For the Birds: Another hot summer’s day walk

Photo by Chris Bosak Eastern tiger swallowtail, Brookfield, CT, summer 2019.

Birds were scarce on the walks, as they usually are on hot summer afternoons. In what has become somewhat of an annual event for me, I picked a blisteringly hot and soakingly humid summer afternoon and went to a New England meadow to see what critters were flying, jumping and crawling about.

Butterflies were the main attraction, as they usually are, followed closely by dragonflies. Monarchs were the dominant butterfly species, but eastern tiger swallowtails were in abundance as well. There were also high numbers of black swallowtails, skippers, buckeyes, sulfurs and other delicate winged beauties.

It was nice to see so many monarchs, of course, as this iconic species is in serious decline and in recent memory was thought to perhaps be going extinct. From what I have read, the 2019 population is well above the previous year, which is terrific news. It is not time to let down our guard, however. Populations of animal species can vary widely from year to year and we want to make sure we keep doing all we can to help monarchs survive.

The meadow in which I walked is teeming with milkweed. That, of course, is the main food source for monarch caterpillars, but also a favorite nectar stop for adult monarchs and other butterfly species. I would say at least 80 percent of the butterflies I saw feeding during my walks were sipping from milkweed flowers.

Yes, the butterfly season is definitely in full swing. It will remain that way for the next several weeks before tapering off as we head into fall. I will return frequently to this and other meadows to see the butterflies and other critters getting ready for the colder months.

As I mentioned, the bird activity on these walks was rather slow, but not nonexistent. I did notice a rather large flock of bobolinks, a mixed flock of males, females and youngsters, flying around, which was nice to see.

I also saw a few immature bluebirds with their dull plumage and spotted chests. Goldfinches were a frequent sighting, and without a doubt, the most numerous bird I saw. Besides that, a song sparrow or two and the odd hawk flyover were about it for bird activity.

These sweltering strolls into the meadows each summer have become one of my favorite annual traditions. I’m certainly not saying butterfly photography is easy, but they are certainly more cooperative than most birds. Plus, the colors you get on the photos from the butterflies and flowers are always inspiring.

Many more photos of the walk are available on the website www.birdsofnewengland.com. Feel free to check it out and also remember to send me your most recent sightings, be it birds, butterflies, or whatever else you have seen in the natural world.

A few extra meadow close-ups

Well, I promised a different meadow close-up photo every day from the latter part of July through the end of August. I delivered on that promise. The problem is, however, I still have a few meadow close-ups I wanted to share. So here you go, a few more photos to wrap up my meadow macro photography project. Click on “continue reading” for a few more.

Photo by Chris Bosak A dried up milkweed pod at a meadow property of the Darien Land Trust, summer 2013.

Photo by Chris Bosak
A dried up milkweed pod at a meadow property of the Darien Land Trust, summer 2013.

Continue reading

Drying up flower, the last meadow close-up

With summer coming to an end (sort of), here’s a fitting end to this collection of close-up photographs taken at a meadow property of the Darien Land Trust. The purpose of the photos was to draw attention to the beauty and importance of meadow habitat, which unfortunately continues to be destroyed for development. This leaves the plants and animals that depend on the meadow to seek other homes, or worse, perish. Ultimately some of these species will disappear if the destruction rate continues. Support your local Land Trust or other conservation group.

Photo by Chris Bosak Dried-up flower from a meadow property of the Darien Land Trust, summer 2013.

Photo by Chris Bosak
Dried-up flower from a meadow property of the Darien Land Trust, summer 2013.

Here is the latest in a series of close-up (macro) photographs I took last summer while tromping through the meadow properties of the Darien Land Trust. From July 24 to Aug. 31, I’ll post a different close-up meadow photograph on this site.

Here’s more background on the project.

Pink flower in bloom, another meadow close-up

Photo by Chris Bosak Flower in bloom at a meadow property of the Darien Land Trust, summer 2013.

Photo by Chris Bosak
Flower in bloom at a meadow property of the Darien Land Trust, summer 2013.

Here is the latest in a series of close-up (macro) photographs I took last summer while tromping through the meadow properties of the Darien Land Trust. From July 24 to Aug. 31, I’ll post a different close-up meadow photograph on this site.

Here’s more background on the project.

Blue Dasher dragonfly, another meadow close-up

Photo by Chris Bosak Blue Dasher dragonfly at a meadow property of the Darien Land Trust, summer 2013.

Photo by Chris Bosak
Blue Dasher dragonfly at a meadow property of the Darien Land Trust, summer 2013.

Here is the latest in a series of close-up (macro) photographs I took last summer while tromping through the meadow properties of the Darien Land Trust. From July 24 to Aug. 31, I’ll post a different close-up meadow photograph on this site.

Here’s more background on the project.

Flower ready to bloom, another meadow close-up

Photo by Chris Bosak A flower ready to bloom in a meadow property of the Darien Land Trust, summer 2013.

Photo by Chris Bosak
A flower ready to bloom in a meadow property of the Darien Land Trust, summer 2013.

Here is the latest in a series of close-up (macro) photographs I took last summer while tromping through the meadow properties of the Darien Land Trust. From July 24 to Aug. 31, I’ll post a different close-up meadow photograph on this site.

Here’s more background on the project.

Dogbane beetle, another meadow close-up

Photo by Chris Bosak A dogbane beetle sits on a leaf in a meadow property of the Darien Land Trust, summer 2013.

Photo by Chris Bosak
A dogbane beetle sits on a leaf in a meadow property of the Darien Land Trust, summer 2013.

Here is the latest in a series of close-up (macro) photographs I took last summer while tromping through the meadow properties of the Darien Land Trust. From July 24 to Aug. 31, I’ll post a different close-up meadow photograph on this site.

Here’s more background on the project.