Meadows are magical this time of year, even more so for their bounty, a time when blossoms have yielded their fruit and the stage is set for a delightful display of color and texture. Laced with late blooming flowers, pregnant pods spilling their seeds and a parade of foliage gradually easing into the reds and golds of autumn, fall meadows are filled with endless opportunity for discovery. And as I walked through this one in Necedah National Wildlife Refuge, Wisconsin, I was reminded again of how little I know and how much there is to enjoy in a simple meadow walk.
And despite having perused a Wisconsin Wildflower guide and several other field guides, I can tell you no names, only give you a titillating look at what's out there to enjoy.
The area habitat includes oak savannas, wetlands and shrubby meadows full of goldenrod, asters, lupine and milkweed. At a different time of year, the endangered Karner blue butterfly can be found here along with blooming lupine. The trail is named for Boghaunter dragonflies. But the one dragonfly that I glimpsed, and I mean glimpsed, revealed a copper abdomen and little else. You can get a sense of this as you try to sort out the dragonfly shape in the image above. He/she disappeared into the copper foliage after landing and in the next instant was gone. The brilliant late stand of yellow asters above, which may be a variety of goldenrod, attracted an enormous community of nectaring bees, wasps and moths (and other insect varieties), all of which were unknown to me, but intriguing, nonetheless. Below you will find close-ups of two moth varieties and a lovely orange-banded bumble bee.
Next--Part 2 of Boghaunter Trail
For the Love of It...
...the sage sees heaven reflected in Nature as in a mirror, and he pursues this Art, not for the sake of gold or silver, but for the love of the knowledge which it reveals.