A Plant’s Offering

It’s the middle of September. Soon temperatures will drop and it will be time to don a nice, comfy sweater during my drives around the property. Field corn is drying up and will be ready for harvest, soon. I love this image of the corn field just east of our property line. When the weather forces me to remain indoors, I believe I might try my hand at a watercolor painting of this subject.

And, while much of the flora is preparing for winter’s wrath, new growth presents itself. This fresh sprout of red clover is taking advantage of sun that reaches the soil, now that the second hay crop was cut from the fields. Clover fixes nitrogen in the earth and provides other natural advantages.

The new clover produces flowers, and those flower provide nectar for many types of insects and birds.

I was very happy to see the bee moving lazily from blossom to blossom. Apparently, this interesting iridescent beetle was also taking advantage of the nectar. I have even seen hummingbirds feed from clover flowers. I also captured a Common Buckeye butterfly flitting around. But, curiously, it was visiting a grass plant that had gone to seed. Interesting.

I like this next image of that same butterfly because it contains the curled grass that adds a bit of character to the shot.

Before human settled here, this area was primarily grass prairie. I recently learned that the word prairie means meadow in French. HERE is good, quick reference about the history of Illinois prairies. When I look closely I can see many varieties of grass in our fields. Here are a few that I filmed on my jaunt, yesterday.

I see this plant here and there, and it always makes me smile. It’s tiny, but bolt in its color choice. I looked it up and learned it is called “lady’s thumb.” It is a member of the buckwheat family!

These little daisy-like flowers bloom throughout the summer, and they are still going strong in a few places around the property in mid-September.

Everywhere I look, I see goldenrod in bloom; undulating waves of yellow.

In every inch of the prairie plants are offering their bounty to the wildlife that will survive the upcoming winter on their seeds. I am grateful that we can offer this place to the wildflowers and grasses so that they can feed the animals that bring me such joy.

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