Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Bog Reflections

The bog is coming to life for another year at the Indiana Dunes. With the amazingly warm winter we're having it is starting to look like the beginning of March  instead of the end of January.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Long Winter Shadows

A winter afternoon at the Indiana Dunes; the shadows are long even though the temperatures were like a balmy day in March.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Frozen in Time

The frosty piers of Potato Creek on a warm winter day. The lake was quiet except for a few geese and a hawk flying overhead.

Friday, January 27, 2012


This morning the deer were shy, the sun was fighting the clouds, and the muddy gray of this winter wasn't very photogenic.

So I'm dreaming of August afternoons and honeybees....

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Reflections of Steel

They are all gone into the world of light!
And I alone sit lingering here;
Their very memory is fair and bright;
And my sad thoughts doth clear.

It grows and glitters in my cloudy breast,
Like stars upon some gloomy grove,
Or those faint beams in which this hill is drest,
After the suns remove...

Henry Vaughn/ Beyond the Veil

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Where's the Deer?

Getting good pictures of wildlife requires that you be able to train your eyes to find it first. Most animals freeze at first when they sense danger. The next move most animals make is a quick run for it and there goes your photo opportunity.

Take the deer in the picture for example---the deer froze and, since I spotted it ahead of time, I froze too. I was still able to pull out the camera and snap a couple of pictures. Unfortunately, in this instance, the deer was moving away from me so I didn't get any close ups but I was able to get a couple of pictures since it didn't flee.  

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Frosty Winter Sunrise

Mornings like this one are magical. The snow explodes in a million tiny rainbows. The crisp winter air is scrubbed clean and fresh.

There was one, lone hawk hunting tiny scurrying mice that left trails of foot prints behind. Otherwise, it was just me and the winter sun and the miniature rainbows.  

Monday, January 23, 2012


This deer was scrounging through the snow for tidbits to eat.

This year has been kind to the deer with nice temperatures and, until lately, very little snow.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Snow Storm

The snow that started yesterday afternoon came down half the night and has left us nearly buried for the first time this winter. The birds are enjoying the bounty at the feeder---they've been infrequent visitors so far this winter.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Frosty Marsh

The marsh was quiet and frosty with the sky hinting of the snow to come. The muskrat lodges were batted down and the only birds that were out discussing the weather were the chickadees.  

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Differences in the Bouquet

...was grateful for the roses,
in life's diverse bouquet....

...the difference, a daisy,
is all the rest I knew!

Emily Dickinson's  Time and Eternity 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Wednesday Warm Up---Field of Dreams

A field of wildflowers reaching up to big, puffy clouds    is this Wednesday's warm up and boy do we ever need it here---10F.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


This frog was perfectly camouflaged against the gray of the fallen tree branch when I came upon him looking like a gall one spring morning.

He was perfectly comfortable with his ability to stay hidden too and didn't move a twitch  

Monday, January 16, 2012

The Trail in Black and White

A seeming tangle of branches opens up into a glowing winter forest path of branch and shadow.  

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Black Crowned Night Heron

Sitting and sleepy along side the Calumet River in Hammond, Indiana this Black Crowned Night Heron was finishing up a night and early morning hunting expedition.

Soon it would fly to a nearby tree where it would perch and dream the day away until nightfall when it would begin to hunt fish, frogs, and insects again.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Green Grass of Home...

Yes, we'll all be together in the shade of the old oak tree; when we meet beneath the green, green grass of home. ---Joan Baez

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Winter Storms and Love Blossoms

When the storm was in the sky,
And the west was black with showers,
My Beloved came by,
With his hands full of flowers---
Red burning flowers,
Like flame that pulsed and throbbed---
And beyond in the rain smitten bowers,
The turtle-dove sobbed....

...(The voice of the turtle-dove--
"How shall my heart be fed
with pleasant apples of love,
When the wintertime has fled,
                                                                                     the rain and the winter fled,
                                                                                     How all His gifts shall grace me,
                                                                                     When His Left Hand is under my head,
                                                                                     And His Right Hand doth embrace me.")

                                                                                     May Probyn

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Wednesday Warm Up---Snake

Beautifully patterned this Bullnosed Snake winnowed its way through the grass one August day. It was the first time I had ever seen this type of snake in Indiana.

It was like a jewel---must have just recently shed its skin---so bright and new.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

January Potato

There's a pocket of Indiana that has snow on the ground this January and it's in Potato Creek State Park.

It's funny but the colder a stream is the less it babbles. Unlike people who are hypothermic and then start to babble.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Branches to the Blue

The January sky---so blue and clean shows off the bleached branches of this tree.

The weather has been unseasonably warm this winter. I've heard only one tiny voice of complaint---a child who was told by her Grammy that there would be no sled as there was no snow.

I think the tree is yearning for an early spring.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Giant Fungus

That's my average sized glove sitting on top of this giant puffball to demonstrate the immensity of this fungus. This mushroom was one of several enormous packets of spores in this mushroom patch.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Social Trees

William Wordsworth called trees along a river "social trees." And seeing these trees lean in toward the center over this branch of the Kankakee it is almost as if the trees are telling secrets of years past and discussing spring's wardrobe to come.  

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Muskrat Lodge

Muskrat Suzie and Muskrat Sam weren't doing the Jitterbug in Muskrat Land the other day---with the weather about to turn they were snug in their lodge in the middle of the marsh.

Four years ago there were over 20 lodges in this marsh---last year there was none---this year I'm glad to see two. Perhaps there is a hint of a cycle here.  

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Seeds of the New Year

January hikes are full of cold, wind, snow, and last year's seeds---the promise of the New Year to come; January's slice of hope of good things to come.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Sunbeams at 186,000 miles per second....

Sunbeams are speedy things. That twinkling on the water can take off into space at 186,000 miles per second. It could make a big circle and in 200 billion years it would be right back here twinkling on the Kankakee River.

Makes a mere year seem so inconsequential. Don't you think?

Monday, January 2, 2012

2012 at the Marsh

The second day of 2012 has frightful weather---snow and high winds, frigid temperatures.

But for a few hours in the earlier part of the 1st day of 2012,we had blue skies reflected in the water of the marsh, as big puffy marshmallow clouds floated at the horizon. Magnificent!