Journal for July 6, 2006

The prairies are all starting to bloom now and, as usual, I feel more optimistic about our success when there are lots of flowers in bloom.

The prairie area around the house is looking beautiful – Black-eyed Susans, Hoary Vervain, and Canada Tick-trefoil are blooming.

And the prairies on top of the hills are full of Monarda and Black-eyed Susans. These two photos are both from the Narrows Prairie – this is its third summer.

3 Finger Valley has one area full of Oxeye and another with lots of Giant St. John’s Wort.

Giant St. John’s Wort (Hypericum pyramidatum)

I walked up to Stargrass Opening one afternoon. I was being very quiet, and I heard a noise and looked up and a fawn was wandering across the opening. His mother was behind him on the path and froze when she saw me, but the fawn wasn’t worried at all. It looked at me, and sniffed, and kept right on going.

Here you can see the doe in the background – looking worried.

Finally the doe snorted and ran, but it took the fawn a while to decide that he needed to follow her.

I weeded Wild Parsnip in the wetland field again – every week more Parsnip flowers pop up. I was concerned that all the mowing we did out there would kill the Milkweed and make the field less attractive to Monarch Butterflies. I was very encouraged to see a Monarch laying eggs on a very short, mowed but still growing Milkweed, and to see another Monarch that had just emerged from its chrysalis and was drying its wings.

I’m seeing some wonderful caterpillars, but I can’t identify most of them. Here’s one unidentified one.

This one, I think, is a Yellow Bear Caterpillar, also called a Virginian Tiger Moth (Spilosoma virginica).

There are moths everywhere in the woods – they flutter up from the plants as I walk along. They’re very shy, but I finally got a picture of a Haploa Moth – possibly a Leconte’s Haploa (Haploa lecontei), but their coloring is so variable that I don’t know for sure.

We had some thunderclouds and beautiful skies, but very little rain. Here’s a rainbow over the Cat’s Paw Prairie one evening.