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

Where did the summer go?

It’s the first week of autumn, but you wouldn’t know it by our weather here. We had a few cool days to give us a taste of fall, then it has warmed up to summer like temperatures during the day. We have had cool nights, great sleeping weather.

I’m running out of things to photograph, at least without putting several images that look quite alike in the same post. There are days when I don’t even see any robins, and there will be a few around all winter long. Even the flock of goldfinches has thinned out. With fall arriving, I’ve seen no new flowers starting to bloom. But, Mother Nature provides, for a few early summer flowers are producing a few flowers, like this sulphur cinquefoil.

Sulphur cinquefoil

Sulphur cinquefoil

And, there’s always a few squirrels around to practice on.

Red squirrel

Red squirrel

Fox squirrel

Fox squirrel

Fox squirrel

Fox squirrel

It’s been a while since I’ve posted a photo of a woodchuck, so this seems like a good time for one.

Woodchuck

Woodchuck

There’s still asters blooming, and they are attracting bees.

IMG_9149

Bee on an aster

But to tell you the truth, I’ve shot too many bees already this summer, my heart just wasn’t in it as I tried for a better shot.

Bee on an aster

Bee on an aster

I found this bug on the railing of the bridge over the creek, and thought that it was kind of cute, it reminded me of Gonzo the Great from the Muppet Show.

Unidentified beetle

Unidentified beetle

I found a few apples growing in front of asters, and liked the color combination…

Apples and asters

Apples and asters

…but couldn’t get the type of shot I wanted.

Asters and apples

Asters and apples

Earlier this summer, I decided not to photograph subjects on the pavement unless I had to. For one thing, it doesn’t look natural, and for another, it makes it hard to get the exposure correct. But, for a praying mantis, I decided to make an exception.

Praying mantis

Praying mantis

The mantis spotted me, as you can see, and moved into the grass, which I thought was going to be a good thing.

Praying mantis

Praying mantis

I chased the mantis around for a good ten minutes, trying to get a good photo.

Praying mantis

Praying mantis

The mantis didn’t move very fast, but it was well aware of me and did all that it could to thwart me, so I gave up.

Flowers are easier.

???

???

Until there’s an insect on them.

Katydid

Katydid

I’m going to try not to shoot anymore upside down spiders from now on.

Unidentified spider

Unidentified spider

There’s still plenty of these around, ever since most of the summer resident birds left the area.

Grasshopper

Grasshopper

A few more summer flowers are getting their second wind.

Sweet pea

Sweet pea

Sweet pea

Sweet pea

Crown vetch

Crown vetch

I’ve been shooting a few fall color photos as practice for my trip up north this coming weekend.

Sumac

Sumac

Sumac

Sumac

Virginia creeper

Virginia creeper

Maple tree

Maple tree

As if I haven’t been posting enough images of hawks lately, one morning Bruiser the red-tailed hawk decided to have some fun with me.

Red-tailed hawk in flight

Red-tailed hawk in flight

That’s from his second pass over my head, at about twenty feet. For his first pass, he came out of nowhere, and I didn’t have time to make any adjustments to the camera, so those images were terrible. He was turning directly over me, making it extremely hard to keep him in the viewfinder.

Red-tailed hawk in flight

Red-tailed hawk in flight

These were all shot with the Beast (Sigma 150-500 mm lens) at 150 mm, he was that close to me.

Red-tailed hawk in flight

Red-tailed hawk in flight

He finally gained some altitude on his third pass.

Red-tailed hawk in flight

Red-tailed hawk in flight

Red-tailed hawk in flight

Red-tailed hawk in flight

There for a moment, I thought that he was going to snatch my hat.

The heron that has taken up residence is still around, but the kids whose fishing poles the heron stole, stole them back from the heron, so now it has to fish like a normal heron.

Great blue heron

Great blue heron

The woolly bear caterpillars are predicting a mild wither, I hope that they’re right.

Woolly bear caterpillar

Woolly bear caterpillar

Woolly bear caterpillar

Woolly bear caterpillar

And, I hope to get a better photo of one before the snow flies. πŸ˜‰

The dragon and damselflies are fewer and farther between.

Damselfly

Damselfly

As are the butterflies.

Butterfly

Butterfly

To wrap this one up, a few images of pink asters that I tried out both the LED panel light and the EX 320 flash unit on, as the asters are severely backlit at the time when I walk each morning.

Pink asters

Pink asters

It’s much easier to get one right at a time.

Pink asters

Pink asters

But I kept trying for all of them.

Pink asters

Pink asters

However, I settled on this one as the best of the lot.

Pink asters

Pink asters

I’m doing this post after a day in the Muskegon area, so I’m sorry if it isn’t up to my usual standards. I have a lot of stuff to do this week, so I zipped through this post in a hurry. I have to have my Subaru serviced, and I’d like to put in a few job applications this week, and that’s on top of everything else I normally do each week. I also have photos from yesterday at Palmer Park, and today from Muskegon to finish sorting.

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

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28 responses

  1. Great post, lots of colour and those squirrels and woodchucks are a delight.

    September 29, 2014 at 2:53 am

    • Thank you Susan!

