Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Just a Quick Walk

I let too much of the day go by yesterday, so I just had time for a quick outing before dinner duties kept me tied to the house.  Where could I go that was close to home and likely to yield some mid-summer floral finds?  The Bog Meadow Brook Nature Trail was just the ticket!  This two-mile trail through various wetlands lies only a couple of miles from my home and offers lots of wet meadow that can be easily accessed via boardwalk over the wet spots.  And I didn't have to walk the whole length.

I entered Bog Meadow Trail from the new trailhead off Meadowbrook Road and immediately noticed that much work had been done to thwart the beavers' attempt to swamp this section as they had other parts of the trail.  And I also noticed that the water level had lowered considerably from where it had been a few weeks ago in this open marsh.  Must be, one of their dams has been breached.  I wonder how long it will take for them to build it up again. And fill this marsh once more.

There was actually dry land -- well, kind of damp land -- on sections of the trail that had been well under water earlier in the summer.  That's when volunteers built this most helpful boardwalk to allow us to pass this way without wearing knee-high boots.  The trailside plants didn't seem to have minded being swamped, since they were as lush and green as ever.  Even lusher and greener!

One of the first beauties I found was Monkeyflower (Mimulus ringens),  a wetland denizen with  bright-blue flowers that somebody once upon a time thought resembled the face of a monkey.  What an imagination! And what a pretty flower!

Here's another wetland flower that somebody once upon a time named an odd name: Skullcap.  Marsh Skullcap, to be exact (Scutellaria galericulata), distinguished from other local skullcaps by the pairs of humped flowers that grow from the leaf axils.

What flower would be more at home in a swamp than Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata)?  And there were many of them in beautiful bloom on this dayl

And look what I found on that Swamp Milkweed! A big fat Monarch caterpillar!  From the look of the carved-out leaf this pretty creature was resting on, it looked as if it had already finished its dinner.
 And that was my signal it was time to head home to begin fixing mine.

1 comment:

threecollie said...

Swamp milkweed....there's the answer to my question about what we have been seeing all over lately. Thanks again.