|Blue Mistflower (Conoclinium coelestinum) and Tiny Spider in the Native Plant Garden|
|Bee-Fly on Goldenrod|
|Very Hairy Fly on Goldenrod|
|Hungry Carpenter Bee on Yellow Crownbeard|
Bright yellow swaths of Goldenrod, Camphor Weed and Golden Crown Beard dominated the sunny, open space and the hungry insects fed furiously. Days of rain had kept them from their primary tasks of eating and reproduction. They had to make up lost ground.
|Buckeye on Yellow Crownbeard|
At the edges, tall purple Ironweed beckoned to starving skippers.
|Silver Spot Skipper on Ironweed|
|Another Skipper on Ironweed|
|Eastern Tailed Blue in the Grass|
In the wildflower understory, smaller plants provided additional color and nectar, as well as perches for dragonflies, grasshoppers and a doomed Tussock Moth Caterpillar, parasitized by a wasp.
|Pearl Crescent Butterfly on Blue Mistflower|
|Blue Faced Meadowhawk Dragonfly|
|Tussock Moth Caterpillar with Wasp Larvae Cocoons|
Just about everywhere I looked there was movement and color. What a contrast to the past week!
|Gulf Fritillary on Crownbeard|
I saw bright colored grasses and berries and watched the yellow leaves fall from tall trees. More signs of fall presented in the form of the dried summer flowers. Cotton Puffs of Fireweed seeds hung on dried stems. Spiky thistles. Soft fuzz on Pluchea. Brown River Oats.
|American Burnweed (Erechtites hieraciifolius)|
|Thistle Head (Cirsium sp.)|
|Dangling River Oats (Chasmanthium latifolium)|
At the end of my trip I felt like I'd been treated to a spa session. Nothing lifts the doldrums like blue skies, sunshine and nature's beauty.