Soldiers Delight Natural Environment Area is a serpentine prairie habitat west of Baltimore, Maryland. I visited it a few times; in fact, last time I visited it was just over two weeks ago, which I blogged on. It so happens that today I had to run a personal errand in Baltimore, so I stopped by it again.
Last time I saw the famed fringed gentians for the first time. However, weather was bad at the time and I could not capture them in pictures successfully. With a warm October sun on my back, today I was determined to take another shot.
And this I did (and more). At Chimney Branch (a stream that runs through the NEA) I found many of these delicate flowers and managed to take a few pictures of them this time.
There were some insects busy pollinating the flowers, the next picture in fact shows a tiny beetle on the flower petal.
When taking pictures, I was careful not to trample any of these locally endangered flowers. Here’s another shot to show its slender profile:
But my day did not end here. At another crossing with the same stream, I saw a song sparrow taking a bath in the water. This is one of my favorite little bird, which has the sweetest of songs (in fact, its Latin name is Melospiza melodia).
There were also many common buckeye butterflies, feeding frenziedly on the blooming asters(?).
As I was walking toward the Visitors Center to end this short trek, I found a bearded tooth mushroom (hat tips to Jack Wennerstrom for helping me identify this) on a tree trunk. What is unusual about this one is the fact that it was exactly the same one I took picture of two weeks ago. But now, of course, it already started to decompose, but the fact that I found the same specimen two weeks later slightly surprised me.