Saturday, July 12, 2008

White Admiral

Inspired by the notion of an alternate route, I went to the 911 pond, by turning off to the meadows on another bush road. As the crow flies it is actually shorter and on the way back I put in another shortcut on this side of the highway. I basically only have to cross the highway. What liberation! It's funny how I dread biking on the highway, but at the same time love it. And find it hard not to, when there's that option.
All along the winding Mendenhall river there are meadows and marshes. And to come out on this meadow, the sight fills my heart with great joy. Coming out of the forest, there is a bit of high ground, where you overlook the meadow, which is more varied then the 911pond, it has little ponds, bushes and is more erratic in shape. In the middle it's mainly marsh, but here in the grass there are many flowers blooming. I will try to make a list from memory, there are so many flowers now anywhere. What stands out in my mind , are the Wild Blue Flax. Its the tallest in the grass and stands out above all the purple, yellow, white etc. Ahh and the meadow has clay patch where no grass grows , but the dark purplish red from the glasswort.
A beautiful sight too is the flax mixed with the roses higher up, blue and pink.
Because there is a band of horses on these meadows, there are truck tracks, I suppose to find the horses and/or feed them hay in the winter. The area is extensive and the horses few, we don't see them very often. But biking on the tire tracks works good. And amazingly there is a continuous string of grassland(with tracks) all the way to the 911 pond.

As I am now on the east side of the pond, I follow the shore on this side. The grassland is higher here compared to the other side where it is more marsh land, and pleasant to walk on. I come by a stand of willows which seems to be full of Savannah Sparrows. They lead me away in the direction I am going. Closer to the water's edge are several Red-winged Blackbirds. I come to a little bit of a knoll and sit down to enjoy it all, the birds putting on a display. There are ducks in the pond, but it is to far to see what they are, even with binoculars. Later at home zooming in the photos, it seems one group was a family with at least 7 ducklings.
Ahh and besides all the blossems and birds, butterflies!

On the photo on top a:
Limenitis arthemis
(why is it attracted to my bike tire?)

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