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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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