Summer may not be officially started, but with high humidity, rising temperatures, and the start of afternoon rains, it definitely started here. Our wet, hot, humid summers tend to be the ‘off’ season. Events take place in autumn, winter, or spring, when part-time residents and tourists abound. Even social events and groups often cease meetings for June, July and August as many members are part-timers who headed home at some point after Easter.
The rain and sun bring more than humidity; they bring incredible growth to plants. Many spring flowers continue through the summer, and many butterflies still fly around visiting them. After a rain, the colors really pop, and often so does the fungus.
I loved the light pattern on this tree fungus pictured above. These fungi only last a day or two before they begin to fade or become a meal for insects and other creatures. Catching them in the right light at peak takes some hunting.
Nuttall’s thistle grows to 5’ or more, and the flower heads, like most thistle, are popular with pollinators. I did a close up of the flower on this one, with two unopened buds on either side.
I often see butterflies like this Palamedes Swallowtail on the ground, not near any flowers. In this case it flew around some pine cover in our campsite, and stopped frequently obviously feeding on something. A reference I checked said the male often does this, and is feeding on water and needed minerals in the soil. I took several head-on shots for a different view, but wasn’t happy with the results so here is the traditional side view.