The Joy Of Discovery
Each day as I start out on my hike there is anticipation. What new things will I find? Summer is drawing to a close and with it, the days, which earlier this season had been extremely wet, are now quite dry. The waterfall which I pass along the way is a mere trickle compared to the rushing torrent it had once been. But still there is that anticipation. What new insect will surprise me. What new flower will startle me with its sparkle of color?
Yesterday’s New Thrills
As my hike was nearing an end yesterday, as I approached my last mile, I was thinking that perhaps there would be few new “discoveries” for this season. After all how many new flowers can come about, this late in the growing season? Silly me! No sooner had those thoughts crossed my mind, when I spied an unusual color up on the side of the road, at the top of a cut that VDOT had made for water runoff. A lovely soft, grape color. What I found was a new plant! A Clasping Aster that gets its name from the fashion in which the rough textured leaves surround the stems. If you look closely at the photo above, I think you’ll be able to see what I’m talking about.
Sunshine Yellow Centers
Had I captured these photos when the flowers were just a bit earlier in their development their centers would have been a bright yellow, much like a daisy with purple petals. Along with the grape-purple petals, these blooms differ from the other asters that are so plentiful up here, in that they are a good bit larger. These blooms are about 1.25 inches across.
But Wait, There’s More!
This was yesterday, when I was thinking there would be no more surprises, right? Well, just a little bit further down the road there was a butterfly skittering around trying his best to get my attention. He was trying with all his might to get my attention but he wasn’t all that cooperative as a model. Despite that, I managed to capture him in pixels and I didn’t realize what I had captured until I got back to my studio.
This fellow is a Gemmed Satyr, who gets his name because of the sparkly eye-spots on his hindwings which look like gems stones. The book that I found this fellow in, Butterflies Through Binoculars, says that this butterfly is, “small and inconspicuous.” How very true until you take a photograph of him and look carefully at the picture! New to me, and mighty cool!