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Fragments from Floyd

Botanical Mile Markers

Joe Pye Party

If those are Joe Pye Weeds in full bloom, this must be August. Or Jewel Weed flowering, ironweed in early bloom, and the striped maple leaves–a few at least–beginning to show those colorful age spots that point just ahead at autumn.

I would have delighted to have been able to walk into this Blue Ridge Parkway meadow I have enjoyed this season in years past. But the “sequester” cut the feet out from under the normal park maintenance, so this meadow is over my head in wingstem. I peeked from the edge to get this shot of the “Joe Pye Party”, with 18 swallowtails just in this tight shot alone. [Click to enlarge]

I’m getting a backlog of images–several need more natural history stories to go with them.  Some are just for fun–like this one.

I did note that so many swallowtails–and especially the darker female Tigers–are mighty beat up by this time of year. The yellow males seem to hold up a bit better. So close-ups of butterflies becomes less appealing in August than it was in July.

Soon, the goldenrod arthropods (blister beetles, wasps etc) will appear, and, even though I have shots of most from years past, I’ll have to do it again with the new Lumix as my love-hate relationship unfolds.

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5 thoughts on “Botanical Mile Markers”

  1. Fred, I fell in love with Joe Pye Weeds when we first started coming to Floyd. I’d love to get some to grow in our fields these days. They used to, but not seeing them as much! Thanks for this photo and article.

  2. Fred–The males would be more beaten up, too, if they had tried to fend off a bunch of females. *laughing*

  3. We were definitely seeing the poultry version of that female abuse at the (er…) hands of a randy rooster. He has been removed from the roost, and the remaining he-chicken seems to not yet be tempted to hump the feathers off the backs of his hen-harem, and can remain a part of the flock for a while yet under these circumstances. But probably not for long, sadly. I liked the roosters (who had been with us for months when we expected eggs from them). They are very comfortable around us, while the new ladies remain wary.

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