      September 29, 2014 at 9:36 am

  2. My fave is the picture of appels and asters. Beautiful post!

    September 29, 2014 at 6:50 am

    • Thank you Dana! That image isn’t quite what I wanted, but the color combination is pleasing.

      September 29, 2014 at 9:37 am

  3. Nice shots as usual! Your Red-tailed hawk in flight reminds me that I need to start shooting more flying bird images.

    September 29, 2014 at 6:57 am

    • Thanks Bob! It helps to have a “tame” hawk to practice on.

      September 29, 2014 at 9:41 am

  4. Fall is certainly coming…Loved your photo album, what a great way to start Monday morning.

    September 29, 2014 at 10:23 am

  5. Wonderful capture of the wooly caterpillar!

    September 29, 2014 at 4:12 pm

    • Thank you very much!

      September 30, 2014 at 2:36 am

  6. That’s exactly what I’ve been wondering-where did summer go and how did it go so fast? I hope winter flies by just as quickly!
    That beetle is a strange looking bug, and I haven’t seen a praying mantis since grade school. I like the shot of him on the asphalt because you can see his eye.
    Those are excellent shots of the hawk too.
    I hope that wooly bear caterpillar knows what he’s talking about!

    September 29, 2014 at 5:59 pm

    • Thanks Allen! No matter how mild this upcoming winter may be, it would still drag on compared to this summer.

      This is the time of year to find mantises, I’ve seen quite a few flying above fields, but finding them when they land is tough.

      September 30, 2014 at 2:40 am

  7. The hawk shots were a treat and I enjoyed your collection of bugs and insects.

    September 29, 2014 at 6:13 pm

    • Thank you Tom!

      September 30, 2014 at 2:40 am

  8. Please tell me about wooly bear caterpillars and weather predicting – I know this not! The photos are lovely especially the insects (I agree about Gonzo). Our weather has been very warm this September – warmer than August was.

    September 29, 2014 at 7:27 pm

    • Thanks Clare! Woolly bear caterpillars normally have black bands on each end, and a brown band in the middle. Supposedly, the longer the brown band is in comparison to the black bands, the milder the winter will be. Since the one in my photos was mostly brown, that should mean a very mild winter. But, that’s all nonsense, as some of the other woolly bears I’ve seen are almost all black.

      September 30, 2014 at 2:44 am

      • How interesting! Thanks for telling me. I love all these old sayings. Lots of people believe that the more berries in the hedgerows the worse the winter will be. We’ve got a bad one ahead if this is so. It just means we had a good spring.

        September 30, 2014 at 2:53 pm

      • Thanks for warning me about the berries, it could be a long cold winter if they are correct.

        October 1, 2014 at 2:42 am

  9. Seems we often have quite a few wooly bears around here. The summer sure has flown by really fast this year, but it’s been lovely to finally get a bit of rain out here. Not nearly enough though.

    September 30, 2014 at 1:07 am

    • Thanks! I hope that you start getting more rain soon, as the more rain you get, the less snow we’ll get this winter. πŸ˜‰

      September 30, 2014 at 2:47 am

  10. Nenkin Seikatsu

    In your third photo of the praying mantis, its expression seems to say, “Do you mind?!?!”

    September 30, 2014 at 7:00 am

    • Thank you! The mantis certainly didn’t want to be disturbed.

      September 30, 2014 at 9:28 am

  11. Really lovely photos–I especially liked the praying mantis photos.

    September 30, 2014 at 10:10 am

    • Thank you very much, glad that you liked them.

      September 30, 2014 at 2:29 pm

  12. It’s crazy how a cool day changes your whole perspective. Sunday evening, we were sitting around the campfire in shorts/t-shirts when a breeze came up. It changed quickly into a wine straight off Lake Superior, and now (suddenly) we can’t get warm again, and are wondering why we want to go into N. Minnesota. Not many birds, but lots of sights to keep my camera battery exhausted.

    Love the praying mantis shot. You really walk around with your eyes open. So great to follow….

    October 1, 2014 at 12:05 am

    • Not to rub it in, but we had a perfect week down here. But, the trees up there are showing up on satellite images the last few days, it must be gorgeous, if cold! The Duluth/Superior area is great, you may want to look up the train museum if you’re interested in that sort of thing, some great old steam engines on display. Going all the way around Lake Superior is a feast for the eyes, but you’re probably a few weeks late unless you don’t mind camping in the snow. πŸ˜‰

      October 1, 2014 at 2:41 am

  13. Wow–no center stripe on that woolly bear! What do you think that means?!!! Love the woodchuck pic, too. Guess this gal can’t get enough of groundhogs. πŸ˜‰ PS, love the hawk pics, too. Mid-flight, overhead– tough to do with a telephoto.

    October 6, 2014 at 6:44 am

    • Thank you Lori! I hope that the woolly bears are correct, but I doubt it. They had snow in Chicago on Saturday, and I had to deal with rain and sleet this past weekend.

      October 6, 2014 at 10:28 am

      • Sleet????! Yuck! Too early!!!

        October 6, 2014 at 2:51 pm