Wednesday, August 19, 2020

A Hot Day's Walk

Temperature 87°F and rising, humidity 127% (not possible, I know, but it sure felt like it), no breeze, very hazy sun and some clouds. An ugly day for a walk on seldom-used roads through brushy areas and old fields. But it was also a good day for finding insect activity – in spite of the sweat that ran down my back and dripped on my glasses. And so I made a three mile loop and was back to the car before the heat became truly unbearable for this winter-loving naturalist.

The area is fairly flat with wet ditches and a couple of wetlands. It had been hot and rainless for several weeks, so mosquitoes were few and far between and the normally wet areas were dryer than usual. But it wasn’t dry enough to really impact any of the vegetation, and so there were flowers in bloom:

Monkey flower had opened its light blue flowers in a damp roadside ditch –

And the lavender flowers of wild bergamot bloomed in both widely scattered individual plants and large colonies. Wild bergamot appears to be the favored food plant of an interesting day-flying moth, the hummingbird clearwing –

Some areas are high and dry and it was there that the earliest of the goldenrods were beginning to bloom –

From the open areas of old fields and heavily logged woodland, the old road wound through wet woodland and a wooded swamp. For almost a half mile the road was covered with tall vegetation where at least one pickerel frog jumped away from my boots every four to six feet. There must have been hundreds of frogs, but only one landed in an open area that offered a chance for a photo –

The wet woodland had an extensive understory of spicebush which attracted spicebush swallowtails

Further along the old road emerged into an open wetland where a line of flowering buttonbush occupied the border of the road –

The flowers attracted some monarch butterflies as well as a few smaller butterflies known as silver-spotted skippers –


Scattered among the buttonbush were some plants of Joe-pye-weed whose buds were ready to open –

And some spotted jewelweed –

Out in an area of open water a green heron worked its way down a long-fallen tree –

And then the road led back into an area of old fields and fencerows full of catbirds –

and Virginia creeper showing signs of fall –

It was good to get back to the air-conditioned car for the ride home.


The Furry Gnome said...

I've only seen Buttonbush in one place here in Ontario.

eileeninmd said...


I love the wildflowers, great captures of the Clearwing and the Green Heron. The humidity sounds awful. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Enjoy your day, have a great weekend.

Barbara Rogers said...

After drying off and cooling off, you deserve lots of praise for such beautiful and exact photos of fast moving creatures (those clear-winged ones) as well as the flora of many colors.

Anu said...

Hello. Fantastic photos. The Green heron is awesome.

Rain said...

Hi Woody :) I can relate to 127% humidity lol! :) The frog photo is so the heron too. The spotted jewelweed is something I've never seen before, it's beautiful! :)

Janet Pesaturo said...

Spectacular photos, especially the hummingbird moths.