On the longest day of the year, the summer solstice, I decided to take a hike on one of our longest loops at Schlitz Audubon. I headed out from the building to Teal Pond, and then out into the West Meadows. If you’re looking for solitude, and the feeling of truly being in the woods–muddy trails, secluded paths–the West Meadows is a great place to explore. Bird activity was high on this hike-I found at least four examples of breeding behavior. There were birds gathering nesting material, birds defending territory, parents feeding their young, and even some recently hatched Northern Cardinal nestlings. And our woods are suddenly abuzz with pollinator and insect activity.
Not pictured, but worth mentioning: A Yellow-billed Cuckoo calling, and multiple male American Redstart defending their territories through song. And a moment in which I was one click too late on the shutter…a BRILLIANT male Ruby-throated Hummingbird checking out some Foxglove Beardtongue. Maybe next time!
The weather looks lovely for a weekend hike, so stop by and explore!