Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Summer Flowers Along the Shore

Boy, Summer wasn't kidding when the sun rolled up to that Tropic of Cancer last Friday!  All of a sudden, after weeks of chilly rain, the days turned HOT.  So hot, in fact, I almost didn't want to go outside.  But Nature still beckoned to me, and knowing there's almost always a cooling breeze on the lake, I headed to Moreau Lake State Park yesterday to walk around the back bay.

As soon as I set foot on that damp sand, I forgot about how unpleasantly steamy it was, for all around me were some of Summer's prettiest flowers.  The first to greet me were these sunny little Rough Cinquefoil blooms (Potentilla norvegica ssp. monspeliensis), the only one of our commonly encountered cinquefoils to have three leaflets instead of the typical five.

Scattered across the sand were thousands of tiny blue Smaller Forget-me-nots (Myosotis laxa),  a native species that is much smaller than its introduced cousin, M. scorpioides.

This next photo gives a better idea of just how small those Forget-me-nots are:

Competing with the Forget-me-nots for which flower could be the truest blue were these pretty flowers called Blue-eyed Grass (Sisyrinchium montana).

I know they're called Blue Flags (Iris versicolor), but I would call these stately and lovely flowers more purple than blue.  They were blooming abundantly all along the shore.

The flowers of New Jersey Tea (Ceanothus americanus) looked like tiny fireworks explosions, with stars shooting off in all directions.

These Indian Pipes (Monitropa uniflora) were so pale and translucent they seemed to glow with their own light in the dark shade of the woods.

The flowers of Racemed Milkwort (Polygala polygama) are so small they would probably go unnoticed, if not for the vivid pinky-purple of their clusters.

A really close look at the individual florets reveals how much they resemble the flowers of another vividly pink milkwort that blooms along this shore earlier in the spring,  Fringed Polygala.

Well, it sure was my lucky day!  Not only did this splendid Slaty Skimmer sit still for his portrait, but also my camera actually focused on the dragonfly and not the grass beyond him.   I had many chances to capture his likeness, too, since every time he would fly away, he would return to exactly the same spot on this twig.

So I was even able to get TWO photos of him!  Maybe he knew how handsome he is and was posing deliberately for me.


Raining Iguanas said...

Always amazed at the amount of color you extract from a walk. I guess that's the best way to walk through life in general.

Momo said...

Jackie, I love your dragonfly shots-stunning!