Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Happy Summer!

Every year, on the first official day of Summer, my friend Sue Pierce goes looking for Wood Lilies (Lilium philadelphicum). She usually finds them, too!  That's because she knows just where to look for them: on the powerline clearcuts that run through Moreau Lake State Park.  And sure enough, we found many in bloom yesterday, and almost as many in bud.  So the show has  just begun!

We always find another delightfully showy flower in the same sunny, sandy-soiled stretch, and usually on the same day:  the deliciously fragrant and ruffly-leaved native wildflower called Blunt-leaved Milkweed (Asclepias amplexicaulis):

And if WE were happy to find these unusual milkweeds (and more of them here than we ever have!), I bet this Banded Hairstreak Butterfly had even more reason to be happy than we did:

It sure was a happy day for the insects along this powerline clearcut. Lots of New Jersey Tea (Ceanothus americanus) grows here, too, and I've never seen a flower cluster on this native shrub that wasn't hosting lots of insects for dinner.

While the insects were feasting on the pollen and nectar of New Jersey Tea, I was feasting my eyes on  the perfect little star-shaped buds of the florets.  The flower cluster resembles a burst of exploding fireworks.

Many, many flowers were exploding into bloom on this first day of Summer, and none were more generously colorful about it than this whole field of hot-pink Maiden Pinks (Dianthus deltoides):

 This whole field of Oxeye Daisies (Leucanthemum vulgare) was also putting on quite a show! And what flower could say "Happy Summer!" with more exuberance than a whole field of daisies?

Happy Summer!


Mary said...

That's one of my favorite walking spots but I haven't been there since the gas prices soared and limited me to places closer to my home in Glenville. But I think you may have tempted me to splurge on a few dollars worth of gas to enjoy the burst of blooms! I'm so grateful for your blog and Facebook postings detailing the wonders of our local wild places.

Woody Meristem said...

Haven't seen a wood lily in years, apparently the deer eat each and every one here.