Tuesday, September 29, 2015


Watching the moon phase into a total eclipse

Once the moon returned to the night I went to bed, getting up a few times, and watching it set in the west. That previous day was really nice and stayed clear. I thought on such a nice day that I would go sit in a swamp area a friend identified as good woodpecker viewing. It was still a bit muddy, but I was able to get into an area that up until  two weeks before had been under water.  Huge trees surrounded me and kept me company , while I enjoyed the day in the shade.

I hoped these Turkey Vultures weren't looking me over.
As far as one can see , it is really barren of ground vegetation. 

One edge of the water remained outside of the heavily wooded area.

Sitting in a nice folding chair, kicking off a few pounds of mud.

Monday, September 28, 2015

All Hail

 It is sad to see the Monarchs leave. I barely got to know them.  I travel a lot just to find them and still am counting my daily finds.


Fall colors
I know so well
Come and go fast
Soon all leaves have fell.

Lake Red Rock

A Buckeye flits all around me, but doesn't want to pose. It could be the little dogs who want to see just what I am hunting and get their noses in the way. One year there were so many I looked only at good shots before clicking, where this year one has to take what they can get.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Jumping Around

Leopard Frog
Green Frog
 Amazingly Leopard Frogs can stay out of the water for fairly lengthy times. I have been waiting for a shot out on the prairie, and had one jump into my lap. They have a good jump and can easily go three to five meters in a hop. One year I worked with a National Geographic crew catching them for action shots. They took movies of them jumping in front of a blue screen, and later would add a background to the stills they chose from the movies. I never got to see the finished product, but took some good teasing from others at the biological station we were working out of. I had barely started and was in my third day, when I came upon a group taking a family picture on a bike trail. I said I could take it for them so all could get in, that I was working with photography at the lab. They immediately knew what I  was doing and said, "Oh, you are with the National Geographic crew!" I laughed knowing how information travels in a small community since this was the first local group I had met. Wednesdays each week the station did a program that many attended, and they  had enjoyed many of  these programs. I was a celebrity for a few minutes, but faded into obscurity very fast. This biological station was started in 1909, so had a lot of  people prominent in their respective fields. This also was a cumulative school sponsored by all the state universities. We worked with prairie and wetland projects all summer, students from all areas joined in taking the experience as a class. My prominence faded away, the memories were carried on a gentle prairie breeze for all to enjoy.

Monarch on a Common Milkweed seedpod

Great Blue Lobelia

Black Swallowtail

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Fall In !

Leaves of three
Still let them be
Ever so pretty
And turning red.

Poison Ivy growing into a tree.

I always look how full a chipmunk's cheeks are.
I love the fall Asters
Eastern Goldfinch males
Boy, I am sure pretty
Finches are assembling in flocks. I have seen a few with close to fifty. They will molt their bright plumage for the winter soon, a warning cold weather is near.

Grow you own Monarchs from caterpillars found on milkweed.
These are fresh hatched and will dry all day. They were tagged, and released afterwards.
M-mm  Fried Okra
Tiny blooms
Always big
To me.
Goldfinch love thistle seed. 
Fall  slipped in like a warm summer day. Rain is moving in to drench small areas of the land around me. Many farmers have harvested their corn and soybeans. Sunrise this time of year can be spectacular, the angle of the earth allows this. I am making breakfast for friends and having a hard time staying and not running to photograph the pink sky. Yesterday I sat and watched these clouds move by. I thought they were nice summer clouds, but some of the last of the season slipping away.