Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Color of August

You may call me silly, but I associate colors with each month of the year. I won't bore you with every month, but I will fill you in my summer colors. May is blue, June is orange, July is purple and August is yellow.

After my morning outside today, you'll understand why I associate August with yellow. I ran out to work to set up nets for my last mist netting session of the season, which is tomorrow. Knowing it was going to be a beautiful day, I brought my camera along and walked the prairie after setting up the nets.

The sweet coneflowers are still in bloom, although they getting to be just past their prime. But it still sure is nice to walk among the flowers.

The butterflies were out in force today, or I should say, the Skippers. There were many species of Skippers flitting about, but the Fiery Skippers caught my eye.

Most of the Skippers look very similar, making it difficult to identify them. Usually I wait until I get home to download the pictures with field guide in hand before trying to identify the Skippers. Even now, I'm doubting the accuracy of my identification

Skippers make up 1/3rd of the butterfly species in North America. They are tiny butterflies with broad heads, stocky bodies and small wings. They are also fast flyers. The larvae of this species feed primarily on bermuda grass.

Butterflies were not the only winged creatures flitting about. The American Goldfinches were feasting on the cone flowers and I had a young Indigo Bunting checking me out.

You may wonder about the word "Indigo" in this bird's name, but the females and young birds that hatched over the summer are brown. The males begin to gain that beautiful blue color the following spring, but still have brown feathers scattered across their body. It actually takes a few years for the males to completely lose the brown feathers.

Yellow flowers, yellow butterflies and yellow (and brown) birds. Do you understand now why I associate August with the color yellow?

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