The Monarch and the Clover

A Monarch Butterfly in the clover at the edge of the road, August, 9, 2014, "The Monarch and the Clover."I didn’t think I would be able to fall asleep last night. A thunderstorm rumbled through at bedtime. The rain and the hail were beating loudly on the window. The tornado siren sounded as I was getting ready for bed. I was listening to the rain one moment and then, in the next moment, I awoke to silence. It was 1 am.

This morning, the sky was bright blue. The clouds quietly made their way across the sky. Muddy puddles along the side of the road were the only evidence of last night’s drama. It has rained often in the last couple of weeks. The ground is soaked. The water in the ponds and the rivers is high. There are flood warnings.

It was beautiful running weather this morning. The temperatures was 73 degrees. There was a breeze. I saw seven Canadian Geese fly by and coast into one of the ponds. They splashed into the water almost in unison. Two hawks drifted on the air currents overhead. A flock of sparrows landed noisily in a nearby tree. I was trying to run lightly with each footfall gentle and in rhythm. When I turned the last corner on the way home, a dozen Barn Swallows were lined up in a row on the electric wire carrying on a lively conversation.

A week after the Barn Swallows left the building, I went out to the Arboretum early in the morning. High in a tree at the edge of the Restored Prairie, a Northern Cardinal was singing. This time, I recorded his morning song. For a while, he was singing a duet with another Northern Cardinal farther away.

A video of a Northern Cardinal singing, August 9, 2014

I startled a White-tailed Deer. She stood perfectly still outside of the fence that goes around the Arboretum until I moved. The White-tailed Deer are quick. I have seen them many times, but this was only the second time one stood still long enough for her picture to be taken. The first time was on the day the Catbird preformed his dance for me. The White-tailed Deer was in the grass at the side of the road near the entrance to the parking lot. I was walking back to the car. She didn’t stay still long.  She turned on her back legs, called out, and bounded down into the small gully and up the other side into the woods. Twice, I have seen a fawn running along the side of the road. I admire the graceful and sure-footed way the White-tailed Deer leap. If I tried it, I am sure it would end badly. How do they do it?

After walking around the Restored Prairie, it was time to go home. I was surprised to see a Monarch Butterfly in the clover at the side of the road near the parking lot. I have not seen many of them in my lifetime. The breeze had picked up. She was having a hard time holding on to the clover flowers. Before she flew away, she paused for a moment on the grass.

A video of a Monarch Butterfly in the clover, August 9, 2014

The Goldenrod had just started to bloom. When I took a picture of the Goldenrod flowers, a bee decided to visit.

A Pale Touch-me-not flower in the gardens at the Iowa Arboretum, August 9, 2014, "The Monarch and the Clover."

A Pale Touch-me-not flower in the gardens, August 9, 2014.

A White-tailed Deer outside of the fence at the Iowa Arboretum, August 9, 2014, "The Monarch and the Clover."

A White-tailed Deer outside of the fence, August 9, 2014.

A White-tailed Deer on the side of the road, July 18, 2014, "The Monarch and the Clover."

A White-tailed Deer on the side of the road, July 18, 2014.

A White-tailed Deer on the side of the road, July 18, 2014, "The Monarch and the Clover." A few moments after the last picture was taken, the deer was bounding down the small gully and up the other side into the woods.

A White-tailed Deer on the side of the road, July 18, 2014. A few moments after the last photo was taken, the deer bounded down into the small gully and up the other side into the woods.

A Northern Cardinal at sunrise perched high in a tree on the edge of the Restored Prairie at the Iowa Arboretum, August 9, 2014, "The Monarch and the Clover."

A Northern Cardinal at sunrise, August 9, 2014.

Purple Coneflower flowers in the Restored Prairie at the Iowa Arboretum, August 9, 2014, "The Monarch and the Clover."

Purple Coneflower flowers in the Restored Prairie, August 9, 2014.

Woodland Sunflower flowers in the Restored Prairie at the Iowa Arboretum, August 9, 2014, "The Monarch and the Clover."

Woodland Sunflower flowers in the Restored Prairie, August 9, 2014.

A Monarch Butterfly in the clover at the side of the road, August 9, 2014, "The Monarch and the Clover."

A Monarch Butterfly in the clover at the side of the road, August 9, 2014.

A Monarch Butterfly in the clover at the edge of the road, August 9, 2014, "The Monarch and the Clover."

A Monarch Butterfly in the clover at the edge of the road, August 9, 2014.

A Monarch Butterfly in the clover at the side of the road, August 9, 2014, "The Monarch and the Clover."

A Monarch Butterfly in the clover at the side of the road, August 9, 2014.

A Monarch Butterfly resting in the grass at the side of the road, August 9, 2014, "The Monarch and the Clover."

A Monarch Butterfly resting in the grass at the side of the road, August 9, 2014.

Goldenrod flowers and a bee on the edge of the meadow at the Iowa Arboretum, August 9, 2014, "The Monarch and the Clover."

Goldenrod flowers and a bee on the edge of the meadow, August 9, 2014.

Take care and thanks for reading.

Sarah

About Sarah

nature, outdoor, and health enthusiast, book reader, and story teller
This entry was posted in Nature, Running, Video Clips and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to The Monarch and the Clover

  1. Shady_Grady says:

    I like the Touch Me Not and Sunflowers.
    No comment on the geese. 🙂

    • Sarah says:

      Hi Shady 🙂

      The Pale Touch-Me-Not flowers are pretty. I don’t remember having seen them before. I saw a few in one place and a whole bunch in another. The flowers hang down from the stem. They look gentle and delicate. I am in love with the Woodland Sunflowers. 🙂 That bunch was tucked away in the grasses in the prairie. New and old blooms.

      I thought of you when I saw the geese. 🙂 Over population aside, they looked graceful as they stretched out their wings to slow down and gradually lowered themselves into the pond. Who directs traffic? Is there a head goose? I wonder if they are the grown ups of the geese family I saw earlier this summer. As they passed, I didn’t notice any difference in size. Splash-splash-splash. It was impressive coordination. The Barn Swallows lined up on the electric wire all chirping away made me smile. Such a lively bunch. 🙂

  2. Shady_Grady says:

    I had to take the day off work to handle some business with the local township. As I walked into the township offices there were lots of little reminders of the local geese population on the walkway. All over the place. You had to watch your step. One can’t help but wonder if importing some more hawks, eagles and foxes wouldn’t help clean things up a bit. 🙂

    • Sarah says:

      Hi Shady 🙂

      It could be 🙂 There are a lot of hawks around here. Eagles are still a rarity, but there are efforts to increase their population. The first summer I lived here, I think I saw two Bald Eagles flying high over head. I was running and had to squint up at the sky. They were too big for hawks and they looked like eagles. I checked back then and there are a few eagles in this state. I don’t know about the foxes. I saw tracks last winter that I thought might be from a fox. I think foxes lose out quickly when the land becomes housing developments instead of fields or woods. Hawks can manage as long as there are big trees around.

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