Sunday, September 7, 2014


Chicory, or blue sailor.

Jewelweed, or touch-me-not.

The images you see here were taken around the cottage, within a few hundred feet of the front door. None are what you'd call stunning, not even close. Just shots of common wildflowers—or in some cases, weeds, if you prefer—I liked well enough to keep. A sort of botanical/photographic version of "when you're not with the one you love…love the one you're with."

Alas, I've managed only a couple of very brief photo rambles lately—one to a favorite prairie where I'd hoped to photograph butterflies, various blooms, and maybe a few birds, and the other to a nearby pond for dragonflies. Both were total busts. 

The 100-acre prairie—and another, slightly smaller prairie patch a few miles away—proved all but devoid of butterflies; I saw only one monarch and a rather bedraggled tiger swallowtail fluttering over the bluestem and coneflowers. Yet the morning was sunny, warm, and windless. To my way of thinking, there should have been dozens of different butterflies about busily nectaring.

A few mornings later, the usually reliable pond turned out equally lacking in dragonflies. Normally, the airspace above the cattail fringes, boggy corners, and stands of marsh grass is working alive with these incredible aerial hunters, their whirring wings glittering, shimmering like jewels in the bright light. Again the day was sultry, sunlit, calm. What should have been perfect weather. But I saw no more than a handful of dragonflies, mostly blue dashers, during a full circuit of the 2-acre pond.

Self-heal, or heal-all.
What was going on? The only explanation I can think of would be the fact that until three or so weeks ago, our "summer" weather was more like mid-spring—daytime highs in the upper 60s˚F, nights low-50s˚. Not ideal butterfly or dragonfly weather. But that's only a guess. 

All I know is they weren't there…why remains a mystery.