Saturday, June 30, 2012

A Bit of Rain for Some Tiny Frogs

This frog is the size of your little finger's nail; that's an actual blade of grass next to the frog in the picture. And there were dozens of these frogs on the trail after yesterday's rain. This year that has been all sun and little rain must be hard on the little guys. It was good to see so many of them hopping about.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Ebony Jewelwing Damsel

This is my favorite damsel, the Ebony Jewelwing. The male is a brilliantly emerald green, the female mostly black; both males and females get their names from their ebony colored wings.

They begin their lives in the water and once they get their wings they frequent the shady streams that raised them. You can find them flittering in the understory of the trees this summer---little bits of shiny green and black.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Flower Picking

FLOWERS nodding gaily, scent in air,
Flowers posied, flowers for the hair,
Sleepy flowers, flowers bold to stare——'
'O pick me some!'

From: A Duet by T. Sturge Moore

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Sedges not Cattails allowed here

Cattails are being replaced by sedges at the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. Just a few years ago this wetland area was full of cattails, but to protect the bog, which contains many rare plants and is an endangered ecosystem itself, Dunes curators have been replacing cattails with native Sedges.

Beaver, frogs, herons, muskrat, and much other wildlife depend on this beautiful bog.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Lake Michigan, the Sun, Venus Watching

Hundreds of people waited on the evening of June 5th for a view of Venus traveling across the plane of the sun. This wouldn't happen again in our lifetimes, so it made it a special evening and our Dunes State Park hosted a star party to celebrate our star.

This was the view from earth that evening of one of the largest bodies of fresh water on earth; so precious.  

Monday, June 25, 2012

Fantasy Bee

If I was going to dream up a bee this is the one I would dream up.

His shiny green body glittered in this morning's early sunlight as he gathered pollen from the many wildflowers at Coffee Creek. What a beautiful creature!  

Saturday, June 23, 2012

What's with the Bees?

I've seen an unusual number of bees laying on the ground the last couple of weeks. This one was still alive but barely moving. The bees are of various kinds---this morning I noticed a honey bee which is different than this one, yet doing the same thing---laying on the ground barely moving.

It's a bit strange.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Early Morning Buck

This buck with velvety antlers was reluctant to step away from a mound of corn left by a kind soul this morning.

He finally decided that the dogs and I were no threat and continued with his breakfast.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Summer's All Too Short Date

SHALL I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm’d;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature’s changing course untrimm’d;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st,
Nor shall death brag thou wander’st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st;
So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.
William Shakespeare Sonnet XVIII

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Bee's of Summer

This bee was in no hurry to collect its pollen and be on its way. It went about its business as if it had all day to stop and smell the flowers; dropping that busy as a bee lifestyle.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Need a Bottlebrush?

Hiking through the forests of Indiana, there are areas where the sunlight falls through to the ground and in those areas you will find this beautiful grass glowing in the understory.

Named Bottlebrush because that's what it's good for, this grass is beautiful as well as functional on a camping trip.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Bubble Nest

No this plant doesn't have a disease, this is a bubble nest made by an insect to protect its eggs and young. I've never seen the insect responsible for the nest do any damage to the plants where bubble nests are prevalent.

And poking into the nest usually doesn't present any of the microscopic residents.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Pollen Grains of Golden Dust

WE have shut the doors behind us, and the velvet flowers of night
Lean about us scattering their pollen grains of golden light.
Now at last we lift our faces, and our faces come aflower
To the night that takes us willing, liberates us to the hour.
Now at last the ink and dudgeon passes from our fervent eyes
And out of the chambered weariness wanders a spirit abroad on its enterprise.

Not too near and not too far
Out of the stress of the crowd
Music screams as elephants scream
When they lift their trunks and scream aloud
For joy of the night when masters are
Asleep and adream.
So here I hide in the Shalimar
With a wanton princess slender and proud,
And we swoon with kisses, swoon till we seem
Two streaming peacocks gone in a cloud
Of golden dust, with star after star
On our stream.
Hyde Park at Night by D.H. Lawrence

Friday, June 15, 2012


Look at those wing spots! What a beauty this 12 Spot Skimmer is. These dragonflies were numerous and newly emerging last week at Potato Creek State Park.

