Hiked early with journal and camera under cloudy skies to check on the Bull Thistles, to see if they have fully opened. Walking into a breeze on a warm spring morning is such a delight it makes you forget some of the little irritants of the season, which were soon to appear.
Daisy and I headed downhill to Meetinghouse Creek. When we paused to admire the nice patch of Green and Gold blooming along the edge a few buzzy gnats appeared, but were gone as soon as we started again and headed uphill. We followed the path that cuts through the woods and out into another open field where the thistles grow. The first plant I came to was not open yet, although still pretty. I took a few pictures and then we continued on. The next plant was fully 3" open, its color a beautiful deep rose-purple with white dots of the pistols showing themselves. As I took a few photos of it a few gnats buzzed, but only briefly. Then I turned around. Now the breeze came from behind me and a million gnats were in my face. Daisy's too. Like me she started shaking her head and pawing at her eyes. Ugh! Gnats are one of Mother Nature's less lovable creations.
Luckily, spring breezes can be fickle, and as we high-tailed it downhill a stronger wind kicked up from the opposite direction and blew the gnats away again! I was able to slow down and take my time going home. We went back to where I'd left my backpack and journal in the woods behind the house. Over the weekend I happened to find a Jack-in-the-Pulpit growing and in bloom very close to the Catesby's Trillium, also still in bloom. That's where Daisy and I ended our outing, and although the gnats were not around, there was plenty of woodland bug activity to be heard - lots of scritch-scratching in the leaf litter. I finally saw who was on the move... Fireflies! I guess we'll be seeing them light up the night in the near future.