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The Splendor of Summer at Boomer Lake

Updated on August 2, 2013
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Weather Has Been Rough, But the Masses Have Been Supportive

Even though it has been an odd summer for most of the world, it certainly has had some excellent slices of what nature has to offer here in central Oklahoma. Yes, we have had some severe weather, and Mother Nature has expressed her anger from time to time, since we haven't been particularly kind to her. So be it, as one cycle leads to another. This area has had a number of tornadoes, some of which were downright catastrophic, but many individuals in this country have sent a helping hand. This made me smile and say to everyone that would listen that we have some fine citizens in this country. No, let me correct myself. Help actually came from all over the world. Let me give you my thanks, and this is my gift to everyone that cares about people's needs, as well as the needs of nature. As a naturalist, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Typical Oklahoma Evening Sky
Typical Oklahoma Evening Sky | Source
Trumpet Flower
Trumpet Flower | Source

Weather Synopsis vs. Avian Botulism Causation Factors

April Showers bring May flowers, the old saying goes, but there was quite a lack of water for a while. Boomer Lake was at the lowest level that I had ever seen it, and there was some concern on my part that birds would be affected with avian botulism, when ambient temperatures are too high. This can be perpetrated due to lack of water, as the organisms find this a favorable condition, but that is not always the case.

My worry was soon dispelled due to a great deal of rain that we received during late spring and up until now, Boomer Lake is more full than I have ever seen it. There appears to be no chance of a drought this year, which is wonderful news for all. The farmers will be pleased, as hay is growing well, and there are great hopes that there will be plenty of that for all who need it.

Milkweed Pod After a Rain
Milkweed Pod After a Rain | Source
Black Swallowtail
Black Swallowtail | Source

Summertime Fun

Summer is a time of soaring aspirations, and certainly high hopes for grew vacations, cookouts, each time, and family outings. This has been a banner year for that, and Boomer Lake has seen many fun times.

Summer is also the time of wildflower growth, and it has been prolific, and a great food source to birds, bees, and butterflies. We need all the pollinators that we can get for our vegetable gardens and farms to be able to sustain our food sources, and everything is looking good for that right now.

Monarch butterflies need milkweed in order to propagate. It is a necessary source in their growth and well being. Even though butterflies got a late start thus year, they are definitely flourishing now in this area, and we have seen a great amount of various species, some of which I have never seen before.

As a matter of fact, the amount of swallowtails around the lake during mid-summer was very impressive, and nearly everywhere I looked, I could see hosts of them. These are some of our largest butterflies, and I'm almost certain that one day that I was out there were a couple of giant swallowtails nearby. While I was on the way to photograph them, they were frightened away by a jogger, and that was the end of that. I never saw any more, but was duly impressed by their size. I would say that those specimens were a good six inches!

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Butterfly Hovering over Thistle Flower
Butterfly Hovering over Thistle Flower | Source

Wildflowers Aplenty

The wildflowers are thriving very well, too, many wonderful examples of Queen Anne's Lace, and so many others that I am unable to identify due to lack of knowledge. That will soon change, as my plan is to obtain a good wildflower guide, both for my own curiosity, and the fact that I can help others learn about what is in this part of the country.

There are so many wonderful examples of wildflowers in this area, including thistle, which is a fundamental product in attracting finches. Many butterflies also feed from thistle, and it is also a very beautiful pink flower.

Birds also happen to use the spent flower for food as well as nesting material. As you can see, it has wonderful uses for much of our wildlife.


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Positive Outdoor Thoughts

Not only is summer a fine time to get out and do things with friends and family, it is also beneficial to be out in the sun for the natural vitamin D that it provides. It is both good for the skin and hair, in moderation, of course. It is also necessary to wear sunscreen and reapply it periodically, as we sweat off its protection, and while swimming, it comes off in the water.

So get out there and enjoy your time outdoors. Share walks with those that you care for, and look around you, to see nature's wonders. Granted, you don't have Boomer Lake across the street from you, but there are parks and other lakes to enjoy, besides your own beautiful neighborhoods.

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Wild Snflower
Wild Snflower | Source

Suggestions to Recycle

Fall is right around the corner, so those grass clippings and weeds that you have tossed onto the edge of your property will be great material to place over your gardens for the winter. It is ecologically sound practice to use these materials to provide natural protection and fertilizer to gardens, as long as they don't have pesticides, which will kill of next year's crops before they start. Some cities and towns also pick up these garden and lawn wastes that you have no use for to use in public areas, like they do here in Stillwater. Old newspapers not only help start your winter wood stoves, but they are also wonderful to use in your planting beds to keep weeds at bay.

In Miami, lawn and tree trimmings In general can be donated to local community gardens for composting. They are always looking for bagged leaves that people leave on the sidewalk. Contact your park and recreations office and ask them to give you a contact person for the local community garden.

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Montezuma Baldcypress
Montezuma Baldcypress | Source
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Western Soapberry Tree
Western Soapberry Tree | Source

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    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Meldz! There are so many great things out there to see, and fall is right around the corner...

    • profile image

      ignugent17 4 years ago

      I will definitely go out and enjoy outdoors. Your pictures make it more reassuring. :-)

      Have a wonderful day! :-)

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Anna! Thanks for the kind words and coming by to read.

    • Anna Haven profile image

      Anna Haven 4 years ago from Scotland

      You are a brilliant advocate for nature and the great outdoors. Your passion for it speaks in every word and your photographs reaffirm it.

      If I wasn't already an outdoor girl; you would have me converted! Great recycling tips as well.

