Friday, May 6, 2011

Lance-leaf Coreopsis, Southern Ragwort & Daisy Fleabane

I waited until afternoon to walk today so that the air could warm and the dew could dry. Walking in high, dewy grass soaks your shoes the same as walking into a stream! With each step you feel your feet getting soggier and soggier. But a cool, dry afternoon with a breeze is wonderful - the perfect time to head out.

One thing I didn't count on though, was the number of grasshoppers lurking in the grass. As I walked they leapt out of my way, but occasionally one would leap into me. They hit my arm, my chest, my thigh, but then one leapt full speed and smacked me right in the eye! I was looking down, so he hit me on the eyelid, but still, I felt like I was under attack!

While I walked through the tall grass I admired all the early May beauty of the pipeline. The Lance-leaf Coreopsis is prettier this year than ever, or at least the prettiest I've seen it in 21 years of living here. Other flowers are blooming too: Lyre-leaved Sage, Gray Beardtongue, Thistle, White Yarrow, Spotted Cat's Ear, Daisy Fleabane is just opening. The scent of Honeysuckle lingers in the valley of Meetinghouse Creek, where cool air still swirled and the clay track was still soft and wet.

Besides grasshoppers, there were many dragonflies zipping around (Four-spotted and others), and butterflies! Omg, it's such a joy to see the butterflies visiting all the blooms I've mentioned: Tiger Swallowtails, Buckeyes, Azures, Painted Ladies, Monarchs....and more, although right now I can't come up with them.

Daisy and I settled in the sun to draw flowers. It was quiet until the breeze kicked up and rattled the Cottonwood tree just up the hill from where I sat. It sounded so much like rain on the leaf-litter around my house that I immediately looked to the sky to see where the rain was coming from. Ha! No clouds. I twisted around to look behind me and saw the cottonwood leaves wiggling in the breeze. The realization that the sound came from there made me smile.

Birds included: Rufous-sided Towhee (Drink-your-tea!), Pileated Woodpecker, Chickadees, Cardinals, Louisiana Waterthrush, and Kinglets in the pines.