Monday, June 21, 2010

Summer, Day 1

Happy summer solstice!  Here we are again at the first day of summer.  You may remember that I started this blogging endeavor on the first day of summer last year, it was also Father's Day.  So we have come full circle.  Today is actually the 366th day that I am sharing my visions with you.  I didn't forget how to count halfway through, I knew that I would go over a few days.  I wanted to do something special and countdown the last 100 days.  However, the 100th day was in the middle of my move to my new job/house.  I didn't start the countdown until I was somewhat settled, so here we are at Day 366 with two more to go.
Today was another normal Monday.  I think that a lot of people dread Mondays, but they aren't so vicious for me.  I am off on Tuesday.  If I work the weekend, then Monday feels like Friday.  If I am off over the weekend, then Monday is just a blip on the radar before another day off.  Mondays aren't usually very stressful for me either.  Monday starts with a staff meeting at the shop and then a meeting with the administrative staff at the office.  I get caught up on the happenings in the park and the upcoming events.  I also spend some time at the computer as there is usually an influx of e-mails on a Monday morning.  I also usually get to go to our distant, northern properties to do our weekly check.  Today was no different.
I really enjoy my trip out of the park and the 15-20 mile drive to the northern properties.  Rock Springs Run doesn't seem like much.  It is basically a long road that was going to be a much longer county road but it became a park instead.  There are extensive hiking and horseback riding trails, but no structures or exciting attractions like a spring.  Something about the property really draws me in though.  I enjoy the long road that seemingly goes no where.  The expanse provides a great view of the ever changing sky.  The clouds were really performing while I was there as the afternoon storms were rolling in.

There weren't as many wildflowers at Rock Springs Run today as there were a couple of weeks ago.  I should say that they weren't as obvious.  Once I started to really search, I found more than I had seen from the road.  There was the occasional Prickly Pear Cactus that would catch my eye with its bright yellow flower.

Once I was out of the truck and at the Cactus, I found a few more little flowers here and there.  I found this type a couple of times but I couldn't see it at all from the truck.  It was so small and delicate.  I couldn't find an identification for it, but its flower resembles those in the pea family.

I found some flowers that were done blooming and had gone to seed.  They were just waiting for a good gust of wind to carry the seeds to other places to start the cycle all over again.

I also found some flowers that similar to the wispy seeds mentioned above, but the white fluff was the blooming flower.  There were several insects interested in these flowers, they must have been tasty ones.  The wasp at the lower right was focused.  It didn't care at all about the camera that kept inching closer to it.  I also saw a few ants and a butterfly that probably would have landed if I had not been standing there.

The last flower that I found stood out almost as well as the Prickly Pear.  I believe it is a type of Coreopsis.  You may remember the Coreopsis photo that I have posted before, the older post is Florida's state flower.  This one is a close relative.  I can't decide which one I like more.  The state flower is more colorful, but this one has such a simple beauty about it.

My next stop was Katie's Landing.  There wasn't much to see there, but that was a good thing.  An orienteering, adventure race was held there over the weekend with over 100 participants.  I saw absolutely no trace of crowds.  It was definitely an environmentally conscious group because the park looked better than I have ever seen it.  I found some ducks there enjoying the peace and quiet.  They looked like teenager ducks to me, not quite old enough to venture out on their own.

On the way back to the main part of the park, I drove through a few tiny patches of rain.  I saw a lot of dark clouds, but it didn't rain at the park.  Its funny how hit-or-miss the rain can be here.  I wrapped up the last of the things that I had to do for the day and stopped in at the ranger station just before heading home.  I found one more flower to photograph.  It was right outside of the ranger station.  A Saw Palmetto was in bloom.  A tall stalk jutted out from the base of the plant and was covered in tiny white flowers.  I see Saw Palmettos almost everywhere I look, but I don't always get to see these beautiful flowers.  I will have to try to remember my 10X macro lens to really enlarge them and do them justice.

Thought of the Day #3
Another reason that I have benefited from the blogging process has been the education that I am getting.  Though I am not always successful, I try to identify everything that I post.  In the past, I would see something interesting and try to make a mental note of it to look it up later.  Apparently, my mental Post-It pad erases like an Etch-A-Sketch.  I rarely got around to looking up all of the plants and bugs that I saw daily.  Now that I have been photographing daily and blogging, I am doing a lot more research.  I still don't find all of the answers that I seek, but I am learning a lot more than I would otherwise.

1 comment:

Paula said...

Amy, I am sad to see the time filter down to the end of your blogging year. I have sincerely missed you at Troy and know that I will miss the blog every bit as much. I do not comment each time I visit, but visit as often as I can many times sorting back a few days to catch up on what is happening.