For the most part, canopy-dwelling warblers are beyond my reach. However, there is a small warbler that operates at my level, foraging for insects in the thickets and brushy fields where I often ramble: the Common Yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas). I encounter this songbird almost daily, more often by sound than sight: their “witchity-witchity-witchity-witch” voice is unmistakable.
These images are male Yellowthroats on nesting territories in early summer.
Male Yellowthroat on a rainy day in late June
The perch in this last photo is Garden Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) , an herbaceous perennial native to Eurasia that is spreading like wildfire in my locale. So many open, natural habitats are becoming invasive species laboratories; frightening.
Male Yellowthroat perched on Valerian in late June
Late spring is a dynamic, transitional time with seemingly endless opportunities to observe and photograph nature. There are so many things going on, all competing for attention: animals in beautiful sleek summer coats; awkward, gangly youngsters learning the ways of the world; a continuum of blooming wildflowers and woody shrubs, the latter resulting in soft mast that will nourish late-nesting and migrating birds; and of course the cold-blooded reptiles and invertebrates, responding to the warmer days that fuel their life activities. I love it all and often find myself frozen with indecision, wanting to be in dozens of different places at the same time! Anyone who has fly-fished and observed the water boiling with surface-feeding fish knows the feeling.
A carpet of Buttercups in full bloom on the floodplain of a small stream.
This post features some of my favorite photos from this magical time of year, roughly the third week of June in central New York. For the most part, the photos are random shots resulting from numerous “discovery walks” where I tried to capture the full range of natural events that represent the season.
Common Wood Sorrel
I listened to a wild turkey gobbling this morning, weeks after the prime mating and nesting season. He seemed reluctant to let go of spring and move on to the more mundane business of summer feeding and dust bathing. If that’s the case, I share his reluctance to let go, and must preserve the memories with a season-ending photo gallery.
Mature White-tailed Deer in velvet
Tiger Swallowtail on Dame’s Rocket
Common Yellowthroat, male
Virginia Bluebells (Virginia Cowslip)
Red-winged Blackbird, male; attacking to defend young
Wild Calla (Water Arum)
Ebony Jewelwing (a damselfly)
Fragrant Water Lily
Devil’s Paintbrush (Orange Hawkweed)
Common Mergansers, hen and young
Skull and antlers of a White-tailed Deer (discovered in a ceder swamp)
Crescent butterfly on Fleabane
Blue Flag (a wild Iris)
Mature White-tailed Deer (heading toward a mature doe, who subsequently kicked him )