Friday, August 31, 2012

Have a Great Labor Day!

Have a great Labor Day. Let's honor too all those who have been searching for work and who remain unemployed or underemployed this Labor Day.  

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Lovely, Transient, and Poisonous

Such beauty only lasts an evening---by the next morning this flower will have dropped off, its beauty over and done with.

And although quite a beauty, you wouldn't want  Jimson Weed in your yard; it is poisonous to pets and humans.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Bee and Joe-Pyeweed

This guy was intent on sampling the flowers of the Joe-Pyeweed plant and wasn't worried about me a bit as I came in for a closeup.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Old Reflections on the River

LET the crows go by hawking their caw and caw.
They have been swimming in midnights of coal mines somewhere.
Let ’em hawk their caw and caw.

Let the woodpecker drum and drum on a hickory stump.
He has been swimming in red 
and blue pools somewhere hundreds of years
And the blue has gone to his wings 
and the red has gone to his head.
Let his red head drum and drum.

Let the dark pools hold the birds in a looking-glass.
And if the pool wishes, let it shiver to the blur of many wings,
 old swimmers from old places.

Let the redwing streak a line of vermilion
 on the green wood lines.
And the mist along the river fix its purple
 in lines of a woman’s shawl on lazy shoulders.
Carl Sandburg---River Roads

Monday, August 27, 2012

Delicate, but not Fragile

Tiny and delicate, I love coming across these members of the pea family on a hike by the river.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Tiny Flowers

Close up the tiny, millimeter wide flowers of Flowering Spurge look like they go on forever. On a hike, though, it would be very easy to miss the beauty of these tiny treasures.

Friday, August 24, 2012

River's Recovery

Nearly a month has passed since the algae bloom that occurred on the Kankakee River. And after a couple of weeks of cooler temperatures, the river has recovered it's former beauty. The water is clear, cool and refreshing...and full of  hungry fish.    

Thursday, August 23, 2012

A Dew

A DEW sufficed itself
And satisfied a leaf,
And felt, “how vast a destiny!
How trivial is life!”
The sun went out to work,
The day went out to play,
But not again that dew was seen
By physiognomy.
Whether by day abducted,
Or emptied by the sun
Into the sea, in passing,
Eternally unknown.
Emily Dickinson Part Two: Nature

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Plain Old Tired

With worn wings and head down this guy looks weary. I'd almost feel sorry for him if only he wasn't so, well, wasp like.    

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

New York Ironweed

Ironweed is a plant with strong stems so a collector of this plant for identification in New York long ago gave it the name New York Ironweed.

This specimen that is glistening in the early August morning dew is a resident of an Indiana wetland.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Obediently Beautiful

Lovely Obedient Plant, looks a bit like a snapdragon but is a member of the mint family. Bend a flower and you will find the flower obediently stays bent for a time, thus the name.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Golden Rod Hotel

Hundreds of insect, (think they are weevils) made a golden rod their home. The plant was covered by the tiny insects.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Precious Pool

It seems that Indiana has been paroled from the hellish heat and drought that descended on us in May.

Mushrooms and puddles are sprouting up, finally.    

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Deer Dreaming of the Morn

SHERWOOD in the twilight, is Robin Hood awake?
Grey and ghostly shadows are gliding through the brake;
Shadows of the dappled deer, dreaming of the morn,
Dreaming of a shadowy man that winds a shadowy horn.

Robin Hood is here again: all his merry thieves
Hear a ghostly bugle-note shivering through the leaves,
Calling as he used to call, faint and far away,
In Sherwood, in Sherwood, about the break of day.

Merry, merry England has kissed the lips of June:
All the wings of fairyland were here beneath the moon;
Like a flight of rose-leaves fluttering in a mist
Of opal and ruby and pearl and amethyst.

Merry, merry England is waking as of old,
With eyes of blither hazel and hair of brighter gold:
For Robin Hood is here again beneath the bursting spray
In Sherwood, in Sherwood, about the break of day.

Love is in the greenwood building him a house
Of wild rose and hawthorn and honeysuckle boughs;
Love it in the greenwood: dawn is in the skies;
And Marian is waiting with a glory in her eyes.

Hark! The dazzled laverock climbs the golden steep:
Marian is waiting: is Robin Hood asleep?
Round the fairy grass-rings frolic elf and fay,
In Sherwood, in Sherwood, about the break of day.

Oberon, Oberon, rake away the gold,
Rake away the red leaves, roll away the mould,
Rake away the gold leaves, roll away the red,
And wake Will Scarlett from his leafy forest bed.

Friar Tuck and Little John are riding down together
With quarter-staff and drinking-can and grey goose-feather;
The dead are coming back again; the years are rolled away
In Sherwood, in Sherwood, about the break of day.

Softly over Sherwood the south wind blows;
All the heart of England hid in every rose
Hears across the greenwood the sunny whisper leap,
Sherwood in the red dawn, is Robin Hood asleep?

