Late Summer Monarchs

I’ve seen more monarchs in the last few days than I’ve seen all summer.  The butterflies are well provided for as milkweed goes.  It’s everywhere.  But this monarch butterfly was spending its time in the plentiful goldenrod, bee balm, and prairie coneflowers.

Asters and Goldenrod

It is late summer along the Holland River and the purple asters have taken over from the white daisies.  They’re especially striking amongst the tall yellow goldenrod.

Cedar Waxwing in the Rain

The yellow tips on a bunch of birds zipping around in the rain finally clued me in that these were the cedar waxwings.  I thought I’d seen them before, but those were the Bohemians.

Brown-Eyed Susan

We have a number of these flowers – brown-eyed susans, black-eyed susans, and the prairie coneflower – all along the runoff pond by the Tom Taylor trail.

Yellow Warblers

The undergrowth is thick with American goldfinches.  I can usually see groups of four and five flitting around.  The yellow warblers have appeared again too, although I only ever see the one pair.  They move just as fast, and are often in the undergrowth, so it is hard to capture pictures of them.

Trout Lilies in the Woods

The Trout Lily is one of my favorite wildflowers.  The mottled leaves and the delicate yellow bloom make it a distinctive spring wildflower.

Dutchman’s Breeches

These small white flowers were far from the path but just caught my eye.  There were only two of them but they’re among the most unusual flower I’ve seen along the path.  They’re called Dutchman’s Breeches – or dicentra cucullaria – and have medicinal purposes and can be toxic.

Golden Finches and Yellow Warblers

The American Goldfinches are among the most common birds along the path.  Today I also saw a Yellow Warbler.  It’s about the same size but none of the black bars common to the Goldfinch.  I’ve only ever seen one each year so I’m not sure it’s resident.