I often walk in barrens on a hot, sunny day - it just happens that way. The rain breaks or the forest opens and I am in the barrens. The mosquitoes abandon chase. Oaks a hundred of years old drink the water from cracks in the stones and from the thin leaf litter.
Sheep laurel tucks pollen laden stamens into pink petals. A bee's landing will eject the stamens, she will collect the treasure. She departs, and the stamens bend back into place awaiting another pollinator.
A towhee sings from atop a chestnut oak. Common yellow throats call from the blueberry thicket. A scarlet tanager pair visit the barrens briefly and return to the forest.
All photographs: Moosic Mountain, Pennsylvania