Nature Walks – July 2015

“So come, get ready.  Don’t delay!  We’re on a nature trail today.”

~Maurice Pledger, from In The Forest

July was undoubtedly one of the hardest months of my life, but somehow, the kids and I still made it outside a few times.  There were times when I thought that I ought to go outside just to be in nature and feel it heal me, but then, much of the mysticism of it all evaporates with having to be focused on two energetic kids.  Nevertheless, summer at our house always has something amazing to show.  Here’s some of the amazing things I saw with Elizabeth this July.

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Elizabeth and I found this neat mushroom at the very end of the trail, down by the garden.  It was about 2 – 2.5 inches tall.  We stopped and admired it for quite a while.  When I set to photographing it, she wanted to give it a try too, as she knows I post the pictures of the neat things we see together.  I’m not sure if this is one of her’s – she did take some good pictures!  The following evening, my Mom’s husband came and mowed the lawn, and the mushroom was destroyed; just another reminder that now is all the time we know we’ll have!

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Down at the garden, we also spotted this neat little dragonfly, which I just spent 1/2 an hour trying to ID: a saffron-winged meadowhawk (Sympetrum costiferum); isn’t that just a beautiful name?  It stood perfectly still on this head of grass and let me get pretty close to photograph it.  Though we don’t have a body of water on our property, and the stream is dried up for most of the year (now), we have a number of different dragonfly species.  This is one of the smaller ones, but still very beautiful!

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In my last post, I talked about how Elizabeth and I have been able to break from the routine spot where we do our school, and even study outside!  While discussing kind acts out on a blanket in the front yard, this lovely bumblebee flew here and there between the clover flowers, sipping nectar, until it reached our blanket.  There were actually two bumblebees, of different species, this one had a big yellow mane, while the other was the more typical black and yellow striped bumblebee type that I think of.  (I just looked it up, apparently there are at least nine different species of bumblebees in NY!  But trying to ID this one is a little tough, sorry.)

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Lastly, Elizabeth enjoys playing with fishing lures.  She likes to take them into the tub, and into her little pool.  Well, she had them ALL out and didn’t pick them right up, and…something ate them!  My best guess is that it was a raccoon!  All of the blue ones were missing, all of the crawdaddies had been bitten in half, and pretty much every single one had some kind of bite taken out of it!  Even the bobbers were cracked in half!  So, I trashed them all, and she is set up to the challenge of collecting a new collection again.  (Which is kind of too bad as these ones were starting to lose their horrendous new rubber smell that I can’t stand.)

Share your thoughts:  What neat things did you see (or see sign of) on your nature trail this July?

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