Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Late Summer

Sunset thunderhead
I know that I've been very negligent in posting, but truth to tell, Kali and I really haven't been doing much of anything that's worth writing about.  The last few weeks have been miserably hot and humid, so we haven't even ventured out onto the trails of my preserve let alone go anywhere else.
Long shadows
However, the seemingly unending heat wave finally broke on Sunday evening with a round of rain that ushered in the passage of a real, live cold front.  On Monday, the humidity was pleasant and temperatures rose only into the low 80s (instead of the mid- to upper 90s we had been suffering through).
The birds missed a few ripe black cherries
A friend posted on Facebook that he had participated in a nighthawk watch in a state park not far from my preserve and had seen 25 Common Nighthawks - one of my favorite birds and a sure harbinger of autumn when they begin to pass through on their way southward.  So, after dinner last night, to enjoy the salubrious weather and to look for migrating nighthawks, I got Kali to lace up her walking shoes and take a short hike through our late summer meadows.

At one point, the setting sun was shining directly through some of the meadow grasses and thistles, so I thought I'd make some "artistic" shots.  The following two images were the result; I boosted-up the contrast on both images a lot, so they're not strictly what the camera "saw."  I'm not sure if I like the result, but I thought I'd share them. 
Thistle, backlit
Indian-grass flower head, backlit
We didn't see any nighthawks (I usually see them during the last week of August and the first week of September, so if we had seen them, they would have been early).   But we did enjoy our first walk in the preserve in quite a few days.  I'll go out again this evening in search of nighthawks because the weather is still delightful.
Kali, heading home


Mark P said...

The weather hasn't changed here. It's still hot and humid. I can't wait till fall. The cherries reminded me of a peach tree that somehow ended up next to the road near us. There are about 20 small peaches, turning red but still hard. I'm hoping they managed to ripen. Maybe they'll be better than the "peaches" they sell at our grocery stores here.

robin andrea said...

I think those meadow shots are quite beautiful. Glad to know the weather has cooled down enough for a good walk. I hope you get to see the Nighthawks. The light is definitely changing here pretty quickly these days. Autumn is on its way.

Scott said...

Mark: The weather was tolerable--even pleasant--for two days, then we were back into the hot and humid conditions we've endured all summer. Yuck! Your comment about the peaches reminded me of my childhood. My father planted and nurtured a peach tree in our back yard. The tree bore consider numbers of fruits, but we had to battle Japanese beetles all the time. My parents would dispatch my brother and me with jars containing motor oil to pick off and drown the beetles every day. We would use the jars for several days, and after a time, they would really stink from the rotting beetles. I wonder, if your peaches do actually ripen, if they'll be "harvested" by wildlife before you can get to them. Oh, and one final comment: grocery store "peaches." Kali and I don't even bother. We drive 45 minutes to an orchard every two weeks in summer to get real, fresh-off-the-tree peaches. I had one for lunch today!

Scott said...

Thanks for your endorsement of the meadow shots, Robin Andrea; I'm still not convinced, and I think you're just being nice. Common Nighthawks HAVE in fact, appeared in our skies; Kali and I take a walk out into the meadows every evening to see them, since they're only here for two weeks or less. Kali calls it my "fix." She thinks they're cool, but I think they're REALLY COOL!