Photographs and three very short videos of a typical summer evening at Wachusett Meadow.
During this unusual midsummer heat, a blast of colors animates my yard.
A variety of pollinators enjoyed my Buddleia (Butterfly Bush) in full bloom, as one of the resident rabbits watched the garlic harvest dry.
Glistening Ruby-throated hummingbirds will be heading south for the winter soon.
Meadow Magic Hour
Late August meadows in New England foretell the bold autumn tree colors yet to come.
Monarch of the Meadow
Increased monarch butterfly activity is a sign of fall at Mass Audubon’s Wachusett Meadow Wildlife Sanctuary.
In the Pink
Pink is a-poppin’ in my garden this week.
Doing my part to make my yard pollinator friendly.
Sparky, Marietta, Petite and Crackerjack
It’s marigold time in my garden.
Books and Bee Balm
I grew up in a rural town in Western Massachusetts, where a large patch of bee balm featured prominently in our garden each summer. One day an elderly couple, complete strangers, stopped their car to ask my father what the fiery red blooms in the garden were.
“It’s bee balm, a perennial. Would you like some?”
He dug up a clump for the pair to take to their summer home at the edge of town.
A few days later, the couple reappeared with a box of children’s books. They were retired teachers, who had noticed my siblings and me playing in the yard.
“We have collected so many books over the years, and since we are retired, we don’t need them. Would your children like some?” they asked my father.
That summer, and for many summers thereafter, the couple brought boxes of books of a variety of genres. Some were almost new; some were gently worn. Each box was a thoughtful gift.
The sight of bee balm might bring thoughts of insects, bright flower petals in a salad, or perhaps herbal tea to most people.
But me? I simply think of books.
A meadow is an area with shallow ground water that allows grasses and wildflowers to flourish. Meadows support a wide range flora and fauna that could not thrive in other habitats, including flowers for native bees and other pollinators.
A recent ramble through this habitat at Mass Audubon’s Wachusett Meadow enabled me to study and appreciate the flowers and grasses up close. In turn, three common meadow creatures kept an eye on me as I walked.
For more information visit: https://www.massaudubon.org/get-outdoors/wildlife-sanctuaries/wachusett-meadow
To learn more about meadow habitats, visit http://www.magnificentmeadows.org.uk/conserve-restore/importance-of-meadows