Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Good to the Last Leaf

This caterpillar is running out of leaf on this milkweed plant. I could almost hear the chomping as I got the photo.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Lovely Shade of Green

This brilliantly green katydid was exercising its legs in the middle of a path as if it was first learning to use them. The contrasting red of its eyes and antenna, along with its cone shaped head make it quite distinctive.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Saturday, August 27, 2011

An August June Beetle

This June Beetle was glowing in the middle of a path during a recent walk through the marsh. The picture doesn't do its iridescent colors justice.

A great website to go to for identifying insects is Simply enter a few identifying characteristics into the search box and you have a name for your creepy crawly. You can also contribute photo's and information to the site.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Marsh Bird

The Marsh is full of food this year and there are a lot of ducks and herons.

This bird was standing on the edge of an area that was drying up. Plenty of food---snails, tad poles, insect larva comes out of the marsh for sandpipers and killdeer like this bird.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Brand New

This guy glowed in the shade with his brilliantly green set of clothes.

He posed for pictures for quite some time---probably because he was so new.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Spots of the Toad

I love this guy's clothes---so stylishly spotted. He was enjoying a day at the marsh with me and was eating insects before they ate me.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Marsh Mallow, Rose Mallow, Hibiscus

Like tiny little packages the mallows in the marsh promise something big.

Then one day the marsh is covered in a pink shirt where butterflies smile and bees sing.

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Monday Morning Toad

This tiny toad, hardly large as a blade of the grass it is hiding in, was stealing insects from the spider whose web shields the toad from behind.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Cardinal Flower

Cardinal Flower is blooming now along Indiana stream banks. This wildflower is a native flower that was introduced to Europe long ago.

It is a favorite of hummingbirds.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Dragonfly Days

Dragonflies change colors as they mature. Some start out brownish and turn green or blue. Some remain brown and some turn brown with old age.

It kind of makes definitive identification from photographs difficult when the specimen is brown. Looks like this one has a partially white face and some green on its eyes, along with that wonderful gold color on its abdomen segment that may help with identification.

Thursday, August 18, 2011


Delightfully striped, this Monarch Caterpillar eats as fast as he can on the milkweed plant that will protect him against predators all his life.

I haven't seen many of these guys this year, even though milkweed is growing in abundance. But then this has been a crazy year, weather wise, and everything is bound to be effected.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Butterflies of fall

Angled-winged butterflies are distinctive because they look like fallen leaves. In fact, they will often perch on fallen leaves, unlike this one who has taken a liking to my raincoat.

These butterflies love fruit and, according to my Audubon Field Guide, they become intoxicated from rotten fruit.

I  hope that isn't a statement about the condition of my raincoat.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


If you thought that all the birds had finished nesting by now and were all planning to fly south you would have forgotten about the American Goldfinch.

In late July and early August the Goldfinch is busy nesting and feeding its young. The bird waits for the maturation of the oily and nutrition packed thistle and sunflower seeds before it begins its family.

Goldfinches use the down of the thistle for a soft lining in their nest. And, what a smart bird it is, it foils the "nest pirate" cowbird. Cowbirds can't survive on the oily seed diet.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Fishing Report

The weather turned cool for Sunday and I headed out to the river even though it was sprinkling. I love the green in this photo---this late summer bayou is covered with duck weed.

Anyone who wasn't out fishing yesterday missed a great day. The fish were out enjoying the cooler temperatures too and were biting like they had been starved all summer long. My first cast yielded a 13 inch small mouth and after catching most of the afternoon I ended the day off with a 16 inch largemouth. The fish were released back into the water---hopefully to be caught on some other day of great fishing.  

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Tiny Wise One

In the middle of a path that sees thousands of human footprints each day, this tiny frog, no bigger than a thumbnail, was sitting in quiet contemplation of the universe.    

Friday, August 12, 2011

Dragonfly Days---Widow Skimmer

If you're interested in capturing photos of dragonflies, the best times to try are early in the morning or right after a rain.

Early in the morning is best because the dragonflies are just warming up after the night's coolness. Later in the day they'll be moving fast over ponds and through weeds chasing after food.

This Widow Skimmer was captured as it was drying off just after a rain shower. As the sun came out it set off to capture its fill of mosquitoes.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Stormy Weather

A storm was just leaving the marsh as I was walking in for the day. Here the sun is just beginning to show its face again. Everything was fresh and clean.

Frogs and ducks were enjoying themselves. And the dragonflies began to hunt the mosquitoes as I grabbed my bug spray.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Buckeye Butterfly

Now is the time of the Buckeye Butterflies, flittering among the late summer into fall wildflowers.

The Buckeye is not a choosy host plant egg layer. Among its many choices is Vervain. Buckeyes don't winter this far north and, so, will be migrating south in a couple of months.  

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Fishing Report

For years I have been hearing about the Pike that are supposed to be in the Kankakee River here in northwest Indiana. Finally, I got to witness this one first hand the other day. Even though it was tiny it was a joy to catch and release back. I hope it grows to good size.

Fishing was more relaxed this week than last week but still good. Hopefully this week's cooler weather will have the fish jumping at all the bait we can offer.  

Monday, August 8, 2011

White Campion

Mary, Mary, quite contrary,
How does your garden grow?
With silver bells, and cockle shells,
And pretty maids all in a row.[1]

Cockle Shell
Have you ever wondered what cockle shells look like? They look more like Native American clay pots to me; but this wild flower isn't even native to the Americas but it is interesting and beautiful after all.  

The cockle shell is full of tiny seeds about the size of a poppy seed. The shell itself is a sturdy little container.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Racing Raccoon

Racing across the path in front of me at the marsh last Sunday, this raccoon was in a big hurry to get somewhere.

Unlike a couple of weeks ago when I got too close to Mama and three babies, I gave this one a wide berth.

It appears to be a year plentiful of raccoons. There's certainly plenty for them to eat.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Turtle Baby

Over the last few weeks Mama turtles have been seen everywhere, digging in sand and dirt, planting their eggs.

Now the babies are hatching. This one was crossing a path at Coffee Creek. The baby was not much bigger than that dime I tossed down next to it to prove its tiny size.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Damsel Gets One

Here was one of my best friends along the hiking trail. This little damselfly grabbed one of the nasty mosquitoes and is seen here having lunch.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


With summer moving towards fall and the coming of the asters and thistles, you are bound to see a Crescentspot or two flitting along your hiking trail.

These are curious little fellows that will pop out for a better look at you.    

Monday, August 1, 2011

Spring House at Potato Creek

Potato Creek State Park started out as a farm and the yellow building in the picture's background was a farm refrigerator. Built over a natural spring, the spring house kept food cool naturally with the cool spring water.

In the foreground a tiny water fall shows that the natural spring still flows even though the farm is long gone and the spring house is just a bit of interesting history.