Journal for August 3, 2006

This was the weekend of our big party, which was a great success in spite of the hot weather. People went on walks at the beginning and the end of the day – it was much too hot in the middle. By the afternoon it was brilliantly sunny and about 90 degrees so mostly people sat on the porch or in the air conditioning and talked and ate the great food that everyone brought. It was fun.

Here are a few of the partiers setting out on a walk.

And trying to identify Joe’s dragonfly photos.

Richard was sitting down in the cool basement that evening and found a tree frog clinging to the glass door.

I had left my black swallowtail caterpillars out on the table, and everyone admired them. They are such beautiful caterpillars! They were very big – three had made their chrysalises by the next day. Here are two that decided to settle on the same branch. They’re hanging from strings of silk getting ready to make their chrysalises.

I checked on the wetland area that I sprayed a few weeks ago, and I’ll need to spray again to get all the places that I missed. This is the way it looks now.

The yellowed leaves show where the spray is working, but the darker green areas are ones I missed. It will be easier to spray this time because the areas are marked and I’ll be able to keep track of where I’ve been.

The beavers have been working on their dam again, so I pulled it out, and by the next day they already had the beginnings of a new dam – so I pulled it out again. It’s a great project for a hot day – the stream is spring fed, so it’s nice and cold, and the bottom – in that spot – is firm and easy to walk on. Here’s the second smaller dam.

The wetland is full of butterflies right now. Here are a few of them.

Black Swallowtail (female) nectaring on Red Clover

Eyed Brown

Tiger Swallowtail nectaring on Joe Pye Weed

Eastern Tailed Blue (female) nectaring on Mountain Mint

Mike mowed Western Prairie again – the Foxtail was starting to go to seed, but there were a few prairie flowers blooming.

I’ve been noticing a little triangle of wetland that belongs to some of our neighbors down the road. It’s in one of their fields but they never plant it because it’s too wet, so it’s full of native wetland plants. This week I saw some bright purplish flowers blooming there. I thought they were a type of wetland Blazing Star. But when I went to look I discovered that they’re Purple Fringed Orchids. It’s the first time I’ve seen them in this area.

They don’t look much like orchids until you get close, but then you can see the tiny orchid shaped blossoms.