Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A Pennsylvania Meadow

Here in Pennsylvania where we call home, there is a large meadow at the top of the hill that is one of my favorite spots in the entire world.  I love taking afternoon walks here to observe the changes in and around the meadow from week to week.  There are many ecological benefits to having a meadow in the landscape.  Native grass & wildflowers allow countless animals to eat, reproduce and take shelter in this area; there is always something new to behold.  The rich and diverse fauna that rely on our meadow is quite astounding.  Take a walk around this beautiful meadow on the property and enjoy the view.



This is the entrance to the meadow next to the early 19th century Pennsylvania Bank Barn.  A large stump from an old oak marks the entrance.  There are paths that lead to other parts of the woods which are nice, but I much prefer taking a lazy stroll with my camera around the meadow.  I never know what I'm going to see. 

Every spring, the grass is allowed to grow wild.  Paths are carved out to allow access in and around the meadow.  The sounds of insects, birds and the occasional breeze is beyond description.


Here I am standing at the edge of the meadow facing west.  It isn't a flat terrain.  The meadow rises & dips halfway across the length.  The trees that surround the area are native dogwoods, hollies, ashes, maples, hemlocks, junipers, oaks and many others.

On this particular day, there was a pack of deer getting up from a rest in the thick grass.  They had been lying down deep in the grass and were startled by the sound of my footsteps.  At the peak of summer, the grass will grow to about 4 to 5 feet in height.  This provides adequate coverage to the many deer, chipmunks, squirrels, rabbits, groundhogs, snakes, bees, butterflies and the many birds that use this area.


This young white-tailed deer is standing quite still.  Can you see how well it hides in the thick grass?


I stopped in my tracks because it was obvious they wanted to cross the path.  They waited a minute or so & then jumped across very gracefully.


This is the other end of the meadow where many wildflowers bloom so beautifully.  I love hearing the buzz of the bees as they go from flower to flower, and the sounds of the crickets, cicadas and birds.  


Here is a closeup of a wildflower cluster.  These are a pretty lavender shade that stand out against the green grass.


When the meadow gets mowed down at the end of spring, this is what it looks like.  The various shades of green are so soothing that I find it very therapeutic to walk here each & every day. 



Meadows in the eastern part of the United States are almost always connected to a woodland.  It is quite evident that this is the case around our house.  One can create a meadow at home if there is adequate space & plenty of sun for native flora to thrive.  If you want to know more on establishing a meadow around your home, click here and read about how to do so.  I hope you enjoyed your stroll with me around this native Pennsylvania meadow.

2 comments:

  1. This does seem like a tranquil spot. I'm interested to know what type of birds you see around your home. Thanks.
    Phil

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  2. Well Phil,
    I'm not an ornithologist, but the birds I can identify around the area are: swallows, robins, cardinals, blue jays, finches, crows, hawks, a golden eagle (we've only seen one once!) and owls (again, I'm not sure what type).

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