It seems that I have an abundance of flower and bird images and so please bear with me for one more round of photos depicting what has caught my eye through summer.
I love the simple beauty of the wild chicory. I photograph it often.
Touch-me-nots (or Himalayan Balsam) are so named for the pods which grow and ripen late in the summer. One very gentle touch and they pop open to reveal the seeds inside. They're irresistible - kind of like nature's bubble wrap.
The pods were just beginning to grow on this plant iwhen the photo was taken. They sure do look pretty in the late-day sunlight.
As do these blushing rose hips.
I'm sure somebody, somewhere knows the name of this wildflower, but it isn't me.
Likewise for this lovely purple plant.
This one I know. It's a coneflower or echinacea.
Sometimes a blossom looks just as pretty from behind.
On to the birds...
Mallards are lovely creatures - even when they're moulting heavily. You can see the wee bits of green feathers just beginning to grow back on this fellow's head.
Male cardinals certainly add a splash of colour to their surroundings. This guy is eating Chez Frank.
And this sweet little sparrow became familiar to us over the course of a couple of days. Frank dubbed him Big Nose. Unfortunately, he wasn't coping as well as his mates. He'd stop by the feeding station and eat well enough, but he appeared to struggle and flutter to keep his balance. He flew just fine the first day but his wings didn't seem to be able to give him quite the lift he needed by the next day. By day three, he was clearly ailing - unable to fly at all. Frank tried to coax him into a cage where he'd be able to find food, water and safety from predators overnight but that was just not to be. I think a swift kill (if that happened) was probably the kinder end for Big Nose. We never saw him again after day three. In retrospect (and by Googling) we determined that he probably had the West Nile virus.
Rest in peace, little Big Nose.
Stay tuned for more photos in a few days.