Wednesday August 5, 2015
Big Meadows Campground
Shenandoah National Park
Today is Cancer Center day and I go along with David to do some errands while he is there. I see my friend Pam who is ever so flexible about meeting me when I come down to town. Thank you Pam. I do a grocery store run and pick up some prescriptions at the pharmacy for David.
When we come back,there is a welcoming committee just across the road mowing our neighbors grass. Our grass is getting long too. Perhaps they’ll come over here. But no, they head the other direction.
After dinner, we join the 7:30 Meadow Walk to see what things look like in the evening and what the ranger has to say.
There are so many people interested in this that we are split into two groups of about 20 each with a separate ranger. David suggests we split up and see what each ranger has to tell us.
A different group is here to greet us in the meadow. I wish I’d thought to ask the name of the beautiful pink grasses behind them.
The ranger’s program tonight is not really about the meadow unfortunately but about nocturnal animals. I know the answers to all of his questions so I pay only half attention and concentrate more on the meadow itself which is awash in flowers.
Particularly plentiful are these nodding wild onions. The tiny bell-shaped pinkish-lavender flowers hang in a cluster from the single drooping stem so that pollinators must hang upside down to reach the nectar. I discover later that Native Americans used the bulb in soups and to flavor meals. The Algonquin name for this flower was chigagou, from which came the name of the city of Chicago. How about that fact? I guess they must have been awash in them in Illinois too when there was still some meadow or prairie in that area.
Other flowers are also blooming of course.
After the ranger has finished and begins leading the group back at the end of the walk, I tell him I’m staying, I wander around and and take the wildflower pictures above and run into a really neat group.
You’ve heard of men with guns, how about guys with horns. Personally I prefer the latter. Notice all the nodding wild onion everywhere. It gives a wonderful pink background for my pictures.
These two put on a sparring match for me. Too bad for David, his ranger’s program is longer than mine and he misses this.
One last handsome buck and it’s time to go back for me too. The camera opens its lens as a response to the darkness which enables me to get pretty nice pictures at dusk and somewhat beyond but it also makes the dark blue sky look white.
Glad it was a short trip to town. I’d rather be here than in Charlottesville, or any city, that’s for sure.