Thursday, August 26, 2010

Late Summer, Early Evening

We took a walk in "our" natural area last evening. We hadn't been out for weeks because of the unremittingly high temperatures. But the weather has been cool and cloudy for the last three days, and we took advantage of the break to enjoy the late summer meadows. Another heat wave starts this Sunday.

Dozens of Chimney Swifts (Chaetura pelagica) were wheeling through the skies, but there was no sign of migrating Common Nighthawks (Chordeiles minor), which usually pass through singly during the last week of August. The swifts roost in the evening in a tall chimney at a local college. It's a local birdwatcher's hotspot to set up a lawn chair and watch the birds plunge into the chimney at sunset.

Many bumblebees were already drowsy on the goldenrod (which I think is Wrinkle-leaf Goldenrod [Solidago rugosa]). It never fails to amaze me to see bumblebees in the evening clinging motionless to goldenrod, obviously intent on spending the night there rather than returning to their holes. Some were still foraging actively, though.

Jumpseed (Polygonum virginianum) leaf edges always seem to curl up near the end of the growing season. I don't know if it's lack of soil moisture or whether it's just in their nature. This patch reminded me of variegated poinsettias.
The natural area has an old farm pond where children can angle for sunfish with barbless hooks. I think each one of the sunnies in the pond must have been caught a dozen times.

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