Hark, the voice of England wakes him as of old
And, shattering the silence with a cry of brighter gold,
Bugles in the greenwood echo from the steep,
Sherwood in the red dawn, is Robin Hood asleep?

Where the deer are gliding down the shadowy glen
All across the glades of fern he calls his merry men;
Doublets of the Lincoln green glancing through the May,
In Sherwood, in Sherwood, about the break of day;

Calls them and they answer: from aisles of oak and ash
Rings the Follow! Follow! and the boughs begin to crash;
The ferns begin to flutter and the flowers begin to fly;
And through the crimson dawning the robber band goes by.

Robin! Robin! Robin! All his merry thieves
Answer as the bugle-note shivers through the leaves:
Calling as he used to call, faint and far away,
In Sherwood, in Sherwood, about the break of day.
By Alfred Noyes---Sherwood 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


This deer was showing herself  a bit more than usual in an attempt to draw attention away from her two small fawns that were traveling with her. With a hiss she sent the youngsters ahead into the woods and she stayed back to keep an eye on me.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Knock, Knock

This morning the fields were dripping with dew and yesterday's raindrops. Spider webs hung from every tree and dripped off flowers and other plants combining with the fog to make an eerie August morning.

The webs ranged from well thought out designs to ones where you could imagine the designer was just learning the craft. Most webs were empty---the inhabitants apparently moving on. But once in a while I would come upon an owner proudly in residence.


Monday, August 13, 2012

Saturday, August 11, 2012

A Fresh Batch

Dressed in brilliant green with a touch of red, about 10 of these guys were hanging about the side of the shed one morning this week.

Friday, August 10, 2012

An Unexpected Heaven Came...

A SOMETHING in a summer’s day,
As slow her flambeaux burn away,
Which solemnizes me.

A something in a summer’s noon,—
An azure depth, a wordless tune,
Transcending ecstasy.

And still within a summer’s night
A something so transporting bright,
I clap my hands to see;

Then veil my too inspecting face,
Lest such a subtle, shimmering grace
Flutter too far for me.

The wizard-fingers never rest,
The purple brook within the breast
Still chafes its narrow bed;
Still rears the East her amber flag,
Guides still the sun along the crag
His caravan of red,

Like flowers that heard the tale of dews,
But never deemed the dripping prize
Awaited their low brows;

Or bees, that thought the summer’s name
Some rumor of delirium
No summer could for them;

Or Arctic creature, dimly stirred
By tropic hint,—some travelled bird
Imported to the wood;

Or wind’s bright signal to the ear,
Making that homely and severe,
Contented, known, before

The heaven unexpected came,
To lives that thought their worshipping
A too presumptuous psalm.

Nature Part Two by Emily Dickinson

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Rainbow at Sunset

The Parks Department has big plans for Sunset Hill Farm County Park. There are plans to expand the campground, put in an amphitheater that would hold 3000 people, and upgrade the playground.

Here's hoping that all these projects that may enhance the parks ability to attract more people for different uses won't detract from the parks special, natural features; the wildlife, wildflowers, unique ecosystems, and forest trails.

And this park is the premier place in Northwest Indiana to watch the sunset or create a rainbow.  

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Frogs for Breakfast

Frogs were the breakfast menu this morning at the pond in Sunset Hill Farm County Park.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Heron with a Hat

This young heron tried its usual behavior of freezing with bill pointed up to the sky, acting like a shoreline weed as I walked up. When that didn't work, it flew into a nearby tree and tried to blend in as a branch. When that didn't work, he raised all the feathers on his head and showed me his hat. And I left it at that.    

Saturday, August 4, 2012

In the Red

Hundreds of these critters have moved into one of the trails going into the Indiana Dunes. These guys move fast---this guy was high tailing it to a hole in the ground.

I believe this may be a type of wasp as it seemed to be sharing a hole with a really large flying wasp counterpart.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Ball of Tiny Flowers---Buttonbush

A ball of tiny flowers make up this favorite of mine, the Buttonbush. This native shrub loves wetlands and feeds everything from deer to tiny hummingbirds and ducks.

And I'm not the only one who apparently loves this plant, long ago a specimen was carried from its native area in the eastern U.S. to the San Joaquin Valley in California. There its existence created a meeting place for Native Americans---around a ball of tiny flowers.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Eye of the Bee

While I was photoing this wildflower, this bee climbed up from the rear of the flower intent in its collection of the good stuff.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Sunset falls

SPEAK! said my soul, be stern and adequate;
The sunset falls from Heaven, the year is late,
Love waits with fallen tresses at thy gate
And mourns for perished days.
Speak! in the rigor of thy fate and mine,
Ere these scant, dying days, bright-lipped with wine,
All one by one depart, resigned, divine,
Through desert, autumn ways.

Speak! thou art lonely in thy chilly mind,
With all this desperate solitude of wind,
The solitude of tears that make thee blind,
Of wild and causeless tears.
Speak! thou hast need of me, heart, hand and head,
Speak, if it be an echo of thy dread,
A dirge of hope, of young illusions dead—
Perchance God hears!
Exordium by George Cabot Lodge