Painted Lady (I think) on purple conflower head,
and so far as I'm concerned,
as pretty a butterfly as…uh, flies.
There's a patch of prairie just up the road from the cottage. You have to look close to see it, and even then I'd guess the majority of folks zooming along on the asphalt merely view the handful of shaggy acres as a glorified weedfield with color—though one man's weeds is often another guy's wildflowers. Especially if that fellow happens to be totin' a camera.
A prairie in bloom is photogenic in every direction—
all you have to do is point and shoot.
For too many days in a row, it's been hot and humid along the river—sweltering, actually, with temperatures in the 90s˚F, and humidity just this side of wringing wet. As uncomfortable as that sounds, the some places feel even worse. I know, because yesterday, at high noon, just after visiting the optometrist again, and receiving another "tweaked" pair of progressive contact lenses for a new tryout, I decided to vent my frustration by shooting things (photographically!) on the prairie.
Bee on three-lobed coneflower.
Purple coneflower…one of my favorites
and a quintessential prairie species.
Rather than belaboring my litany of woes, let's just say that between not being able to see well enough to focus critically, and the fact that from the moment I mushed my way from the parking area to stand in the middle of the prairie, I swear I immediately began melting in place like one of those wicked witches in Wizard of Oz.
A new umbel of Queen's Anne's Lace,
still showing some pink.
Now, my Mama didn't raise no fool…at least not one who requires a terribly excessive amount of discomfort before his common sense kicks in. So before being uncer
eI hastily revised my photographic plans and bolted for the shade of the truck—where I doffed my sweat-soaked tee-shirt and drank about a half-gallon of water. Rehydrated, I decided I'd perhaps wait for a break in the heatwave before trying an encore. Call me a wuss if it makes your feel better. mo ni ous ly rendered into a greasy puddle,
This one has me stumped—it looks a bit like vervain,
but I don't think that's correct.
However, before these overcooked days came to pass, and before my vision became professionally messed up by an optimistic optometrist who believes clarity is still just a fitting away, I spent a few evenings at this same prairie seeing and making photos. Since I can't show you what I didn't photograph yesterday, I'll show you what I did capture back then.
Common teasel in bloom.
The prairie has aged a bit (haven't we all!) in just these few weeks. Purple coneflower is now fading. Sunflowers are bigger. But most of the rest of what I saw then is still around, including the butterflies. At least that was my quick take on the situation yesterday, though between the new lenses and the sweat in my eyes, I didn't look long or hard.
Evening sun through big bluestem.