“My lupine meadow is in full glory!” a friend wrote in an e-mail. And she encouraged visitations. So . . . I went. Actually, we went, for I invited another friend to join me.
The first hint that we were in for a treat was the greeting along a woodland path where small butterflies teased us into admiring them. Erratic in flight, we rejoiced when one finally paused and we could zoom in on its pattern displayed in so many shades of brown.
It didn’t take long to reach the meadow . . . well, that is after we also paused along the way to try to gain a better understanding of leaf rollers and every other little thing that caught our attention.
But then . . . our focus was upon the scene before us.
Lupines everywhere we glanced.
They ranged in presentation from those with pinkish hues . . .
to deep purple . . .
and every shade between.
In the midst of all the purplishness stood a lone white spire.
As we started down one of the mowed paths, it soon became apparent that there was even more to see, like the face of this clubtail dragonfly who refused to leave its perch even when I tried to coax it onto my finger.
And then . . . my heart almost burst for upon one of the flowers were two immature Stream Cruisers and I couldn’t recall ever becoming acquainted with them in a prior life. Certainly one wouldn’t forget that chocolate and cream layered cookie face. (Yes, it was noon.) Okay, so I forget a lot of things, but really . . .
that was one memory to behold.
Of course, there were others, such as the canoodling craneflies who thought they’d escaped my vision by carrying out their love act below a leaf.
And then one of the most curious, made even more interesting because we’d examined some rolled up leaves on our way to the meadow . . .
Under our watch (mind you we took turns going in for a closer look as is our new way of being in the same place at the same time), a secretion was discharged as this little critter turned its head from side to side and ever so slowly the leaf curled inward.
Though we didn’t see any honeybees, the bumbles were there to perform their magical act.
Occasionally we pulled our focus away from the lupines and noticed other flowers in bloom, such as lilies and columbines, and daisies, and buttercups, and cinquefoils, and even those promising future blossoms like the milkweed. A Sedge Sprite damselfly waited for its next meal to pass by, while a larval bagworm hid within its protective case.
Upon another leaf, we spotted another clubtail, and I assumed it was the same species as the first dragonfly that had greeted us. Though I called both Sir Lancelot, for I thought perhaps they might be Lancet Clubtails, I knew that I’d have to figure it out back at home. If I’m not mistaken, because there are no markings on the last two segments (segments 9 & 10 in dragonflyspeak), rather than an Arthurian legend, this was actually an Ashy Clubtail.
As the sun’s rays grew stronger, Ashy changed its orientation, extending its abdomen directly toward the star at the center of the solar system in order to cool off. The obelisk position reduces the surface area to heat. It’s behaviors like this that boggle my mind, but they are innate.
Not to go unnoticed, for they made sure we paid attention with each step we took, were the Chalk-fronted Corporals. Their behavior reminds me of small children as they run ahead and just as I catch up, they run (fly) ahead again and wait, and just as I catch up, they run ahead and . . . you get the picture.
Others also made themselves known and it seemed the more time we spent looking, the more we saw. Well, maybe “seemed” isn’t the right term, for indeed . . . the more time we spent looking, the more we saw, like this Four-spotted Skimmer shimmering in the sunlight.
And a Racket-tailed Emerald showing off its gorgeous green eyes.
There were even a couple of female Calico Pennants, but not a red-colored male in sight.
The meadow isn’t all that large, but . . . we spent at least two and a half hours circling it and shared a vision of others wondering as night fell where we might be . . . in our happy place.
Fortunately, I guess, though unfortunately on some levels, we pulled ourselves away by midafternoon, much as the canoodlers had done. But our bug eyes were as wide open as his.
In the end, we offered up thanks to our hosts, Linda and Heinrich, for inviting us to enjoy the full glory of their lupines and all the marvels of the meadow.