I have always loved meadows, with their showy flowers and brightly colored birds. I had the great pleasure of watching an indigo bunting here in the spring, and in summer the air above the meadow is full of dragonflies zipping to and fro. Black-eyed Susans and bergamot are in full swing, and the meadow smells spicy and warm.
Butterflies abound as well, and here a rather tattered fritillary is having lunch. Maybe it was a late breakfast. Anyway, it was feeding on the aptly-named butterfly weed.
But perhaps the sweetest-smelling flower in the meadow in mid-July is milkweed, another butterfly favorite, and it's easy to see why. The large clusters of tiny flowers are perfect for the whip-like proboscis of butterflies, and a bright yellow swallowtail on a cluster of purple milkweed is a sight to stop you in your tracks.
I'm not really sure what it is about a meadow that I find so appealing. I grew up on a lake and so maybe I feel more comfortable in wide open spaces. But to sit for a spell on the edge of a meadow on a warm summer day, listening to the buzzing and whirring of crickets and grasshoppers and the happy song of a catbird is without a doubt one of life's greatest pleasures.