As I walked the dikes at Sweet Marsh this afternoon, the simple, yet almost magical process of seed distribution for milkweed plants was obvious. Countless seeds were clinging to other plants or floating in the incessant wind. Pods that were not quite mature enough to share their seeds were drying nicely in preparation for an upcoming windy day or night.
Milkweed is an interesting plant. The blossoms, when viewed from a distance, are not especially remarkable. Yet, up close, they are quite pretty. Milkweed also serves as a vital plant in the continuation of the monarch butterfly species. It seems odd that such an important plant receives so little recognition.
Every now and then as I walked I photographed a milkweed pod, just because I find them fascinating.
Milkweed Pods in Autumn:
Not only did I see plenty of milkweed seeds today, but I also noticed thousands of milkweed bugs doing whatever milkweed bugs do this time of year. My advice to the milkweed bugs is they better get going on whatever they do. It won’t be long before cold temperatures end their active existence for another season.
For a short time today I just sat along the water to watch pied-billed grebes and American coots as they did their best to hide from me. Neither species had anything to fear as I wasn’t even going to shoot pictures of them, unless they approached much closer than they were (and they did not!). While watching the birds on the water a low flying bird of prey entered my field of view. This bird would dip low to the ground, them climb ten to twenty feet and dip down again. I was hoping it would fly directly over me, but that did not happen. I was able to shoot some pictures of it, but came away with no exceptional pictures. In fact, the image with the best view actually has a wing cut off in the frame. That is what happen when a photographer attempts to intercept a hunting Northern Harrier.
This morning I paused for a minute or two just to watch the sun clear the horizon. What a pretty way to start the day!
Warm Autumn Sunrise: