Wildflowers: Summer Pinks

Early summer walks invariably lead me to summer pink: pinkish wildflowers in full bloom. Many are alien and occur in abundance along roadsides and waste places, but some are native, with specialized site requirements.

Herb-Robert; a native Geranium; moist, rocky woodland sites

Everlasting Pea; alien; roadsides

Wild Basil

Swamp Milkweed; locally common around wetland habitats

Swamp Milkweed

Musk Mallow; common weed

Queen-of-the-Prairie on the edge of a cattail marsh; a rare occurrence in the Northeast; native to the central and east-central part of the U.S.; wetlands; threatened or endangered status in 6 states where native.

Tiger Swallowtail on Knapweed

Photos by NB Hunter. © All Rights Reserved.

Wet Meadows in Early Summer

Seasoned wet meadow habitats are usually a tangle of shrubs and herbaceous plants in a mosaic of thickets and openings. They’re transitional habitats, evolving from grassy, weedy meadows to woodlands. A dominant, overstory tree canopy is absent, although increasing numbers of young trees forecast a very different landscape in the decades to come. Wet meadows are places where one is likely to get wet or muddy feet, even when it hasn’t rained for awhile. They’re also places that support rich wetland communities of plant and animal life, all begging to be observed and photographed!

These images were all captured last week while exploring  just a few acres of wet meadow habitats.

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Baltimore Checkerspot on Birdsfoot Trefoil; the primary host plant for caterpillars is Turtlehead, a wetland wildflower

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Virginia Ctenuchid moth on dogwood; Silky and Red-osier Dogwood are dominant shrubs in aging wet meadows and important wildlife habitat

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The Browns or Satyrs are signature butterfly species in wetlands; adults feed at bird droppings and sap flows – not flowers

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Twelve-spotted Skimmer, a common hunter in open habitats

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Swamp Milkweed, a popular source of nectar in wetlands

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Northern Pearly-eye, resting on a favorite tree in the transitional zone between wet meadow and forested swamp.

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Baltimore Checkerspot

Photos by NB Hunter. © All Rights Reserved.

 

In the Heat of the Day!?

The summer season and waves of brightly colored wildflowers that arrive with it can be a seemingly endless array of sights, sounds and ecological interactions. There’s usually something in the mix to baffle, entertain and satisfy any nature enthusiast, regardless of their specialty. A simple, short walk through an open natural area (meadows, fallow fields, waste places) in the middle of a hot, steamy day can prove to be quite rewarding!

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St. Johnswort

My gallery is a sample of images captured in the month of July. Let’s take a hike!

Photos by NB Hunter. © All Rights Reserved.