Sunday, September 6, 2015

From May til September

It is the first week of September in Kansas. 

Wingstem and Flesh Fly

The chiggers and horseflies are still biting. The trees are just beginning to turn yellow and red. We had more rain than we should expect this summer, and so the summer grasses are taller and greener. Grasshoppers, crickets and bees are still to be found in the fields. The sounds of nature are softer and one hears the gentle rustle of the cool wind.

Pawnee Prairie Park on the western edge of Wichita, off Kellogg and next to the airport, is a lovely place to walk with the dogs. Plumlee Trails follows Cowskin Creek (5 miles more or less with 3 loops and dozens of turn-offs, a popular trail for horses). The cool weather brings to mind William Cullen Bryant's observation, “Autumn...the year's last, loveliest smile."

Kansas wildflowers are still to be found. The Kansas Sunflower is everywhere in bloom, but so too the spiky, purple Thistle is in abundance, and Snow-on-the Mountain, with its showy white and green leaves. There are "lesser" flowers whose names are not so commonplace - the wingstem and curly cup gumweed for example.

curly cup gumweed

With my Iphone I captured a pic of a Pennsylvania leatherwing beetle camped out on the snow-on-the-mountain searching for aphids. 

Surely, Winter is not far away.


Rod Stewart's Maggie May comes to mind:

Wake up Maggie I think I got something to say to you
It's late September and I really should be back at school
I know I keep you amused but I feel I'm being used
Oh Maggie I couldn't have tried any more
You lured me away from home just to save you from being alone
You stole my heart and that's what really hurt