A crab spider (a Misumena species) on the underside of a Black-eyed Susan:
The spider was waiting to pounce on a bee, and I was waiting for the spider to crawl to the upper side of the flower. After a while, I stopped waiting, and decided this image would be more interesting.
At this meadow, the Black-eyed Susan are starting to fade, and there’s an abundance of blue and white vervain:
There were dozens of honeybees and bumblebees busy at the vervain. White vervain is a new flower for me, I have to go back to photograph them again.
A few images of Black-eyed Susan, in full bloom in the last few weeks:
These were taken at two meadows, both primarily Black-eyed Susan. The meadows were planted (I don’t know who did it, but I’m grateful) with a mixture of hybrid and native Rudbeckia species. One them is next to a conservation area I’ve gone to for years, in a prominent open area. The other is planted in a fairly remote part of a powerline easement, with woods on either side. The powerline goes up a hill, and the flowers are planted in a broad swath next to a path that goes up the hill. The band of flowers goes up for hundreds of yards. I couldn’t believe it when I found it.
A little bigger than a ladybug beetle, the brightly iridescent dogbane beetle has red, green, orange and blue tones:
They don’t seem to stray far from the dogbane plant they feed on. They are slow moving, and get a chemical protection from the dogbane plant, I believe a chemical similar to the one that protects monarchs. I’ve only seen one this year in this location. This spot is always an adventure because I have to maneuver around poison ivy to get a photograph.
On a walk yesterday, I found common milkweed starting to bloom in a meadow, and today I found two other species blooming:
The common milkweed was in a meadow where I was looking for Baltimore Checkerspot (link). The other two are in the same spot where I found willow-herb last year. Willow-herb wasn’t blooming yet, but there were many Black-eyed Susan in bloom – for another post.
A cluster of wild geranium (Geranium maculatum) growing at the edge of a forest trail last month:
Time to take a break from photographing my backyard meadow. The poppies are almost gone now, replaced by a profusion of pink mallow blooms.
Last year, we replaced some backyard grass with a meadow. Until a week ago, there were only a few flowers blooming, mainly an interesting clover. Then the poppies started blooming:
The seed we planted, a wildflower mix, came from Vermont Wildflower Farm. I supplemented the mix with wood poppy, hepatica, bloodroot, black cohosh, and Mertensia bluebells. None of those native wildflowers came up, I watched carefully in early spring and later. So it’s not what I expected, but I love the combination of red poppy and cornflower so far. And I wonder what’s coming next of the 27 species in the description – there should be some coreopsis, flax, and bee balm before long. There’s one wide angle image (35mm) to show the scene, but most of these were taken with a 300mm lens.