Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Vibrant Days

Ah sweet and shaggy July... Waist high stands of purple Viper's bugloss (Echium vulgareare) in the Lanark Highlands are buzzing with intoxicated bumblebees. Brown-Eyed Susans are blooming, and almost every flower wears a sparkling Red-blue Checkered Beetle (Trichodes nutalli) like a enameled brooch.

We haunt our fields looking for Monarch butterflies and their offspring, hoping to find gloriously striped children arrayed like royalty and clinging to the underside of milkweed leaves. It is cicada time again too, and we listen for male annual cicadas perched high in the trees and calling to attract mates - I'm always on the lookout for newly emerged cicadas in our poplar groves.  So far, there has been only a single Monarch butterfly in the air over the Two Hundred Acre Wood, and there is no sign whatsoever of caterpillars and emerging cicadas, but these are early days. We will continue to potter about and look for butterflies and cicadas at every opportunity.

In the western field, last year's milkweed pods are draping themselves across their younger kin with insouciance or leaning against the old rail fence like weary travelers.  I never tire of looking at their thousand and one textures and the muted variegation of their earthy hues. Who knew that gray and brown came in so many delightful shades?

Yesterday, two female wild turkeys crossed the lane in front of us in late afternoon.  They were shepherding their unruly offspring before them like like little brown sheep, administering a gentle peck here and a nudge there to keep the inquisitive children moving.  The two families were speeding along at a fine rate, and their appearance was so unexpected that I didn't have a chance to snap a photo.

1 comment:

kate smudges said...

Lovely photographs accompany words that capture the essence of July. I'd love to be in these fields ...