Mom and I took a nice hike at the Germantown MetroPark, just a few miles from Pinehaven, this afternoon. It was a pleasant and sunny afternoon with a hint of fall already in the air. Last night's low of 53 degrees certainly triggered many insects to increase their foraging for nectar as we found thistles, in particular, covered with butterflies and bumblebees.
Is there any shade of lavender more beautiful than this? From a distance you first think pink - and it is - but from a closer view, the pink seems tinged with purple, a truly royal color for the field. This bumblebee was not in the least concerned with my efforts to photograph him. He was too intent on his mission, pushing the petals aside, enjoying a late summer repast.
This shot (above) shows an equally industrious butterfly, nipping the nectar, unconcerned by my close approach. There were bees and butterflies on the same flower head, sharing the space, working the final days of summer.
Mom was along with me today. Though she will be 85 in a month and a half, she is willing to get out and enjoy the park with me. On the paths where gravel is loose, else where the grade is a little steep, she will take my arm to help her balance. Together we move slowly along the trail, stopping to enjoy every bit of nature. Many patches of club moss are blooming now, too, and we stopped and admired the lush greenery and their pine-tree-like blooms. Hanging onto the fertile soil, they carpet the edge of the trail in places.
What a luxurious afternoon. Upper 70's, a warm sun shining upon us and no wind to speak of. What could be finer than the two of us walking along together, open to natural suggestions on all sides. It is days like this that I will remember longest.
Thistles! Think not of the thorns but of the softest shade of royal.