Tuesday, July 31, 2012

A Jewel of a Weed

Jewelweed growing in the shade, delicate flowers hanging from delicate stems. This plant is said to be good as a salve for poison ivy and dermatitis.

Nature provides the cure right next to the plant that causes the ailment.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Sunset over Lake Michigan

Nothing is quite more spectacular than watching the sun slip into Lake Michigan. Except when the Indiana Dune State Park adds a bit of music to the scene like they did on Saturday night.  

Saturday, July 28, 2012


All those pretty purple flowers are poisonous to the environment of this Indiana wetland.

Three or four years ago there wasn't many if any of this invasive flower called Purple Loosestrife in this wetland. But today the plant has taken over, erasing the diverse and delicately balanced ecosystem of this swamp near the Kankakee River. Plants where fish raise young and plants where waterfowl and other birds feed are systematically being pushed out by the hearty and extremely invasive purple plant.

Probably arriving on an infected boat, Purple Loosestrife, if left unchecked, will quickly take over the whole area until there is no water visible for fish, fishing, or wildlife . We will have our hands full trying to save this wetland in future years.      

Friday, July 27, 2012

Wild Sarsaparilla

One of my favorites, literally twinkling on the forest floor this July is Wild Sarsaparilla. This native wildflower is small, low to the ground, and loves the shade.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Susans Dripping Yellow in July...

Among the bumble-bees in red-top hay,
A freckled field of brown-eyed Susans dripping yellow leaves in July,
I read your heart in a book.
And your mouth of blue pansy
—I know somewhere I have seen it rain-shattered.
And I have seen a woman with her head flung between her naked knees,
and her head held there listening to the sea,
the great naked sea shouldering a load of salt. 
And the blue pansy mouth sang to the sea:

"Mother of God, I’m so little a thing,
Let me sing longer,
Only a little longer."

And the sea shouldered its salt in long gray combers hauling new shapes on the beach sand.
Adelaid Crapsey by Carl Sandburg

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Morning Doe

I am fascinated by just how poor a deer's eyesight is. Observing a deer is quite easy once you understand that a deer sees mainly movement against the background. By standing still you can observe a deer until it just wanders off.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Seed Pots of White Campion

I love White Campions because of the seed pot. Looking like tiny Indian pottery, the tiny pots open showing the wondrous seeds inside.  Apparently birds find the seeds tasty---they don't last long.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Butterfly and Bergamot

There was clearly something not quite right with this butterfly. I was able to get quite close to snap the picture; either it was newly metamorphosised or it was stressed in some other way.  

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Precious Water

There was a dew this morning that dripped from all the flowers---nourishing moisture much needed this summer.

Friday, July 20, 2012

And the Earth Rejoices

This tree, looking much smaller than it actually is (see the bench at the bottom of the hill)  was a casualty of the recent storms that hit this part of Indiana.

But with the storms came cooler weather; for the first time in weeks we had a good soaking rain, and everything in the forest---wildflowers and wildlife is rejoicing.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

A Rose to Call Home

When taking photo's of wildflowers, I often come up with a bonus pic of an insect either munching on the flower or taking up residence.

This wild rose is has two such insects getting nourishment or making a home or both.  

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Lonely Heron

THINK, the ragged turf-boy urges
O’er the dusty road his asses;
Think, on the seashore for the lonely
Heron wings along the sand.
Think, in woodland under oak-boughs
Now the streaming sunbeam passes:
And bethink thee thou art servant
To the same all-moving hand.
Think by Charles Weeks 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Three Blue Sailors

Although not a native, I love the sky blue flowers of Chicory. This is a versatile plant, too. And in this economy we all might need to start grinding the roots for coffee or plucking the flowers and leaves for our salads.

Monday, July 16, 2012

A Cup of Coffee

Coffee Creek is a flower feast this year. Everywhere you look there are wildflowers in bloom.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Fields of Wildflowers

Coffee Creek's putting on quite the show this year with fields of wildflowers on display brighter than any fourth of July fireworks.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Perfect Daisy

This daisy sparkled with early morning dew---a rare occurrence this hot, dry summer.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Refuge of the Farthest Meadow

I went out to the farthest meadow,
I lay down in the deepest shadow;

And I said unto the earth, “Hold me,
And unto the night, “O enfold me,”

And unto the wind petulantly
I cried, “You know not for you are free!”

And I begged the little leaves to lean
Low and together for a safe screen;

Then to the stars I told my tale:
That is my home-light, there in the vale,

“And O, I know that I shall return,
But let me lie first mid the unfeeling fern.

“For there is a flame that has blown too near,
And there is a name that has grown too dear,
And there is a fear …”

And to the still hills and cool earth and far sky I made moan,
The heart in my bosom is not my own!

“O would I were free as the wind on wing;
Love is a terrible thing

Love is a Terrible Thing by Grace Fallow Norton 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Widow Skimmer

One of many Widow Skimmers that were posing near the river the other day. Some dragonflies return to favorite perches even after they've been disturbed enough to fly away. This makes some dragonflies easier to photograph than others that simply find another place to perch.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Cool shade of Bellflower

The icy shade of blue Bellflowers are brightening up the shade of Indiana woodlands this month; so delicate looking each flower, yet how strong and tall the whole plant.

Makes standing in the shade even the more pleasant. Stay cool.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Buggy Yarrow

Sometimes when photographing a flower, like this yarrow, I get a bonus bug hamming up the picture.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Great Blue Heron Bonanza

Our hot, dry summer is creating a wealth of food for the heron population. The pools are drying up leaving tadpoles and other aquatic creatures stranded. Out of this small area 5 Blue Herons flew with only this one remaining. This guy wasn't about to lose its place in all of the bounty.    

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Standing Alone

I STAND alone through each long day
Upon these pavers; cannot see
The wares spread out upon this tray
For God has taken sight from me!  
Many a time I've cursed the night
When I was born. My peering eyes
Have sought for but one ray of light
To pierce the darkness. When the skies

Rain down their first sweet April showers
On budding branches; when the morn
Is sweet with breath of spring and flowers,
I've cursed the night when I was born.

But now I thank God, and am glad
For what I cannot see this day
—The young men cripples, old, and sad,
With faces burnt and torn away;

Or those who, growing rich and old,
Have battened on the slaughter,
Whose faces, gorged with blood and gold,
Are creased in purple laughter!

The Blind Pedlar by Osbert Sitwell

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Fourth of July

From the fireworks display over Lake Michigan at Indiana Dunes last evening. They out did themselves last night and it was the perfect evening.

Have a wonderful holiday!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

On Lake Michigan

The Michigan City, Indiana lighthouse from Lake Michigan on a calm June day.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Blue-eyed Grass

Finding a piece of sunshine underneath the trees, this Blue-eyed grass sends up the tiniest of flowers---it can be too easy to miss such a miniature beauty in summer's abundance.