Yesterday in the Prairie Meadow (Re-post)

Just got home from a quick, 2-day photo trip to northwest Missouri’s Squaw Creek NWR, a very special place to visit … especially in the fall and spring bird migrations. The reason for the trip? How about 200+ Trumpeter Swans! I’ll post about the trip very soon … but I have to first download and edit everything. Until then, please enjoy this re-post that originally published in August 2010:

I left home yesterday morning, ~45 minutes before sunrise, heading out to do some kayaking with kritters. I pulled into the parking lot and through the fog I could see a new sign had been posted at the entrance. I got out of the truck, walked over and read the sign: “Trail Closed” … Bummer! With my recent Minnesota trip and not kayaking due to the extremely hot temperatures we’ve been experiencing, I was itching to get in the kayak. But this would cool my jets, really fast!

Not wanting to waste the beautiful morning (temps in the upper 60’s and loads of fog everywhere), I decided to hit the Prairie Meadow near my house. So I made a quick stop by the house, dropping off the kayak and grabbing my landscape/macro lenses, and proceeded to the meadow. I got there shortly after sunrise, but because of the woods surrounding the meadow, I knew direct sunlight would not hit the meadow for some time. I quickly grabbed my equipment and headed up the 1/8 mile trail, through the woods, that leads to the meadow. When I reached the opening to the meadow, I was pleasantly surprised … filtered light was just beginning to peek through the trees. At the same time, there was a whisp of fog that swirled around the meadow. And an extremely heavy dew had everything glistening!

This first image was taken from the meadow, looking eastward at the rising sun that was filtering through the heavy fog and through the woods. I just love it when the sun’s rays are filtered through the trees:

Dorsett Hill Prairie in the morning


One of the most obvious things I quickly noticed was the number of spider webs in the meadow. There seemed to be webs everywhere, each one glistening with dewdrops. Some of the webs even had it’s owner standing by. Here are a few images I made of the incredible webs/spiders:

Spider web with dew


An intricate spider web


One of the most colorful spiders I saw was this Marbled Spider (Araneus marmoreus), an orb weaver:

Marbled spider on web


And this unidentified spider:

Spider on web


I’ll share some of my other meadow experiences in an upcoming blog post. Meanwhile, I’m heading back out to this meadow for today’s sunrise, right after posting this to my Blog!

Oh, regarding the sign at the kayaking location, I called the Missouri Dept of Conservation after I got home. Seems the area is open, just the trail is closed. With our heavy rains earlier this summer, the trail is in need of repairs, so they closed the trail for safety reasons. Guess I’ll be finding another way to the water … probably this weekend!

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