My adventures in the woods, streams, rivers, fields, and lakes of Michigan

Pickerel Lake Nature Preserve round II

After going to the Pickerel Lake Nature Preserve the last time looking for birds, but finding flowers and insects, I returned today. My plan was to look for flowers and insects, I feel as if I would have been better off taking the Sigma lens for birding. I say that even though I saw only one uncommon bird, a barred owl.  They are fairly common, but you don’t often find one out during the daylight hours. But, I got a few usable photos of the owl with the 70-200 mm L series lens.

Many of the flowers that I went back for today have already stopped blooming, but I found enough to keep myself occupied and out of trouble for a few hours.

Some of these photos will be about the same as in the first post I did on this preserve, some better, some worse. 😉

I’m starting with one of the boardwalks. This runs across the eastern shore of the lake.

The boardwalk over Pickerel Lake

The boardwalk over Pickerel Lake

It’s there that I saw these purple bladderwort. The last time, I couldn’t figure out how to get a good shot of them. Today, I laid down on the boardwalk and shot through the gap at the bottom of the railing.

Purple Bladderwort Utricularia purpurea

Purple Bladderwort
Utricularia purpurea

There were a few other things to be seen along the boardwalk as well.

Happy turtles in the sun

Happy turtles in the sun

Mourning cloak butterfly

Mourning cloak butterfly

After crossing the boardwalk, I headed to the larch swamp, and found a pair of cardinals, but only got a shot of the male.

Male northern cardinal

Male northern cardinal

This is what the trail looks like, it’s like walking through a green tunnel this summer.

Pickerel Lake trail

Pickerel Lake trail

I really wanted a better shot of these.

Square stemmed monkeyface

Square stemmed monkeyface

But they grow in a very difficult spot, right on a steep bank dropping off into the water, with 99% of the flowers facing the water, and in the shade to make things really tough. I got tangled up in a raspberry bush to get that not so good shot.

While there, I shot a couple of photos of the trees reflecting off from the water in the small pond there. These beg the question, is it possible to get too good of a reflection shot?

Reflections

Reflections

Reflections and ripples

Reflections and ripples

A few more odds and ends.

Yarrow

Yarrow

Dragonfly

Dragonfly

Unidentified fluttering object

Northern Pearly-eye

Pickerel weed

Pickerel weed

Purple loosestrife

Purple loosestrife

Mourning cloak

Mourning cloak

Dragonfly

Dragonfly

I had taken one of the trail loops up into the hills on the south side of the lake. On my way back down towards the lake, I could feel the eyes of a predator watching me, looking around, I spotted this.

Barred owl

Barred owl

Barred owl

Barred owl

The owl started to fly off, I tried for shots of it in flight, but the auto-focus of the L series wasn’t fast enough, darn!

But much to my surprise, the owl landed in a tree on the other side of the trail to do some preening.

Barred owl

Barred owl

The owl must have been near the nest of a small bird, for the smaller bird began hurling itself into the owl. I’ve never seen a small bird attack in that style before, it would build up a head of steam, and fly full speed into the back of the owl, which paid no attention to the attacks. I tried for a shot of that, and this is the best I could do before the owl decided to fly off.

Barred owl and attacker

Barred owl and attacker

I checked on the flowers that I didn’t think were roses the last time, they were roses, I just needed to look closer.

Wild rose

Wild rose

A few more odds and ends.

Pickerel weed

Pickerel weed

????

????

Water lily

Water lily

?????

?????

Pickerel Lake

Pickerel Lake

Dragonfly

Dragonfly

silver-spotted skipper

silver-spotted skipper

The Spotted beebalm (Monarda punctata ) was past its prime, but I shot a few more photos anyway. It attracts insects the way that the other species of bee balm does.

IMG_9735

Spotted beebalm Monarda punctata

IMG_9743

Spotted beebalm Monarda punctata

IMG_9736

Spotted beebalm Monarda punctata

IMG_9744

Spotted beebalm Monarda punctata

IMG_9747

Spotted beebalm Monarda punctata

Still more odds and ends.

Garter snake

Garter snake

Butterfly

Red-spotted Purple Butterfly

Butterfly

Red-spotted Purple Butterfly

Pickerel Lake

Pickerel Lake

Cedar waxwing enjoying the view

Cedar waxwing enjoying the view

That’s about it for the day, I don’t have anything else to say. I think the photos speak for themselves.

That’s it for this one, thanks for stopping by!

18 responses

  1. Beautiful work. The dragonfly looks sort of scary this close up.

    August 4, 2013 at 10:11 pm

    • Thanks, to me, it looks like they are smiling. But, I love them, they feast on mosquitoes.

      August 4, 2013 at 10:13 pm

  2. I fell in love with dragonflies ever since I learned they dine on mosquitoes!
    Great shot of the butterfly with the blue edged wings. Don’t think I’ve ever seen one like it.

    August 4, 2013 at 10:36 pm

    • Thanks, the dragonflies will even munch down a deerfly from time to time, making them my heros from the insect world!

      August 4, 2013 at 11:16 pm

      • Yeah, they’re on my hero list, too.

        August 4, 2013 at 11:21 pm

  3. Really amazing photos; very well done and really enjoyable.

    August 4, 2013 at 11:14 pm

    • Thanks Charlie!

      August 4, 2013 at 11:18 pm

  4. Nice shots of the butterflies!

    August 5, 2013 at 4:13 am

    • Thank you very much Robert!

      August 5, 2013 at 8:54 am

  5. It looks like this was a worthwhile trip! that purple bladderwort was quite a find. I’ve been looking for that one but have never seen it. I’ve never heard of spotted bee balm-I’m glad that someone was able to ID it. I think my favorite shot is the silver spotted skipper on the knapweed blossom.

    August 5, 2013 at 6:22 am

    • Thanks! I actually identified both the bladderwort and spotted bee balm myself with the help of Google. Since the structure of the flowers and plants were similar to others that I have learned, I did a search on the family name and color, and managed to find an image of each, then learned the species name that way. If only all flowers were so easy to ID.

      August 5, 2013 at 9:00 am

  6. What a blessing to get some shots of the barred owl. I just love listening to them call across the northwoods in the wee hours of the morning. Looks like a wonderful outing!

    August 5, 2013 at 11:11 am

    • Thanks, I see owls occasionally, but they seldom pose for me like this one did.

      August 5, 2013 at 12:13 pm

  7. Love the one with the little bird in mid-air defending his territory against the owl!

    August 6, 2013 at 4:35 am

    • Thanks, that was one tough little bird, trying to “blow” the owl away by turning itself into a missle. I had to catch it flying away to build up speed for another attack, it was too fast to catch inbound.

      August 6, 2013 at 10:00 am

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  9. So much to see! What a great day – butterflies, turtles, a snake, owls…and that peaceful Cedar Waxwing posing on the stump. I think your unidentified flutterer could be a Northern Pearly-eye, Enodia anthedon – in my book the pictured one is paler but the pattern of markings matches well, and it’s found in deciduous woods, in Michigan, in midsummer. It was small, right?

    August 9, 2013 at 10:48 pm

    • Thank you, you were correct on the butterfly!

      August 10, 2013 at 2:51 am