Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

An Evening Meadow Walk

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.




  1. I swear, it feels as of We are right there with you. Loved all the flowers in the meadow. We are dispersed camping near the north rim of Grand Canyon. Not a sound in the Forrest😊

  2. The wildflowers are beautiful, Sherry! I especially like the pink grass...so pretty with the wildlife. What fantastic deer photos! Boy, you lucked out with those bucks. Love the sparring:)

  3. That was definitely an interesting fact about the chigagou. Not if only I could remember it! I believe I've seen that flower. I'll have to pay attention.

    What beautiful pictures of the deer. I got some bucks sparring recently, but very blurred and not nearly as good as your shots. Great job.

  4. I love blooming onions and chives, I have a few different species in my flower bed. I can always tell they are nearby when hiking because I usually catch that "oniony" smell and look down to see I've probably stepped on a few in the spring when they first start coming up. Mine all just finished blooming, the garden's not looking so great with all the heat we've had but the rain is supposed to be on the way tomorrow.

  5. How cool to see the bucks sparring right in front of you. Great evening hike!

  6. Did David have the same talk about night creatures on his walk? How nice to see the bucks.

  7. Aren't those guys beautiful - not to mention the sweet babies too! The bucks look like they are greeting each other in a sweet way instead of sparring, and those velvety antlers are so pretty. Looks like a beautiful evening and lovely sunset.

  8. Beautiful pictures I especially love the deer thanks for sharing

  9. I love learning little facts like how Chicago got its name. Too cool! Great pictures of the bucks, they are such magnificent animals. I could never hunt them, except with a camera. ;c)

  10. I always love the meadow. Can't go wrong with a walk there. Thanks for sharing.

  11. Great deer pictures!! How neat to see such a group. Lovely meadow flowers too. I'm glad your town trip was short-I have no doubt the best part of that was Pam :)

  12. What absolutely beautiful candid photos of the wildflowers and wildlife!

  13. One of the best things about the Shenandoah is the fact that the deer are everywhere, just like they own the place! As much time as I've spent in the park and backcountry I've only seen a buck once, and he was a beauty! Love those antlers. But the does will push you right off the trail if you are in their way.

  14. What fun you have had this summer watching the twin fawns grow up;o)) Then to see "The Boys" doing their macho act...great photos!!!

  15. I remember that walk; although we didn't have that many people in our group.

  16. An evening meadow walk -- how lovely! The wildflowers are beautiful -- including what looks like milkweed, which I'm always happy to see. Your photos of the bucks are wonderful.

  17. Wow, an evening meadow walk! Your captures are so beautiful, and makes me feel Im standing right next to you. I also love the sparring.

  18. Funny how when I was a kid I loved knowing all the answers already, but now I too much prefer learning something brand new, love not knowing yet :-) I have to get a book on flowers, the one I have for trees is too frustrating with many that look exactly the same. The young bucks are so handsome and the sparring photos are fantastic.


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