The dragonflies followed me down the bike path and over trails munching the insects that were munching on me. I'm eternally grateful for dragonflies.

Thursday, June 14, 2012


This Widow Skimmer was hanging out near a place where I've seen dragonfly nymphs in the water.

Since this Widow was so intent on just hanging and it looks so fresh in color and perfectly formed, I would imagine it had just emerged and was getting its bearings before skimming off.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Brown is a Beautiful Butterfly

This butterfly was in the denser part of the forest but had found a dappled bit of sunshine to warm itself in.

I believe this could be a Northern Pearly Eye. You don't see too many of these about.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


It was difficult to find this dragonfly among the pebbles on the trail. I think this may be a Black Saddlebags taking advantage of the camouflage.

Monday, June 11, 2012

A Sheep in Wolf's Clothing

Another fly pretending to be a bee. Isn't he lovely though with those bee stripes and fly wings.

This guy is even casting a shadow making the two wings appear to be four for those who stop to count the wings of a fly who mimics a bee.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Secrets of the Stars

I FLUNG my soul to the air like a falcon flying.
I said, “Wait on, wait on, while I ride below!
I shall start a heron soon
In the marsh beneath the moon—
A strange white heron rising with silver on its wings,
Rising and crying wordless, wondrous things;
The secret of the stars, of the world’s heart-strings,
The answer to their woe.
Then stoop thou upon him, and grip and hold him so!”

My wild soul waited on as falcons hover.
I beat the reedy fens as I trampled past.
I heard the mournful loon
In the marsh beneath the moon.
And then—with feathery thunder—the bird of my desire
Broke from the cover flashing silver fire.
High up among the stars I saw his pinions spire.
The pale clouds gazed aghast
As my falcon stoopt upon him, and gript and held him fast.

My soul dropt through the air—with heavenly plunder?—
Gripping the dazzling bird my dreaming knew?
Nay! but a piteous freight,
A dark and heavy weight 
Bespoiled of silver plumage, its voice forever stilled,—
All of the wonder gone that ever filled
Its guise with glory. Oh, bird that I have killed,
How brilliantly you flew
Across my rapturous vision when first I dreamed of you!

Yet I fling my soul on high with new endeavor,
And I ride the world below with a joyful mind.
I shall start a heron soon
In the marsh beneath the moon—
A wondrous silver heron its inner darkness fledges!
I beat forever the fens and the sedges.
The pledge is still the same—for all disastrous pledges,
All hopes resigned!
My soul still flies above me for the quarry it shall find.
The Falconer of God by William Rose Benet 

Friday, June 8, 2012

Blue Butterfly

Since this tiny one was hanging with the clover I believe he's a Greenish Blue; but don't quote me on this.

He's a beauty though, that's a fact.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Lovely Damsel

This damselfly was resting in the shade, looking shiny and new. Damsels, like dragonflies, begin life in the water of wetlands. They are great hunters too.

This one is the color of dappled sunlight coming through the trees---a real beauty.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Those Eyes that Watch You

The other day on the trail I felt as if I was being watched. I think it was this spider with all his eyes keeping a watch over me.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Little Skippers

Hundreds of skipper butterflies are testing new wings after a recent coming out in the marsh. They're easier to photograph when they are new or early in the cool of the morning.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Life is good

I love swallows. They always seem so happy and gregarious. This guy is raising a family in the marsh. There's an abundance of insects this year. So there's plenty of time to perch on top of the house.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Eastern Pondhawk

Sporting a fresh green, this pondhawk looks newly emerged from the wetland this morning. Dragonfly's colors get duller as they age.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Tiny Pink Wildflower

Tiny Deptford Pink just began blooming in open fields this week. This is not a native flower; it's said to come from Europe, but it sure is a beauty!