Three days ago this hillside in late afternoon sunlight was stunning but no camera was available. Clear skies have returned but the leaf color has moved closer to being past with little red now evident. Between the green groomed field and the hillside is a narrow path where the grass is kept cut. That path marks the end of our land. The background wilderness is owned by someone else while the view is ours to enjoy.
This back meadow was recently given its final mowing of the season. We stopped mowing here in early July expecting that the milkweed would regrow and nourish another generation of Monarch butterflies. For some reason that did not happen this year. It might be the result of the record breaking heat accompanied by totally inadequate rainfall. It might also be the result of several years of mowing here. We want this spot to look like a farmer still lives here. We have other areas where the plants grow with no interference from us. The Milkweed growing in those spots should naturally meet the needs of the butterflies. Sharp eyes might find the two narrow paths that diagonally cross this field. Since we have yet to see animals crossing here, we do not know if the paths are the result of our deer herd or our neighbor's horses that also graze here. The Red Maple centered in the background still holds two of its five original trunks. Imagine the display we formerly saw before the trunks began breaking off. We are grateful that some of this splendid tree remains.