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High Summer at the Honda Wetlands.

August 9, 2014

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The season is what I call high summer, that’s mid-to-late summer, where the warm weather is getting long in the tooth, and there’s a hint of change to come in the cooler air at night.  Much of the job of raising young is done, though there are always late nesters and multiple broods here and there among the birds.  Immature birds, those who were born earlier in the warm season are in evidence.  Social birds are flocking by now, since the job of raising families is pretty much done for the year.  Wildflowers are distinct and one notices blooms that last into autumn now.  Prairie wildflowers are at their height.

The Honda Wetlands is a favorite area to visit.  This year, August finds the wetlands with a decent amount of water still around, more like 2011 and so different than 2012’s drought.  the Barn and Tree Swallows are largely done nesting (with the exception of one nest), and immature swallows abound in the area, their first great migration south awaits them next month.  Just a month ago many of these birds were still in their nest, but nature’s pace moves us all right along.  The Cattails have so overgrown the water that both waterfowl and marsh birds have a very easy time hiding, unlike 2012’s marvelous show.  Other than a handful of Mallards, I heard the high-pitched call of a Wood Duck, and the odd cackle of a marsh bird, but saw neither.  Only 2 distant Green Herons perched in a tree, and a flyover of a Great Egret to remind me of better photographic days!  As far as the wildflowers go, I can name all of the ones pictured here- a highlight was the first Aster of the year I saw blooming.  See if you can spot it.  And ask me to identify any plants you don’t recognize!

What follows is a collection of pictures from a visit last week to the wetlands, so emblematic of a fading summer- I hope you enjoy them.

[And sorry this post is late- I had internet issues over the weekend!]

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20 Comments leave one →
  1. August 11, 2014 4:09 pm

    Hi. I haven’t seen some of these species before. I love your photos of the boardwalk. Jane

  2. August 11, 2014 5:37 pm

    A beautiful post, wonderful photos. It’s interesting the record that grows with the years, as we blog. There is something special about August, as you describe.

  3. August 11, 2014 6:00 pm

    I can see why you like the place so much.

  4. August 11, 2014 9:15 pm

    Your pictures do indeed show the journey is approaching another Fall. Very nice!

  5. August 12, 2014 12:34 am

    Lots of pretty wild flowers. And swallows, too!

  6. August 12, 2014 2:34 am

    A wonderful collection of photos! I especially liked the swallows and wildflowers!

    • August 12, 2014 9:39 am

      Wildflowers are really interesting this time of year, and I liked how the swallows were hanging out on the roof!

  7. August 12, 2014 8:29 am

    Ah, yes, August. The other day I saw a flock of geese making a practice V formation. And as Thoreau wrote in his journal in 1852, “The sound of the crickets gradually prevails more and more. I hear the year falling asleep.” Love your pictures and would enjoy climbing up that observation tower to take in the view!

  8. August 12, 2014 8:56 am

    Thanks for sharing your beautiful day at such a beautiful place. Your photos are wonderful.

  9. August 17, 2014 5:20 pm

    So beautiful! We had robins nest outside our window a couple years ago and I was amazed how fast they grew up and disappeared.

  10. August 31, 2014 9:05 am

    I particularly loved the first shot of the swallows lined up on the roof – they look like a musical score. In red. 🙂

    I took a photo of some swallows accidentally this morning. I was taking a long-distance zoomed photo of some sheep, and thought there were some flies going in and out of the shot. It was only when I downloaded the pictures that I realised they weren’t nearby flies, but distant swallows! Too fuzzy to put on my blog, but clear enough to identify them. Lovely birds – ours will be flying off to Africa pretty soon (UK).

    • August 31, 2014 6:54 pm

      You know, you’re 100% right, Hedwigia! I see it clearly now- I wonder what kind of music that would translate into? 🙂

      Swallows are terribly hard (for me anyway) to photograph on the wing…much easier when they are at rest!

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