Crow’s Nest: Glorious Summer

June 30, 2019

By Daniel Barringer, Preserve Manager.

Summer is a glorious time at Crow’s Nest for wildflowers and butterflies. We have a couple species of milkweed in our meadows; the common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) has the dusty-pink flowers that you see in the meadow below our parking lot. If you hike further to our northern meadows and savanna you will see swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) with the deep pink flowers (shown above and below). It seems to be a bit more abundant each year, responding well to our management of annual wintertime mowing and occasional prescribed burning and despite the presence of invasive plants that also can be found in the meadows.

The gardens around the visitor center barn (below) are at their peak, timed to correspond with our summer camps. Aubrey Smith designed and installed this bed (which had been turfgrass, below) to welcome visitors along the path from our parking lot.

Below is a raised bed of many varieties of coneflower (Rudbeckia spp.) sponsored by the Elverson Garden Club. It is located near the visitor center outside the vegetable garden.

And of course summer brings storms—we love to sit on the porch and watch them roll in until we’re chased inside by the blowing rain.