I haven’t posted much on the nearby prairie meadow this year, mainly due to it’s lack of productivity, as compared to last year. I think there are 2 factors that have affected the meadow’s wildflower growth this year: (1) no controlled burns were conducted over the winter, and (2) our very late, cold spring weather. I have made several trips to the meadow, but the conditions there are nothing like last year; there is a heavy growth of competing growth by sumac shrubs and fescue grass.
I volunteer regularly for the local Master Gardener group, as well as being a group leader for a 4-H photography club. Over the past few months, I’ve had regular, monthly meetings with the 4-H club members, teaching about taking better photographs. And right now, our work is culminating in the kids getting photos ready for the local county fair, which starts later this week. One of the projects I’ve undertaken with the kids is to take small groups of them to this prairie meadow for photographing nature. Besides having some natural subjects available for photographing (for the upcoming fair), I also had a couple of other objectives with this in-the-field training.
First, I wanted to share my love for nature with the kids, with the hopes that some of them would become stewards of our natural areas; after all, these kids are our planet’s future. Second, I’m hoping that some of the kids will develop a true love for photography and will continue to experiment with it.
Enough about that, let’s get back to the prairie. Shortly before I began taking the groups to the meadow, I took some “pre-trips” there to scout out the area and the wildflowers and critters. During one such scouting trip, I came upon a nice stand of Spiderwort that was blooming profusely. Singling out one plant, I made this image:
Walking a bit farther, I came upon more Spiderwort plants, as well as some local residents, such as this fly:
… and a hungry Bumble Bee:
As he moved around the flower, seeking out the sweet nectar, I followed him with my macro lens:
Such beauty! During my trips there, I noticed that the summer wildflowers were beginning to come on pretty strongly. I’d like to get back out there, but the temperature here has been in the 100’s for the last few days, with more extreme temps predicted for the coming week. Hopefully, this heat will break soon and I can get back out to photograph our summer wildflowers in the meadow.