I visited one of the prairie plantings on campus on a recent foggy morning. It may have been a gray start to the day, but there was still plenty of cheery yellow in the perennial sunflowers and the flitting goldfinch. And plenty of interesting drops on the grasses and pokeweed.
One more round of photos from our early July stay at Camp Friedenswald -- the peaceful woods. We enjoyed getting out on the hiking trails, enjoying the mix of sunshine and shadow under the trees, glimpsing the white tails of deer bounding away in the woods and the movement of toads hopping away at our feet. And the meadow near the woods was in full summer display, full of black-eyed susans and touches of purple and white. And we had time to hike Turtle Hill, a new trail for us.
More from our Camp Friedenswald getaway earlier this month. . .a favorite spot is the lookout over the fen, especially at sunrise and sunset, and enjoying the birds and other residents. We heard but did not see sandhill cranes this time, and we heard and saw redwing blackbirds.
We looked for the very rare Mitchell's satyr butterfly which can be found in this fen. It was the season for them, and staff told us that the researchers who had done a count earlier that week were delighted to spot ten. We did not see any, but this little fellow posed for us -- a northern pearly eye, from what I can see on the butterfly identification charts.
And this is the view in the other direction. We were focused on the water and birds at sunrise when we heard a slight noise behind us and turned to see the spotted back of a fawn leaping up and promptly dropping down into hiding. You can just see its ears and eyes here. Can't spot it? The close up is below. And the last photo is a couple of wood ducks out at dusk.
We had a Calendar Garden outing on Saturday. The summer quadrant is always the one bursting with color and blooms. And in this case, dragonflies.
We had a getaway at Camp Friedenswald last week, enjoying the change in landscape. Both mornings we headed across the lake in a canoe, avoiding the shoreline with all the houses, and coming back along the wooded lakeshore. The floating turtles we saw all took a quick dive for the bottom. The dragonflies circled round and sometimes rode along with us for a spell. Near the fen, we passed water lilies and then John called out, "Look at all that blue!" We paddled in for a closer look. Dragonfly orgy!
A medley this time -- from the prairie plantings on campus this time. Three on a sunny day, and the last two from a dewy morning. I watched that damselfly hanging from the edge of the leaf and then swing itself upward till it was on top of the leaf. If you zoom in, you can see that both the leaf and the damselfly are covered with dew.
I am fascinated by all the varieties of dragonflies I am seeing in my own backyard these days, and by the sometimes amusing faces, as well as the beauty of those latticed wings.
Summer is here and it is the season for dragonflies. And damselflies, which are very similar. Dragonflies have thicker bodies and dissimilar wings outspread, damsels rest their wings together, parallel to the body. We went walking at Oxbow Park earlier this week and saw damselflies darting by the dozens -- tiny, pastel colored ones resting on the path and flitting away too quickly to photograph; the dark lacy kind above (zoom in to see those intricate wings!) and brilliant blue greens basking on sunny leaves (I managed to get either sharp pictures where the brilliant color only shows on the edge of the wing, like below, or slightly blurry ones that give a better sense of that metallic blue brilliance).
I saw a vivid dragonfly in the prairie grasses last night, but it sped away when I tried to record it. Then I saw the one that remained, just a few inches lower, nearly hidden in the grass, with a golden body and its wings a pale blue shimmer. And finally there is a photo of a dragonfly enjoying the warmth of our fence -- the slightly confusing shadows are due to two layers of fence boards.
Evening sun after a day of rain encouraged a walk on campus, where we found a flock of cedar waxwings feasting on old fruit. And on the other side of campus, a festive display of redbud, some of it so eager for spring it came bursting out of the tree trunk.
Which brings to mind an old song, learned from a friend on a long car trip during college:
To ope' their trunks the trees are never seen
How then do they put on their robes of green?
They leaf them out.
My approach to contemplative photography --
Tell about it."
Mary Oliver in "Sometimes"