The Beauty of a Meadow

Yesterday was a unicorn day – a rare and magical moment in time when all 3 of my kids played together in peace ALL DAY. There was no arguing on what to play; no shouts of “Mom!” or “that’s not fair”; they simply moved from one activity to the next in a fluid motion with unspoken rules understood. So it was rather productive for me – I tidied up, hung laundry on the line, made granola and two batches of chocolate chip cookies from scratch, and crocheted a few rows of a sweater I am working on. I also stole away for a few moments to go and stand in the meadow beside my house. You see we currently live beside land that has been slated for housing and must have been cleared at one time. However, for the past few years it has been virtually untouched. And so slowly it is changing and becoming more wild and a meadow is establishing.

So I walked outside and enjoyed the silence. I’m grateful to live in a small town where there isn’t a lot of outside noise – I truly appreciate it after having lived in some of the busiest, noisiest parts of Canada! But as I stepped into the meadow I was amazed at just how much I could hear! There were birds singing, crickets chirping and the buzzing of insects going about their days work. I had only gone a few feet in and already my senses seemed to come alive, and my breathing slowed and I felt a serene calmness.

I couldn’t believe the diversity of life that was suddenly right in front of me. With every step I took grasshoppers, who I couldn’t see on the ground at all, suddenly sprung up and away. I saw ladybugs, flies, mud daubers, wasps, butterflies and bees all around me.

This fly has a stripe pattern to fool others into thinking she is a stinging insect
A wasp fueling herself with nectar from this clover

And as I stood there taking it all in my ears began to appreciate the various frequencies that the different insect species produce. It was easy to locate the honey bees, which were drawn to the sweet white clover, by the distinctive buzzing that they make. I enjoyed watching them move quickly from flower to flower collecting the nectar, and I imagined them heading back to their hive to excitedly do their waggle dance telling all of their sisters to come check out the party at my house!

A forager honey bee. The beaten up wings and fewer hairs on her body show her age; foraging is the last job a worker bee will have before she dies.

The plant life is amazing to watch too. Right now the meadow is mostly Queen Anne’s lace, sweet white clover, chicory, thistles and some burdock that has gone to seed. But all throughout there is golden rod and asters ready to spring forth with blooms as summer begins to dwindle. I love to watch how the meadow changes over the seasons and over the years. I’m not sure how my neighbours feel about our meadow. On a superficial glance it looks so messy and untamed. And I’m sure those with perfectly manicured lawns look at it with an element of contempt as it forever threatens to encroach on their idea of paradise. But I can honestly tell you that I love living beside it and if I ever win the lottery I will buy this tract of land and just leave it to be the wildness that it is.

Honey Bee on a thistle

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