on the sand.  For those of you who are new, this field is what we call "North of the Ridge."  That means that it is part of what was once ancient Lake Ontario, and the soil is very sandy.  "South of the Ridge" the soil almost immediately becomes full of clay.  The Ridge is the end boundary of the lake.
A damselfly on more sand. Such a tiny little thing, and I only got this one shot before it flitted off.
But, I saved the most exciting, at least for me, thing for last.  This is another example of how easy it is to miss things, and how it always pays to take a second glance.  I was striding along the path, trying to build up my endurance, which, frankly, stinks right now.  I saw a flash of white to my right, and didn't pay much attention.  Then, it registered, and I backed up and took a second look.  It was a milkweed, but a very unusual one.  To my surprise what I saw was an albino milkweed, there, right by the pathway.  It was very delicate looking, compared to the normal milkweed, but, correct in its form, just pure white.  Man, that made my day!

What an exciting day in the Big Field.  I had thought, when I took its picture, that the Eastern Black Swallowtail would be the highlight of the day, until I saw the albino milkweed.  Just goes to prove, I guess, that there is always something interesting around the next bend.


North said...

Love the open sky and the milkweed!

WiseAcre said...

After your visit I figured I'd 'get out' and say thanks for your kind thoughts. I almost forgot how to work the interwebs. I hope to be posting wise a$$ remarks again soon.

Gary said...

Great post Louise and glad to see you enjoying the wildflowers. Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

texwisgirl said...

that shot of the meadow and the purple blooms is just wonderful! i love grasses mixed with color! wow! albino milkweed. very cool! wonder if it will bloom differently (or at all)?

Liesl said...

Stunning post Louise,glad you can get out and about and it is no longer winter!! I cannot believe those sweet peas growing wild!! Why is that field not a meadow???? What is the difference?

Madi and Mom said...

What an amazing day you had in the
Big Field. Oh my goodness you pictures made me feel like I was right there with you. The audio on the video was very crisp and clear.

You have quite a variety of flowers and plants in NY and I thank you for sharing them with us.
Madi and Mom

Sally said...

Love the meadow flowers. Thank you for naming them so I can learn.

Louise said...

Thanks, everyone. I don't think that there is any difference between a field and a meadow. It's just that The trail group that maintains everything calls this the Big Field, as opposed to the Great Meadow that I also love to wander in.

And, you know, I don't think that albino milkweed will bloom. All of the other milkweed already is either budded out or in full flower. There isn't a sign of either on this plant.

Woodswalker said...

Always expect the unexpected when you walk outdoors. Nice finds!

IsobelleGoLightly said...

Look at all that great stuff to eat! Burp! Oh! Excuse me!

John Gray said...

wild swaet pea
how amazing

Jj Rodriguez said...

Oh these pictures brought me home to my parent's farm. Except it would be rice field instead of those grass.

Nice pics!


Horsin' Around said...

Wow, that milkweed is really neat! Isn't it amazing how the greenery goes from zero to top speed in no time at all?

Vicki Lane said...

Wonderful flower shots -- and what a find that albino milkweed is!

Iowa Gardening Woman said...

What a enjoyable walk it must have been! And the albino milkweed is waaaay cool, I have never seen or heard of it.