      Anna :)

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Eddy! Thanks again for coming to the lake and seeing a whole new aspect of my day.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      rdsparrowriter, what a wonderful sentiment! That really is my intent with the seasonal pieces: it shows people what is right at their fingertips. Once many folks get the introduction to nature, it is usually a case of hitting the ground running with everything else. Enjoy the journey.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

      As always Deb interesting and so very useful too. Voting up, sharing and saving.

      Eddy.

    • rdsparrowriter profile image

      rdsparrowriter 4 years ago

      I really enjoy reading your hubs. So beautiful pictures :) Thank you for sharing them :) I learn so many new things about the natural beauty :) Voted up, useful, awesome and interesting :)

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      As usual, Connie, thanks so much for your continued support as well as your weather and insect/wildflower report.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey KoffeeKlatch Gals! I am so happy that the photos held your interest. There are so many beautiful things around the lake. I was hoping to get a good picture of a frog, but I still have a chance to do it.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Bill, thanks for visiting the lake, and yes, people are recovering from the tornado activity. I heard about the odd heat wave in New England. We used to have a couple of days in the 90s, when I was in Maine, but that was all.

    • grandmapearl profile image

      Connie Smith 4 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

      Hi Deb, as in your part of the country, we have had an abundance of rain this year. What was dry and of concern earlier has been replenished and become abundantly green. Our rivers and streams and lakes have all risen beyond their normal height, much to my delight.

      I have also seen an increase in butterflies and beneficial insects. My happiest sightings have been red and northeastern bumblebees busily working in all my gardens, as well as the wildflowers. They were markedly absent last year.

      This was a beautiful article filled with your signature fine photographic talents. I enjoyed it very much ;) Connie

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

      Susan Haze 4 years ago from Sunny Florida

      I love your photos. They tell quote a story all on their own. Thanks for the look into the summer at Boomer Lake. Here is Florida were are having, hot, humid days.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Wonderful photos Deb, just beautiful. It has been a strange weather year. Hopefully everyone suffering from the tornadoes out there is recovering. We've had a very hot summer so far here in New England and I am looking forward to some seasonably cooler weather. Love the butterfly photos.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Fortunately, Johan, there wasn't much of a drought this year. Hope that all is well in SA

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Alicia. Glad that you liked the native species info, as well as little tidbits on everything else. I always appreciate your input.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks for the info, Mel! No, the Dickcissels are still here, as strong a representation as there ever has been. The Scissor-tailed Flycatchers are decreasing and migration really does appear to be on the move. I am not on a day off again until Friday, so perhaps I can explore a little more to see what the avian world is offering.

    • Johan Smulders profile image

      Johan Smulders 4 years ago from East London, South Africa

      A great look into the weather, butterflies and flowers of Oklahoma. Photos are excellent. Glad the drought has been broken.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you for the photos and the Boomer Lake update, which were very enjoyable, as always. Thanks for the good advice, too!

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 4 years ago from San Diego California

      Very beautiful tree and bloom photos. Did the Dickcissels finally fly away? Our bird life over here has gone back to normal. The house wren family in our backyard has gone off to whatever mysterious place they fly to when they migrate. The only notable bird is the Hooded Oriole that is nesting nearby. He serenaded us three days ago as we were sitting on the back patio. Great hub!

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Mary! The place is utterly amazing, it just has so much to offer. For all the things that I see, I wonder how much that I miss.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Susan! Glad that you like them. The amazing thing is that there are so many wildflowers, and they are all free!

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

      I'm beginning to think I live near Boomer Lake ;)

      You do such a great job of describing things in and around the lake. Your photos take us right there and let us share the beauty. Good suggestions in this one Deb.

      Voted up, useful, awesome, and interesting.

    • Vacation Trip profile image

      Susan 4 years ago from India

      Wow. The pictures look so beautiful. Thanks for sharing Deb.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, whonu! It is always important to pass on good information so that al l can benefit.

    • whonunuwho profile image

      whonunuwho 4 years ago from United States

      Beautiful pictures and very nice message of what Summer truly is. whonu

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Excellent, Klara! Let me update my story with that wonderful information. Miami area sounds pretty progressive.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, Suhail. Nearly everyone that I heard from has had abnormal seasons. I plan to pay as much close attention as I can to wildlife populations to see what is going on, so I will seek out a lot of bird info for "Life at Boomer Lake." I think that it will be important information for all.

    • profile image

      klarawieck 4 years ago

      This is a beautiful article, Deb. I'd like to add that lawn and tree trimmings In general can be donated to local community gardens for composting. We are always looking for bagged leaves that people leave on the sidewalk. Contact your park and recreations office and ask them to give you a contact person for the local community garden.

      Beautiful photos! I love that you're expanding your interest to include native plants as well.

    • Suhail and my dog profile image

      Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent 4 years ago from Mississauga, ON

      Up here near Toronto, we had a very warm mid June to Mid July and then the weather relented. We are having ample amount of precipitation. The wildflowers started blooming from early May and are on a roll even now.

      I noticed that several of your wildflowers are also denizens of our wilderness here.

      This is a good update about your area. I liked it.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Cris, it is always good to play in the rain. It will keep your youthfulness alive. Glad that you liked this piece.

    • CrisSp profile image

      CrisSp 4 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

      First off, love all the photos (as always) but my favorite on this hub is the lovely Black Swallowtail. I don't feel summer in my part of the world...been raining a lot lately in my base. Not complaining, just saying.

      It's pouring, in fact while reading this and I feel like I wanna go out and shower in the rain. Why not?

      Enjoy the sky of Oklahoma Deb!

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, Billy. Wow, no rain in Washington state! Now THAT is sure a new one. I'mn glad you told me that, as I didn't know.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Strange, strange weather this summer. We have had no rain, which is completely against our norm, and other parts of the country have been deluged. Nice job on this one....you covered quite a few of the sciences in one article and did it in a manner anyone can understand.