|~ The Grotto ~|
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The one today was a lot more detailed and required that we walk the length and breadth of a site not visited previously, as well as to return to two of the earlier sites, this time to collect diatom and plant samples.
We had packed a picnic basket, as we were going to be "site bound" and not sure precisely how lengthy the collection process would be. I'm so pleased we did as, unlike last week when we'd picked a cool, overcast and drizzly day, we were treated to a scorcher today. The cold juice and water was especially welcome and we tucked into our ham, cheese and mustard rolls with relish at lunchtime. Isn't it amazing how the simplest food tastes so delicious when eaten outdoors.
I once again entertained myself very happily while my husband was diligently collecting his samples and the following photographs serve as a taste of what pleasures awaited me in the field today...herewith, a bit of this 'n that ;)
|Glorious pinoaks sporting their new green of the season.|
|A lovely lady of the meadow - she was not terribly cooperative of my attempts to take a flattering picture. She seemed far more interested in eating.|
|Bunny-tailed grasses in their thousands!|
|A most intriguing dead tree covered in these unusual pods.|
|Delightfully carefree display of wild grasses, bracken, reeds and pink pelargonium - Nature's own floral art!|
|Fence pole sculpture!|
|The dead tree and fence pole in the context of their setting.|
|Beautiful blue psoralea (pea) flowers.|
|The grotto as seen from the bench. The light was exceedingly bright and most of the pictures I took today appear over-exposed.|
|Looking into the pool of water beneath the grotto. Lilies, reeds and potamageton (pond weed).|
|I have never seen so many dragonflies in one place at a time. There were blue, red and yellow ones ranging in size from quite small to almost as large as a tiny bird!|
|And what would a pool of water be without its resident frogs. This fellow permitted me to come quite close. I asked him if he'd like to come back home with me, but he said he'd found paradise...how could I argue with that!|
|Looking through the deep, cool shade of the row of pinoaks out into the bright sunlight bathed meadow ahead.|
|Reflections, shadows and the play of light.|
|Watch your step! A large bird has used this stump as its toilet...I wonder where it roosts? Oh, look above...|
|That large nest situated so high up indicates the presence of a fairly sizeable bird. Without having seen the tell-tale guano below, we might have missed seeing the nest altogether.|
|Back to the cool shade beneath the pinoaks. It's been a very hot day!|
Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.
I hope you all have a glorious day!