On this visit to our favorite vernal pond, we found that the water level had risen a good five feet thanks to a weekend of heavy rains. This day wasn't actually rainy, but we all still got pretty soaked and muddy! The sun hadn't come out yet, and dew blanketed the fields. We waded through wet grasses hunting for wildflowers...
|american vetch, aka hairy vetch, aka winter vetch|
|common vetch, aka spring vetch|
( i always forget which is spring and which winter because they both bloom in winter here!)
|sky or dove lupine|
|two-toned tidy tips! (with a couple beetles along for the ride!)|
|don't know this one yet -- there are so many yellow wildflowers! anyone know?|
The dew also highlighted the spider webs that stretched across the tips of the field's grasses. I hadn't realized there were so many there! My friend drew our attention to the funnels, now visible with water droplets, and we waited a moment to see if a spider would pop out of the burrow. No luck.
The kids did plenty of running, climbing, wading, and tree frog catching...
...and let's just say more than one kid in my family came home with their rain boots full of pond water. Ahem.
They left happy and with a handful of specimens for our nature tray.
We had to hurry off that morning after a couple hours out because my big kids were heading to daily Mass with my husband, but all of us would have liked to linger a bit longer.
The dew really brought to life the shapes of these wildflowers rather than their bright colors, which are usually what first catches our eye. I have Botany in a Day and this trip motivated me to get it out and start a routine study of some sort so I'm able to group a bit more confidently by family now that we "know" some of these so well. As we have gone week in and out looking for our favorites and taking notes on where and when they bloom, I'm inspired to mentally make sense of all the little features we notice as we get more and more attuned to the size, shape, and structure of these plants, in addition to their lovely shades.
And I'm always surprised by how consistently we find flowers we have never seen before, even in places we go to weekly. The variety is simply amazing! God is good.