The weather here in Southwest Wisconsin has switched to hot and humid to welcome in the first days of summer.
Nature is still evolving ahead of schedule and can be seen in the showy large white blossoms of the tall Cow parsnip and the bright yellow flower heads of the Wild (poison) parsnip. The blue flowers of the Spiderwort greet each morning and are visited by several brightly colored butterflies.
With the longest days of the year upon us, the earth is unveiling its most beautiful songs and colors. The first clutch of young blue birds are taking wing and their parents are busy all day catching insects to feed the new fledglings. There are lots of young birds showing up at the bird feeders now. Not less than a dozen young Rose-breasted Grosbeaks accompany their three pairs of adults each morning. Another pair of adult grosbeaks is busy feeding sunflower seeds to their single, hungry, cowbird youngster. The cardinals too, are extra busy keeping their newly fledged kids fed. The young birds quickly learn that the bird feeder is a great place to get something good to eat.
The vines of the Red Runner beans are searching their way up the strings on the south side of the house. They will be full of poppy-red flowers about a month from now—about the same time the large bed of red bee balm will also be in full bloom. This red flower event is no doubt a hummingbirds' dream. Until then, the little hummers find flower nectar where they can. The honeysuckle vine at the corner of the back porch is in full bloom and two or three hummingbirds can be seen at the bright orange trumpet shaped flowers at any time during the day.
Each morning the field spiders weave new webs in the tall grass along the creek. The delicate plate-sized webs are easily knocked down by passing birds, dragonflies and bats and must be replaced each day. My morning walks are wet with dew and my jeans and light shoes get soaked through but it's warm enough to not get chilled.
Getting wet was the least of my worries this morning. When the tall grass moved in front of me, I bent down and parted it to see what was at my feet. Imagine my surprise to find myself face to face with a skunk! At the same moment the skunk's strong scent hit me square in the nostrils. I couldn't get out of there quick enough, but it was too late. The little half-grown skunk hadn't sprayed me, but there was a constant skunk odor lingering and some of it stuck to me. I know what it's like to be sprayed by a skunk and I knew that I hadn't been. I was just too close. The skunk smell made me nauseous for a while and a good scrubbing was in order before bed.
The 90-degree weather and an inch of rain brought a little humidity and last night the tree frogs sang their bird-like songs. Their chirping calls seemed to be all around me and hundreds of fireflies seemed to blink off and on to the frog music. I love these warm summer nights just sitting out on the porch and unwinding from the day. I would recommend this natural therapy to anyone; it works every time.
Area farmers have been busy putting up the first crop of hay and the dairy cows graze in lush green pastures. It looks like it will be a warm and bountiful summer, so be outside and enjoy it as much as you can!
All art ©2013 Organic Valley