The colors and patterns of tree trunks
A mushroom on a tree branch – gills exposed
Cone flower seed pods
Sweet gum ball
I was at Howard County Conservancy’s Mt. Pleasant on a sunny cold morning last week – and took a few pictures. There were two things that have always been there and almost always on my walk from parking to the nature center that I don’t think I have photographed before: 1) The old tractor that has been in the same place for so long that it is sinking into the soil under it (or silt is running down the slope to the wagon shed and accumulating around the tires).
2) The hook closure on the blacksmith’s shed….probably made by the blacksmith!
The flowerpot people were dressed for spring…but looked a little bedraggled. The March winds have probably made some adjustments.
I took a picture of a pine on the way to a stop in the Honors Garden. The pines are still the main greenery around.
In the Honors Garden, the sun was highlighting last season’s cone flower seedpods.
But the reason I was in the Honors Garden was to check out the little pond. As I walked up a frog swam rapidly through the water to a new hiding place. It was too cold for a lot more activity.
This little pond is a favorite of the local Wood Frogs and they have been busy. There were egg masses in the water….soon to be tadpoles if they are not too far out of the water and freeze before they can develop. I posted about the frogs here back in March 2016….but it was a warmer day and I noticed the frogs more than the eggs.
I continued to the Nature Center for the training session scheduled for the day.
I try to take a few minutes before each shift volunteering at Brookside Gardens Wings of Fancy to walk around outside in the gardens. There is a lot going on in August. I am featuring some of my favorite things I noticed and photographed in this post.
Button bush and cone flowers and sunflowers – with and without bees.
Joe Pye Weed in bloom…very popular with the tiger swallowtails. One morning I photographed a dark morph female with several of the yellow and black versions.
Monarchs are more prevalent in the garden than they were earlier.
I can never resist checking the gingko tree near the conservatory. I like the way the leaves look outlined in gold of the morning sunshine.
The sumac is a plant I am tracking this year. I recognize the seed heads but want to capture how the seeds develop. This will take me further into the fall since they don’t look like they’ve changed too much during this month.
There are always a lot of funnel spider webs in the low pines around the conservatory….and sometimes the spider is visible.
There are several kinds of datura in the garden.
I had never nptoced what the seed pod looked like before.
Some of the trumpets hang downward and I appreciated that the screen on my new camera can pivot so I can see what the camera is seeing when it is point straight up! I’ve always wanted to photography the unfurling flower.
The bald cypress has the scale insects like it did last summer but seems healthy enough to survive. The cones are beginning to form.
The cannas are beautiful this time of year. Some are producing seed pods.
This is the view from the ticket taker table for Wings of Fancy. I ended up doing the job when no one had signed up for it….a last minute change of plans.
There are milkweed plants close to the entrance to the caterpillar house and there are often insects on the plants other than caterpillars. When there are no visitors in the area…I roam around and take pictures; more on the caterpillars tomorrow.
Yesterday I enjoyed some macro photography at Brookside Gardens. There were several flowers blooming around the parking lot next to the conservatory. I took a photo of the plant and then a macro of the flower. I am always surprised at how different the impression of the plant is from a macro perspective. Here are my favorite pairs of pictures.
I was surprised there were not more insects (butterflies) around the flowers. The Joe-Pye Weed is not quite blooming yet. Maybe next time in am in the gardens they will be. Last year – there were clusters of tiger swallowtails on the plant.
Continuing from my Monday post about last week’s walks before and after photography session with summer campers at Howard County Conservancy’s Mt. Pleasant Farm….The areas around the nature center were easy enough to walk around and through several times. There were cone flowers in the Honors Garden that were very attractive to the tiger swallowtails and other butterflies.
There were flowers growing up through the rungs of a bench that survived the campers (they managed to sit on the bench and not the flowers!).
We saw a cicada killer resting on one of the benches too.
I liked the view of Queen Anne’s Lace from below. The campers decided it looked like a tree.
All cone flowers are not pink!
In the quiet one morning – before the campers were anywhere near – I saw a cat bird in the garden (only heard it when the campers were around)
And a butterfly was interested in the pickerel weed at the small pond
Where there was a water strider moving around on the surface of the water.
Somehow some plants look otherworldly to me – as if they are two unrelated things glommed together. This is an example!
There were also early instars of an insect (maybe milkweed bugs) on one of the plants.
In the Garden Club garden with the ‘Flower Pot People’ there were mating milkweed beetles
And several different instars of the milkweed bugs all on one plant!