Sights of Summer

I started this post two days ago and this is how far I got..

“Today has been such a gorgeous day! Nice breeze, bright sunshine, warm but not humid. There are just a few more flowers in bloom, but like the other summer blooming flowers, they tend to stick around for awhile.”

I’m not so sure I would be describing today like that! It sure is back to being humid now. This weekend is supposed to be a lot nicer. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

Back to the subject of summer wildflowers, there was a new bloomer this year. I feel bad not getting to tell you about it sooner because it’s pretty much done. I don’t think the hard rains of yesterday helped very much. The new plant is Wild Senna. It lives in the wet meadow at the start of the boardwalk. I spotted a couple years ago when I was harvesting some willow for my young caterpillars to eat. This is the first year it bloomed. Here are some pictures.

…well, now it’s Sunday and this is my third attempt at getting this post done! Let’s see how far we can get. A couple other new summer wildflowers that are in bloom are Seedbox, Mad-dog Skullcap, Thin-leaved coneflower, Rudbekia spp., and various Silphiums.
The Cranefly orchid is blooming nicely as well.

In other news, there are lots of cool insects taking advantage of the warm temperatures. Dragonflies, damselflies, bees, wasps, beetles, bugs, and butterflies are numerous in the sunny open areas. They are really neat to observe and can make for some great photos. Here’s one from earlier this season – a halactid bee on some orange butterflyweed.

A bumble bee on some Purple Coneflower.

A silvery checkerspot butterfly on Swamp Milkweed.
There are some other colorful things coming on as well. Check them out.

Arrowwood Viburnum berries.

Elderberries right outside of the Nature Center.

And finally, Tom and I saw a small buck the other day outside the office window. His antlers were covered in velvet and he was munching away on some plants growing along the terrace. Just a small reminder that Fall is not that far away!

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