Late summer has very much arrived at Nahant Marsh. The sun rises later and sets earlier, and mornings are welcome cool…some of the days are, too.
Gold is showing in places where the green has worn thin and the yellow flowers dominate the meadows. Delicate pinks can still be found depending where you look, and sometimes a little purple, and sometimes a startling, super saturated red where a cardinal flower blooms in the thick of it all.
The meadows are indeed thick, and busy with insects and spiders. They buzz, drone, hum and otherwise carry on in all industriousness—doing what they need to do before time is up.
Dragonflies patrol on glistening wings, and butterflies loiter by their favorite flowers. Milkweeds are the host plant for the monarchs, so of course Nahant Marsh’s milkweed studded fields attract the butterflies and grow the caterpillars.
I met a tiny snapping turtle—now must be hatching time because this little fellow couldn’t have been long out of the shell. He was a long way from the water, so I shortened his journey by an eight of a mile or so in exchange for taking his picture next to a quarter for scale. A long walk for such a tiny critter, although no doubt his siblings were headed that way themselves, and he’d have done fine on his own. He has a long way to go to get as large as Nahant’s big snappers. Lots of dangers face the baby snappers, but for many thousands of years some have always survived to get big.
Later summer early fall is especially nice in the marsh. The cooler breezes are refreshing after many hot days of intense sun. No frosts have yet come to nip anything back, so for a while in this end of summer time, life is good and the living is easy.