Monday, April 30, 2012


This blushing flower is one of several blooms under the trees in Potato Creek State Park.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Red Admirals

There has been a massive butterfly hatch in northern Indiana of Red Admirals. Hundreds are fluttering through the woods among the wildflowers and flowering bushes. Every step you take brings up more and more butterflies. Truly magnificent!  

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Dancing Among the Blossomed Trees

THE BIRDS their love-notes warble
Among the blossomed trees;
The flowers are sighing forth their sweets
To wooing honey-bees;
The glad brook o’er a pebbly floor
Goes dancing on its way,—
But not a thing is so like spring
As happy Alice Ray.

Alice Ray by Sarah Josepha Hale

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Greening

Who needs flowers when bright, dewy leaves are unfolding this morning?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Oh...that Pollen!

This bee just couldn't get enough of this dandelion! He appeared to be hunkering down for the night and just loving it with his face buried in the center.

Monday, April 23, 2012


After years of hiking and walking daily in Indiana, I'm still surprised every now and then.

I've been watching the same puddles raise tiny frogs for several years and was surprised this year by thousands of these critters that have joined the tadpoles in the puddles this year.

I'm guessing that they are some type of aquatic beetle larvae. But I've never seen so many and never in the puddles with the tadpoles.  

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Wild Geraniums

This wild geranium glows in the sun. This wild flower loves the areas around the forest both underneath and just outside the trees and is currently blooming a little ahead of schedule this year.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Duck, Duck, Goose

The geese are nesting this time of year and many anxious Ganders swim next to nests full of eggs and females sitting on them.

Here a gander eyes a teal couple swimming past a nest.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Dew's Soft Lips on Honeysuckle

DEEP Honeysuckle! in the silent eve
When wild rose cups are clos’d, 
and when each bird
Is sleeping by its mate, then all unheard
The dew’s soft kiss thy wakeful lips receive.
’T is then the sighs that 
throng them seem to weave
A spell whereby the drowsy night is stirr’d
To fervid meanings, which no fullest word
Of speech or song so sweetly could achieve.
Herald of bliss! whose fragrant trumpet blew
Love’s title to our hearts ere love was known,
’T was well thy flourish told a tale so true,
Well that Love’s dazzling presence was foreshown;
Had his descent on us been as the dew
On thee, our rarer sense he had o’erthrown. 
Emily Pfieffer--- To the Herald Honeysuckle

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Making of a May Apple

In the middle of this May Apple blossom is the making of the May Apple itself. Once the petals fall the apple will turn green.

This is the American version of the Mandrake of Harry Potter fame. Folklore is that pulling a mandrake up by the roots will cause the plant to scream making a mere human crazy. The plant is poisonous (although the fruit may not be in moderation), so this may or may not be the source of the story.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Claws in the Puddle

While admiring the life that comes out of a few transient mud puddles near the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, I found this crawdad.

As I walked up he came out of his hole to have a better look at me. His puddle and his food sources were drying up and I doubt if he'll be using this hole for long.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Blooming Blueberries

These wild blueberries are blooming at the Indiana Dunes this April, way ahead of schedule. They are so tiny, so delicate, and so tasty once they turn into fruit.

Saturday, April 14, 2012


The Lupines at the Indiana Dunes are just about to perform their show for the year---painting the sides of the dune a blue lavender.

The endangered Karner Blue Butterfly depends on these magnificent wildflowers.

Friday, April 13, 2012

April Flowers

Usually not blooming until May, these blossoms are filling the woods with their heady fragrance. And, mingled with the trees just getting their leaves, the air is so thick with pollen you could cut it with a knife.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Apple Blossom Time a Little Early

I'm writing you, my dear,
Just to tell you,
In September, you remember
'Neath the old apple tree
You whispered to me
When it blossomed again, you'd be mine.

I've waited until I could claim you,
I hope I've not waited in vain.
For when it's spring in the valley,
I'm coming, my sweetheart, again!

I'll be with you in apple blossom time,
I'll be with you to change your name to mine.

One day in May
I'll come and say:
"Happy the bride the sun shines on today!"

What a wonderful wedding there will be,
What a wonderful day for you and me!
Church bells will chime
You will be mine
In apple blossom time.

I'll be with you in apple blossom time,
I'll be with you to change your name to mine.

One day in May
I'll come and say:
"Happy the bride the sun shines on today!"

What a wonderful wedding there will be,
What a wonderful day for you and me!
Church bells will chime
You will be mine
In apple blossom time. 

Neville Fleeson/Albert Von Tilzer
In Apple Blossom Time

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Spring Eggs

Hundreds of eggs cover the newly formed leaves of this tree. I'm hoping they're some kind of butterfly or moth.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

An Early Trillium

Another May wildflower, Trillium, is currently blooming under the trees in Indiana this April.

These flowers bloom underneath the trees before the trees get full foliage. Without this specific timing, the flowers wouldn't get enough sun.  

Monday, April 9, 2012

An Easter Morning Wildflower

Just in time for Easter---one of my favorite wildflowers Jack in the Pulpit. See the tiny Jack underneath the leafy roof?

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Indiana Banana Blooming again

The Pawpaw, a tree native to Indiana, are in bloom. The lovely dark red flowers will turn into papaya shaped fruit that have a delicious taste somewhat like a banana creme pie.


Friday, April 6, 2012

Marigolds of the Marsh

WITH a fork drive Nature out,
She will ever yet return;
Hedge the flowerbed all about,
Pull or stab or cut or burn,
She will ever yet return.

Look: the constant marigold
Springs again from hidden roots.
Baffled gardener, you behold
New beginnings and new shoots
Spring again from hidden roots.
Pull or stab or cut or burn,
They will ever yet return.

Gardener, cursing at the weed,
Ere you curse it further, say:
Who but you planted the seed
In my fertile heart, one day?
Ere you curse me further, say!
New beginnings and new shoots
Spring again from hidden roots.
Pull or stab or cut or burn,
Love must ever yet return.

Robert Graves, Marigolds

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Mayapples in April

All that green underneath the trees in this picture are Mayapples, a prevalent wildflower in Northwest Indiana. Mayapples are named for the month that they flower and fruit and this year they are already flowering in early April.

In other years, early April would find the forest floor just as brown as in the foreground here, all over---the Mayapples shouldn't even be up yet.  

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

More Early Blooms

More blossoms ahead of schedule by about a month to a month and a half. And with April sunny and warm so far, it's going to be an interesting year.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Beetles of the Dunes

Hundreds of these beetles were burrowing into the sand of the Indiana Dunes recently.

I'm guessing that they're laying eggs that will eventually become grubs that eat the grasses of the Dunes before they become full grown beetles.

This is possibly a type of scarab beetle with relatives in the Japanese and Oriental beetle species.

Monday, April 2, 2012


These catkins are past the "kitty tail" stage that give catkins their name. They are beautiful, still, like decorations on a Christmas tree.