Friday, July 31, 2009

Purples and Yellows of Summer

High summer is here - even though it isn't really hot as it usually is this time of year. Many of the late summer prairie plants are beginning to flower - I always think of this time of year as the purple and yellow time.

Here's some Monarda (Bee Balm):

Some Yellow (or Grey-Headed) Coneflowers in the foreground with more Monarda behind:

Common Milkweed is in full flower - although I haven't seen many butterflies, maybe due to our very wet spring and early summer:

The Ox-Eye (or False) Sunflowers are at their height of bloom:

The Cup Plants are getting their full height - this one is easily 8 feet tall - and the first blooms are unfurling:

And here's an odd thing - nothing to do with prairies or horses - as my husband and I were sitting on the front porch one evening recently, we saw this:

Not really sure what it is - it makes me think of alien invasions - perhaps it's some sort of filamentary fungus?

And I couldn't resist this shot of several of the mares through the fence - that's Dawn on the left - on alert as a proper alpha mare should be - with Misty in the center and Sugar on the right. If you look carefully (I magnified as far as the picture would take it) you will see a number of Cowbirds doing their horse-riding act on Dawn's rump and withers and Misty's and Sugar's rumps - I guess if you can't find any cows to stir up insects to eat, horses will have to do!

The first cicadas are just now starting up - the cool weather has slowed them down a bit too, I expect.


  1. Lovely photos, you have beautiful horses! Love the bum birds!!!!

  2. I'll vote for Fungus Aliens.
    If you suddenly go all quiet, we know what's happened.
    Those birds were cute!

  3. Jason loves those birds that ride on the cows and horses, he wishes we had them!

  4. Probably is a fungus, but I have no idea what kind.

    I know I have cowbirds here, but I haven't seen them riding the horses.

    I saw a butterfly yesterday, just as the rain started (again). I was worried that the water would ground him. Wonder what they usually do if caught in a rainstorm. Just how waterproof are their wings? *off to search the 'Net on this one*

  5. Excellent pictures of the late summer flowers Kate, and that fungus is out of this world !

    Melissa is correct but what I REALLY want are cattle egrets like those that are common a couple hundred miles south of here. I think it's so neat to see a cow walking along with a foot tall, strikingly white bird sitting on it's back like it owns the world ! Never fails to make me smile, that is for sure.

    Norman and Lily are both continuing well and they are certainly taking advantage of and fully enjoying the relatively temperate and wet summer we've had so far !!

  6. It all looks beautiful! SOOOOOOO much feed! I am very jealous! We don;t have any at the moment - too dry, no rain for about 4 months at the moment, no rain until January!!!!!!

    Love the oonies! They look fat and happy!

  7. Jason - remarkably enough, about 6 or 7 years ago, we had a flock of cattle egrets show up for one day only in our pastures - they didn't ride the horses but followed them to eat the bugs. Then, never again. We're outside the far northern end of their range, so I don't know what brought them here, although many birds from southern Illinois are beginning to extend their ranges into our part of the world, so who knows?


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